At the end of spring semester, French language lover Brandon Broadwater bid a brief adieu to the United States in order to soak up the language and culture in France.
The newest Wright State Presidential Scholar said there is no better way to learn French than by being in France and experiencing all things French firsthand every day.
“I want to be truly fluent in the language and knowledgeable about the country that has truly become a second home to me beyond the U.S., Broadwater said. “I knew that this experience would not only help me immensely grow as a person, but as an educator and a Francophone.”
Broadwater plans to complete his final year of undergraduate work at Wright State and then go on to graduate school. His career plan is to become fully certified to teach French and English at the middle school and high school levels.
“It is my greatest goal to be able to take students on excursions to France and perhaps other places in Europe such as England, Italy or Spain for trips such as the one I took when I was a student in high school,” he said.
Broadwater was named the university’s Presidential Scholar for 2013 to 14 at spring commencement. The Presidential Scholarship recognizes one outstanding Wright State student with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.8. Each college recommends one applicant to the president, who makes the final selection.
Broadwater grew up in rural northeast Ohio between Akron and Youngstown. His father is a truck driver, delivering petroleum around the United States. His mother manages a convenience store.
Broadwater first developed a love for languages during his French classes at Southeast High School of Portage County taught by Nanette Tavares.
“She truly became a mentor and role model for me throughout my progression and growth in high school,” Broadwater said. “She led a trip to France the spring break of my junior year, which really cemented my desire to become a modern-language educator at the high school level.”
Broadwater was enticed to Wright State by the university’s modern-languages department and its faculty members, including Marie Hertzler, Kirsten Halling and Pascale Abadie. Broadwater said his professors have pushed his growth in English, French and Spanish, offering a high level of support and expertise.
“They are some of the most intelligent, caring, supportive and interesting professors and people I have ever had the pleasure to meet and learn from,” he said. “I could tell that this was the place for me to enhance my French.”
Broadwater works at the University Writing Center and as a supplemental instructor of French in beginner and intermediate courses. This fall, he will be making his first observations in a French classroom that he will apply to his job as a supplemental instructor.
“My level of French has skyrocketed,” he said, “and this will make me better able to help students at varying levels in French.”
To relax, Broadwater enjoys reading novels, poetry, plays and even comic books. His writing idol is Joss Whedon, an American screenwriter, actor, comic book author and film/television producer and director. Whedon is best known as the creator of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse.
When he’s not working, reading or enjoying movies and television, Broadwater can be found in the pool. Swimming is his favorite activity.
His academic advice to fellow and prospective students is to be fearless.
“Never stop asking questions, pushing yourself and doing things that make you feel socially and intellectually out of your comfort zone,” Broadwater said. “Push yourself past your limits and you will be more than thankful for your growth.”