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Senior Viking Has Major Plans for Her French Minor

Gamael Chalvire ‘23 is a senior political science major with a French minor, she is also the founder of the Haitian Cultural Club on campus. 

The Road to Salem State

Originally from Hati, Gamael Chalvire came to Boston in 2015 after spending time in New York. 

In 2016, Gamael saw a shift in the relationship those around her had with politics, she saw people getting involved. Her natural strengths and interests, along with the changing political climate, encouraged her to pursue a career as an immigration attorney. 

Salem State was close to her home, offered her financial aid and a community of other Haitian students. Once on campus, she immediately became a student leader and advocate for her peers. 

“I’m always here to uplift the Haitian voices on campus, the black voices on campus. That is very important to do.” Gamael said about her passion for celebrating Salem State’s diverse population. 

The Viking Experience 

Gamael immediately recognized that speaking multiple languages would be crucial for her chosen profession. 

“I’m not going to be working with people who will only speak English. I need to speak to people in their tongue.” While French is Gamael’s native language, her French minor was imperative as she switched to mostly speaking English, and even began to learn some Spanish. She received her education in French from Salem State Professor Elizabeth Blood. 

“She has us talk about things going on in the world, actual issues. We aren’t just doing conjugations. Class participation isn’t boring, people want to talk and get in on the conversation, but they have to talk in French. It’s genius.” 

As someone who has been learning languages all her life, Gamael advises French majors to put themselves in situations where they have to speak the language. 

“You can learn the grammar. Hearing people, that comes first.” 

What Next? 

After graduation Gamael has many roads she can see herself taking. She plans to start off by getting a law degree. 

“I have found a passion for policy writing. I can see myself doing so many different things. I think a law degree will open a lot of doors for me. I will definitely go into immigration in some way. Haitian immigrants are not fully represented. They aren’t part of the conversation. I want to fight for equal advocacy.” 


Learn more about world languages and cultures at Salem State University.

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