Student studies science and French


Tori Russell is enrolled in the newest French option for the applied modern language and culture program.

Tori Russell, a second-year biotechnology and molecular bioscience student from Warsaw, N.Y., recently added the College of Liberal Artsapplied modern language and culture program as a second major. Russell is enrolled in the newest French option for this program.

Applied modern language and culture is a degree that pairs a major in the sciences, the arts, business, computing, or engineering with language proficiency in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and French.

How did you choose RIT?

When I was here for a tour, I instantly fell in love with the labs. I really wanted to be on a big campus surrounded by a lot of people because it’s less confined for me. I feel like there are many outlets to meet people and do a lot of things here.

When did your love of French begin?

I started (French) in eighth grade and I really didn’t like it that much because my teacher was kind of mean. Then we got a new teacher who introduced this whole different way of teaching where it was more submerging you, rather than throwing vocabulary in your face. The way that she taught really opened my eyes to how beneficial it can be in the long run and how you can make connections with people.

What is your path for applied modern language and culture in French?

I was originally just planning on minoring in French because that was as far as I could go with it. From what I have gathered, there is some sort of senior thesis project I have to do. There are going to be two situations where I present it. One of them will be in English to my biotechnology and molecular bioscience professors and the other will be in French about the same topic.

For this program, you have the requirement to study abroad or have a co-op. What are you thinking about pursuing?

Next summer, I am going to be doing a co-op from my home department. I want to study abroad for the experience and not just for a French company. I am doing study abroad one time in the summer of 2024. I was supposed to do it in high school but then COVID happened, so that is what I am hoping to do.

What are you hoping to get out of this experience at RIT?

My original plan was to continue taking French classes to the fullest extent I could, regardless of whether they really counted for anything. Now, I am more motivated about it because I am getting a degree out of it. It’s more so a humanitarian and social part of my college experience. I go to my science classes and it’s about objectivity whereas I go to the artistic side and social side of it, and I have more of an opportunity to express myself and learn things that wouldn’t otherwise apply to my major.

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