French Excellence: StFX Education Student Cheryl Chisholm Doubly Honoured for Commitment to the Language and Culture  

Cheryl Chisholm (pictured, second right), a second year StFX Bachelor of Education student, recently received both the Prix des Alliances Françaises de Moncton et Halifax, as well as the Prix du Consulat général de France dans les Provinces atlantiques. Pictured here, l-r, are Islay Fraser, recipient, Prix du Consulat général de France, Mount Alison University; Johan Schitterer, Consul général de France dans les Provinces atlantiques; Ms. Chisholm; and Mélaine Ricard-Beaulieu, Attaché culturel, Communication et Presse, Consulat général de France dans les Provinces atlantiques

Cheryl Chisholm, a second year Bachelor of Education student, from Lower Sackville, NS, has been doubly recognized for her demonstrated excellence in the French language and her commitment to the language and culture. Ms. Chisholm received both the Prix des Alliances Françaises de Moncton et Halifax, as well as the prestigious Prix du Consulat général de France dans les Provinces atlantiques. 

The Consul General of France in the Atlantic Provinces, Johan Schitterer, presented the 2023 Consulate General Awards to Ms. Chisholm and to Islay Fraser of Mount Allison University at a ceremony held March 21 in Halifax on the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie, and in the presence of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Arthur J. LeBlanc. 

The prize, awarded with the support of France Canada Culture, includes a one-week linguistic and cultural immersion stay at the Francoforum in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. 

Recipients of the Prix des Alliances Françaises 2023, were from nine participating Atlantic universities. 

Dr. Dany Dias, chair of the French Education program in StFX’s Faculty of Education, says she was thrilled to see Ms. Chisholm recognized with these awards.

“Cheryl has worked to spread the French language and francophonie throughout the year in various ways in her community. She is curious and passionate about the French language and culture and is persistent in her desire to improve her French skills. In addition, Cheryl has demonstrated leadership as a student at StFX,” Dr. Dias says. 

Ms. Chisholm participated in the development of a French conversation club on campus. “Les Franco-FUN!” was started with the objective to give people a chance to speak French authentically outside the classroom and the club has been thriving since fall 2022. It provides opportunity for students to socialize in French and practice their language skills while having fun. 

She also gathered colleagues to form a musical group, “Assez Jazze,” for another school project. They performed at the Carnaval d’hiver in Pomquet and potentially may have another gig this summer. 

Ms. Chisholm also wrote a children’s book, “Le Chant de la Mer,” about a girl who wants to know more about her Acadian culture. The English title is pending, and the intention is for it to be published bilingually. The other goal is to teach people about what it means to be Acadian in Nova Scotia.

Ms. Chisholm says she was both surprised to hear her name called for the award and also very touched by the kind words about her submission. 

“I wrote the children's book, more than anything, for myself to convey how I felt sometimes disconnected from my Acadian heritage growing up and as I grew older came to understand more and see how I was part of keeping the culture alive. So many of the people who had read my submission came up to me after the award was presented to tell me how impactful it had been to them and that is incredibly special to hear.

“I have always loved writing, but never necessarily felt that it was something I could pursue so it is incredibly touching for me to know that my writing could touch people's hearts. So many people have since encouraged me to have it published, and as someone who is about to enter the teaching profession, it is so important that we have resources to teach about marginalized groups in Nova Scotia.”
At StFX, Ms. Chisholm has also been the recipient of an Irving Research Mentorship Award to conduct summer research and was a participant in the inaugural Summer Research Institute in Educational Psychology.