The Distinguished Undergraduate Award is the highest award given by the IWL. It recognizes excellence in world language and cultural studies at the University of Virginia, signaling a student's extraordinary accomplishment in language education and the highest aptitude in cultural awareness and sensitivity as a Global Citizen.
As part of her study of world languages and global citizenship, Rachel has taken coursework in Spanish, the official language of 21 countries, one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and a language spoken by more than 500 million people around the world, as well as Maya K’iche’, a language that is spoken by more than one million people in Guatemala and one it is mutually intelligible with other Mayan languages of the region, including Kaqchikel and Tz’utujil. She has collaborated with students and scholars at the K'iche' Oral History Project at the University of New Mexico, and she is one of two undergraduate students helping to produce a digital critical edition of the Popol Wuj, the Maya K'iche' book of creation, through the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese's Multepal Project (SPAN 7559/4993).
For her broad and creative work in multiple languages and across disciplines, UVa is honored to recognize Rachel with the Distinguished Undergraduate Award.
Image credit: Alfonso Morales, FAMSI