Scholarship News

2018 Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship Awarded to Abby Guy

Abby Frances Guy, valedictorian of her class at Our Lady Academy, has been awarded the $3,000 Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship for 2018. She becomes the thirty-third recipient of the scholarship, awarded annually by a board of directors to a superior foreign language student from any of the high schools in Hancock County.

Guy, who has excelled in four years of Spanish at OLA, has been accepted at Emory University, where she will pursue a Bachelor’s in International Affairs with a double minor in Spanish and French and where she plans to undertake study for a Master’s after completing her undergraduate degree.

A member of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, and the National Society of High School Scholars as well as the winner of the American History Award and the College Board AP Scholar Award, Guy in 2014 served as a Europe Ambassador for People to People. An experienced traveler in nine European countries, Guy plans to take full advantage of study-abroad programs while a student at Emory University.

Her “dream career,” she says, is that of a Humanitarian Affairs Officer in the United Nations.

“With Spanish being the second most widespread language in the world, I believe it is essential to have knowledge of conversational Spanish, . . . especially with my intended career,” she adds, noting that she chose French as a second minor for her college degree because the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs division, as part of the UN Secretariat, uses French and English as its two official languages.

Already studying French on her own, she hopes to build on her earlier introduction in middle school to Mandarin, the most widely spoken tongue on the globe, and add that language to her linguistic repertory.

Marie Bartels, Guy’s Spanish teacher at Our Lady Academy, describes her as “outstanding,” writing that in her more than forty years of teaching in various public and private schools, she has “been privileged to teach a student of Abby Guy’s caliber about a dozen times.”

Guy is the daughter of Ray and Dena Guy of Diamondhead, MS. She will begin her studies at Emory University in the fall.


News from Kirby Rhodes,
Recipient of the 2012 Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship

April 27, 2016

Dear Board Members,

Wow. I looked up and I am less than three weeks away from graduating [from the University of Mississippi]. I know that it has been quite a while since I have written. . . . I believe the last time I wrote you was sometime during my sophomore year.

So, to catch you up: I have completed my minor in Arabic. In fact I finished taking Arabic classes shortly after the last time I wrote you. Since then, I have achieved second and third minors in psychology and intelligence and security studies. This past summer I had a wonderful opportunity to intern with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, better known as NCIS. And, no, not the TV show, although I would not mind Gibbs as a boss or DiNozzo as a partner. . . .

For this internship I moved myself up to Washington, DC, for three months. I learned many things while living and working up there, one of which was that I do not enjoy that big-city-living lifestyle. Lucky for me, most people who work in DC live outside the city and commute back and forth.

This past fall I interned with the Oxford Police Department. I made some great friends and learned many valuable lessons. Also during that semester I had the opportunity to travel to Canada and present at the 5 Eyes Analytical Conference. Five Eyes is an international meeting between the “five eyes” of intelligence, in other words, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Government officials, military personnel, and intelligence analysts attend from all 5 countries each year. This year my group and I (there were 8 of us) presented in front of almost 400 people, all of which could be categorized into one of the groups listed above. Our topic was Russian foreign policy in the Middle East in the next 3-5 years.

This semester I have spend preparing for graduation and life afterwards. I am taking 18 hours, including a thesis course. In fact, I just completed my thesis and submitted it before I sat down to write you. My thesis topic is right-wing extremism and the threat it poses to law enforcement. Thirty pages, 25 sources, 14 weeks, and some tears, blood, and sweat later,I finally completed it! Come May 14th, I will graduate with cum laude honors and a B.S. in criminal justice and minors in Arabic, psychology, and intelligence and security studies.

Which brings me to my post-graduation plans. In a nutshell, I have no idea what I will be doing. I was accepted into the criminal justice Masters program here at Ole Miss. As of right now, that is where I will be in August. Fingers crossed that I get the graduate assistantship, because I will not have to pay tuition. I have also applied for positions with the Oxford Police Department and the United States Capitol Police. I have not yet heard from Oxford, but the Capitol Police want me to move on to the next phase of application. Basically there are a whole bunch of moving parts and I have options.

I hope this letter finds all of you well. I would like to once again tell everyone how grateful I am for having been gifted with this scholarship, way back in 2012. Has it really been four years already? Without it, I probably would not have attended Ole Miss. And I definitely would not be where I am today. So thank you!

Kirby Rhodes


Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship Begins Fourth Decade of Awards to Superior Language Students
[printed in the Bay St. Louis, MS, Sea Coast Echo, 11 March 2015]

The Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship this spring will begin its fourth decade of awarding scholarships to college-bound seniors from Hancock County high schools who have excelled in the study of foreign languages and undertake to continue that study in college.

The de Montluzin Scholarship was established in 1983 by friends and former students of Emily Hosmer de Montluzin on the occasion of her retirement as a Latin and French teacher at Bay Senior High School. Initially a $500 prize, the scholarship has grown, thanks to charitable donations from supporters over three decades, to a current award of $3,000 which may be used at any college of the recipient’s choice.

Since its founding the scholarship has been awarded to thirty superior foreign language students drawn from all four of Hancock County’s high schools and chosen in a rigorous competition by the scholarship’s board of directors.

The first winner of the Emily de Montluzin Scholarship was Mary Langenbacker, now an Ocean Springs attorney and member of the scholarship’s board.

“The Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship was integral to my continued study of French at the college level,” Langenbacker says. “Even in its first year, the scholarship was a substantial sum equivalent to nearly an entire semester of tuition.

“Looking back thirty-one years, I still consider it an honor to be the first recipient of the scholarship bearing Mrs. de Montluzin’s name,” Langenbacker avers. “As a member of the scholarship fund’s board of directors, I now have the pleasure of presenting this scholarship to each annual recipient.”

Awards over the years have been given to Hancock County students embarking on study for a variety of careers that benefit directly or indirectly from knowledge of foreign languages, including diplomatic and government service, international business, teaching, law, medicine, nursing, engineering, translating Russian, and translating Arabic for the interdiction of terrorism. Several recipients have studied at the University of Mississippi’s Croft Institute of International Studies, and two have entered Ole Miss’s Chinese Language Flagship Program and Intensive Arabic Program, respectively.

In college, some scholarship winners have chosen to continue their study of French, Spanish, German, or Latin begun in their high school classrooms, while others have expanded their linguistic horizons by undertaking courses in additional languages such as ancient Greek, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic, programs of study that in some cases have encompassed study abroad.

“The ability to speak a foreign language fluently is tremendously enhanced by the opportunity to travel abroad—to France, to Morocco, to China, for example—and experience total immersion in the day-to-day conversation of a non-English-speaking setting,” says Emily de Montluzin. “Students who have that opportunity soon find themselves not just speaking but thinking and even dreaming in a foreign language! This is a tremendous accomplishment and one that is difficult to acquire in an American classroom. I am delighted that several of our recipients have used their scholarship awards specifically to finance a semester’s study overseas.”

Scholarship winners who have spent semesters abroad have had the opportunity to experience far more than formal classwork. They have acquired personal knowledge of the culture and folkloric heritage of their host countries. They have ridden camels, conversed with shopkeepers in bazaars, swum in the Mediterranean, and walked the Great Wall of China. They have also taken advantage of Europe’s extensive rail system and the relatively short distances separating the continent’s major cities to travel to other countries during school holidays.

One recent award winner, sending news of her semester abroad to the board of directors, wrote, “The scholarship has given me the opportunity to travel the world, which has always been a dream of mine. Thank you for opening these doors for me.”

The Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship competition, which closes March 15 [edited to reflect current deadline], is open to seniors from any high school in Hancock County who have excelled in the study of a foreign language for at least two years and who have received composite scores of 25 or higher on the ACT test. The recipient must be committed to at least one year’s study of the same or another foreign language as a freshman in any college of his or her choice and must address in the letter of application the relevance of the study of a foreign language to his or her chosen path of study and career plans.

Previous Winners of the Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship

1984: Mary Langenbacker (Bay Senior High School)
1985: George Paul (Bay Senior High School)
1986: J’lene Noto (Bay Senior High School)
1987: Georgiana Dagnall (Our Lady Academy)
1988: Joseph Overal (St. Stanislaus College Prep)
1989: Jennifer Schreiber (Hancock High School)
1990: Stacie Warren (Hancock High School)
1991: Julie Ladner (Bay Senior High School)
1992: Malacia Strom (Bay Senior High School)
1993: Carolyn Watts (Bay Senior High School)
1994: Katherine Edwards (Bay Senior High School)
1995: Jennifer Von Antz (Bay Senior High School)
1996: Amanda Desirée Wilcox (Bay Senior High School)
1997: Gleeson Murphy, Jr. (Hancock High School)
1998: Rachel Spear (Bay Senior High School)
1999: Luke Payne (Hancock High School)
2000: Heather Wopat (Bay Senior High School)
2001: Melissa Gaines (Bay Senior High School)
2002: Dustin Cody Bankston (Bay Senior High School)
2003: Alicia Asper (Our Lady Academy)
2004: Adair Beany (St. Stanislaus College Prep)
2005: Elizabeth Floyd (Bay Senior High School)
2006: Colleen O’Brien (Our Lady Academy)
2007: Leah Tucker (Our Lady Academy)
2008: Megan Gargiulo (Our Lady Academy)
2009: Charles Guy Wood, Jr. (St. Stanislaus College Prep)
2010: Rebecca Hightower (Hancock High School)
2011: Miranda Adams (Bay Senior High School)
2012: Kirby Laura Rhodes (Our Lady Academy)
2013: Nicki Lee Reeder (Our Lady Academy)
2014: Leah D. Sandoz (Our Lady Academy)


Mrs. de Montluzin Opened the World to Her Students at Bay High School
[letter to the editor of the Bay St. Louis, MS, Sea Coast Echo, 15 April 2015]

Dear Editor,

Thank you for your March 11th article “Emily de Montluzin Foreign Language Scholarship begins fourth decade of awards to superior language students.”

This scholarship continues to provide thousands of dollars toward the education of many of the best high school graduates from Hancock County.

While your article explained the origin of the scholarship and its recipients, your readers should know about the great teacher whom this scholarship honors.

In 1973-74, I took French I at Bay High with Mrs. de Montluzin. Little did I know to what extent this one class with this teacher would influence the rest of my life. When I was growing up, I used to dream about traveling to some faraway international destination, but this was certainly not possible with my family’s very limited means. In French class, however, Mrs. de Montluzin magically opened up the world. She described the impressive Cathedral of Notre Dame on a small island in the middle of the Seine River in Paris, talked about Monet’s garden where so many of his famous paintings were set, and retold classic French tales such as Les Misérables so well that we all couldn’t wait for our daily soap-opera installation of what had happened to poor little Cosette.

These lessons made all of us feel an awareness that there was a world outside Bay St. Louis, and she gave me much-needed hope that one day my life might be better and I somehow might be able to see that world.

Always being a practical person, I remember asking her in one class to describe what it was like to fly in a plane—because I could never imagine doing so—and she ever so carefully detailed the plane revving up its engines, moving forward faster and faster down the runway, until you felt a little bump, which meant the plane was in the air. Now at age 56—some four decades after taking Mrs. de Montluzin’s class—I have visited 49 countries and taught English in four countries. As a university professor, I train teachers to teach English overseas.

I am passing on to my students the love and fascination of seeing “that world.”

All of this grew out of my initial foreign language study with Mrs. de Montluzin, and for this, I am forever grateful.

Keith S. Folse
Orlando, FL

[Dr. Folse holds the rank of professor of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the University of Central Florida.]