Class of 2017 Romance Studies graduate Lydia Bradford is being recognized for having written the first Honors Thesis in Haitian Creole at Duke (and possibly at any university in the United States, according to her thesis advisor, Deborah Jenson).
Haitian Creole is taught at Duke as part of a consortium with the University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, and UNC-Chapel Hill on lesser-taught languages. Here in the department, professors Laurent Dubois, Deborah Jenson, and Jacques Pierre helped Bradford complete her studies in the language. Bradford was awarded Highest Distinction for her thesis and also received a James Rolleston Prize for Best Literary Honors Thesis in a Foreign Language.
Originally intending to focus on global health at Duke, Bradford became captivated by the language after she discovered she could take classes while here. She also was involved with the Franklin Humanities Institute’s Haiti Lab, taking three courses along with an independent study and completed two trips to Haiti. Post-graduation, Bradford will be working for Teach for America in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the next two years.
A more in-depth profile on her accomplishment is featured in Duke Today.
Congratulations on this achievement Lydia and best wishes for your future!