2009 Ambrose R. Nichols Jr. Scholarship Recipient 

Brianne Nelson 


BA, English '01
School of Arts and Humanities

BA, Spanish '08
School Of Arts and Humanities

Brianne Nelson has been selected as this year's recipient of the Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. Scholarship by the SSU Alumni Association's Selection Committee.  Ms. Nelson is a graduate student at Sonoma State working towards her master’s degree in Spanish through the School of Extended Education. After completing her bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish, along with a minor in Linguistics at Sonoma State University, Brianne knew she wanted to further her education and make a difference in the lives of others.

Brianne’s interest in languages began as a child, learning sign language at age seven. She has traveled to fourteen countries and worked for a variety of non-profits in education. She learned to speak Spanish through her travels, and decided to study it formally at SSU. She is also studying Japanese.

Always one to enjoy a challenge, Brianne applied for a year-long study abroad program in central Mexico. On top of attending a prestigious university taught in another language, Brianne sought out more challenges while abroad. She auditioned for the musical theatre on campus – and was accepted, as well as volunteered at a community home for abused and neglected children - where she was expected to teach the students how to read, write, and speak fluent English.

Now back in the United States Brianne is ready to tackle her newest challenge, a master’s degree in Spanish while working full time as a bilingual emergency dispatcher. She hopes to apply her linguistic interests within her community by getting involved in education and promoting language learning to bridge certain cultural and communication gaps. Brianne’s ultimate goal is to help those in need through her passion for bilingual and cultural education.