Congratulations to the College of Humanities’ Outstanding Senior for Fall 2019, Frances Lee-Forbes!
Lee-Forbes is graduating with a double major in Russian and Linguistics, 3.95 GPA. She has studied abroad thrice, has been a member of the Russian Club and worked as a legislative intern at the Arizona State Senate.
In a convocation speech to her fellow graduates, Lee-Forbes said a formative gap year before starting college, during which she spent four months in the Czech Republic, led her to major in Russian.
“I learned how to adapt, to take care of myself in a country where I knew no one and had a limited grasp of the language. This is where I first truly sensed how studying language and culture was necessary for a broader understanding of the world,” she said.
After starting her Russian major, Lee-Forbes spent two consecutive summers studying abroad in Kyrgyzstan.
“That was incredibly challenging, but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with succeeding at something difficult is unparalleled,” she said. “From the very beginning, I have been invested in carving out my own path, one that would not only take me to places I wanted to be, but would also be wide enough to allow for exploration.”
Suzanne Thompson, Assistant Professor of Practice and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, nominated Lee-Forbes for the honor, calling her “a superlative student, a fabulous writer, and a probing student of language, literature, and culture.”
“She will excel in the years to come and launch into the world as a sterling example of the best alumni that the College of Humanities has nurtured,” Thompson wrote.