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Graduate Students

John Ashburn

My name is John Ashburn and I am a PhD student here at UL. I’m originally from Northeast Tennessee, and I completed my undergraduate studies in French & Spanish at Belmont University in Nashville. I’ve been in Lafayette since 2018 working on my Masters of French. I I’m primarily interested in spoken & written language as it relates to identity, both individual & communal, particularly within queer, non-normative & non-binary groups of gender & sexual expression.

Shawn Covington Braud Shawn Covington Braud, CGMP, is a Graduate Student in the Master of Arts in French program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Upon obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in French Studies at Louisiana State University, Shawn began serving at the Louisiana Office of Tourism and is currently a Tourism Supervisor. She is honored to assist francophone visitors to the State of Louisiana from all over the world.  In addition, she is a Certified Government Meeting Professional.  Her research interest is Gender Studies with the scope of female figures in French literature and how these portrayals may translate into modern society.



My name is Katarina Brankovic. I have obtained a BA in philosophy and a MA in French literature. Currently, I am pursuing a PhD degree in Francophone studies.



Colin Broussard is a PhD student in Francophone studies. He was born in Lake Charles, LA. He completed his undergraduate studies in 2016 at McNeese State University receiving a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Foreign Languages with a concentration in French. He received his M.A. in Psychology with a concentration in General and Experimental Psychology in the spring of 2018 after completing a master’s dissertation and presenting at multiple Southwestern Psychological Association poster sessions. He currently teaches French at A.M. Barbe High School in Lake Charles. His research interests are pedagogy, second language acquisition, and the integration of culture in foreign language education

Kyezie Bwanangela Kyezie Bwanangela was born in Shabunda in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has an Associate Degree of Arts in Criminal Justice from Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a French minor at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Kyezie is currently attending graduate school at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is very interested in Francophone African studies; therefore, his research will focus on the living conditions of the Lega tribe and the transition of their youth from child to adulthood.
Chase Cormier, born in Opelousas, Louisiana, earned a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing and French from UL Lafayette. Chase is currently pursuing a PhD in Francophone Studies. His research explores Francophone Louisiana’s identities, culture and foodways. Writer/poet, he serves as editor of UL Lafayette’s in-house print literary journal, Feux Follets.
Sarah Djos-Raph Sarah Djos-Raph (née Denslow) is from Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. She received a BA in International Affairs concentrating in Women's Studies, and a BA in French from The University of Maine. Interested in African Literature, Sarah is currently focusing on questions surrounding African identity and West African diaspora. She has most recently presented at UL Lafayette conferences (Icons and Idols, and Le Mal). Sarah is a past Peace Corps Volunteer, Killiam Fellow, and Rotary exchange student, and is a current Rotarian.
Emma Hartlet My name is Emma Harlet and I’m originally from France ; my family lives in Aix-en-Provence, but I’ve spent most of my life in the north of France. In 2018, I received a Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in American History and Literature at the Université Catholique de Lille. I’ve been studying Louisiana culture and literature since, and now, I would like to develop a better critical analysis of the rich and diversified topics explored in 19th century Louisiana literature.
Lucas Lezian My name is Lucas Lezian. I was born in Hyères-Les-Palmiers on the French Riviera. I graduated with a BA in Modern Languages (English and Italian) and an MA in political science from the University of Toulon, French Riviera. After that, I was given the opportunity to move to Lafayette and embark on a new adventure in the Southern part of the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in Francophone Studies at UL-Lafayette. My research interests lie in Fantasy and Sci-Fi novels.
Emily Sawin My name is Emily Sawin. I am from Udonthani, Thailand. I finished my Master in French at University of Mississippi. I am interested in social and intellectual development in the 19th century. My Master thesis focuses on the influence of the Industrialization on Nineteenth-Century French Literary and Artistic movements. For my dissertation, I am focusing on the influence of the French colonization in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.
Sarah Smith

A PhD candidate in Francophone studies, Sarah Smith’s research focuses on contemporary literature of francophone Louisiana and its persistent ties to past, collective trauma. Sarah immensely enjoys teaching and has had students from all ages – from “mini francophone” preschoolers to college students. She has presented on curriculum design and activities at regional and national conferences, with a developing interest in the adaptation of FLE instruction to online formats. Sarah is the Editorial Assistant of Études Francophones, a member of the Feux Follets editorial committee, and Graduate Student Organization (GSO) President.

Sarah was awarded the university-wide Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Award in 2021.