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UMD Students Lead the Nation in Boren Scholarships with Nine Awards

May 19, 2015
Contacts: 

Leslie Anne Brice 301-314-1289

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Nine University of Maryland students have been awarded Boren Scholarships for the study of critical languages and regions, the highest number received by any university this year. UMD has ranked first in the nation in Boren Scholarships each of the last four years. This year’s Boren Scholars will study Arabic, French, Wolof and Swahili. In addition, one UMD graduate student has received a Boren Fellowship for language study and research in Tanzania.

The Boren Scholarship provides up to $20,000 for long-term (two semester or longer), language-focused study abroad. Boren Fellowships provide up to $24,000 for overseas study. In addition, Boren Fellowships can provide limited funding for domestic language study that will supplement the overseas component. The maximum award for a combined overseas and domestic Boren Fellowship is $30,000. 

“Our students’ exceptional performance in the Boren Scholarship program reflects their passion for international studies as well as the remarkable academic, research and internship opportunities available to them at UMD and in the Washington D.C. region,” said Francis DuVinage, UMD’s campus advisor for the Boren Scholarship and Fellowship programs and Director of the National Scholarships Office.

The David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the United States. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

This year, 171 Boren Scholars were chosen from a pool of 750 applicants.  The Boren Fellowship program presented 101 awards from a pool of 385 applicants.

Highlights of this year’s UMD recipients include:

2015-2016 UMD Boren Scholarship Awardees:

Mariam Badi (award to study Swahili in Tanzania) 

Badi is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences majoring in Government and Politics and minoring in International Development and Conflict Management. In spring 2014 she studied abroad at the University of Manchester in England, and in summer 2013 she taught English with Learning Enterprises in El Guasimo, Panama. She is currently interning at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in Washington, D.C.  Mariam is an alumna of the College Park Scholars Public Leadership Program.

Olivia Bethea (award to study French and Wolof in Senegal)

Olivia is a junior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences double majoring in Government and Politics and French Language and Literature. During summer 2013 she interned at the National Archives and Records Administration and since June 2014 she has interned at the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Olivia earned a citation in Honors Humanities from the Honors College.

Sarah Brown (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Sarah is a senior in the College of Arts and Humanities, double-majoring in Arabic and Linguistics, and is a member of UMD’s Arabic Flagship Program and the University Honors Program of the Honors College. She is a member of the Intelligence Center of Academic Excellence program at UMD, of the Language House (Arabic Cluster), and is a participant in the Federal Semester Program, for which she is interning this semester at the Center for Advanced Study of Language. Sarah plans to enroll in the Arabic Flagship Overseas Program in Meknes, Morocco during her Boren year abroad.

Brian DeShong (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Brian is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences double-majoring in Government and Politics and Arabic Studies, and participated in the College Park Scholars Science, Discovery, and the Universe program. He has studied abroad in Rabat, Morocco, where he interned with the National Human Rights Council and taught English. He plans to enroll at Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh, Morocco during his Boren year abroad.

 

Sarah Iskander (award to study Arabic in Jordan)

Sarah is a senior majoring in Arabic Studies, and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies and International Development and Conflict Management. She interns with the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, and previously served as a research assistant for The Middle East Institute. At UMD, Sarah is a student researcher with the Geographies of Conflict and Development Program, using geographical analysis to study the relationship between foreign development assistance and the dynamics of intrastate-armed conflict. She will study at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan, during her Boren year abroad.

Lindsay Jodoin (award to study Arabic in Jordan)

Lindsay is a junior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences majoring in Government and Politics and minoring in Arabic, and has studied abroad in Amman, Jordan. She interned in the office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren in the summer of 2013. Lindsay is also a recipient of a summer 2015 Critical Language Scholarship award for intensive Arabic study abroad. Lindsay will study at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan, during her Boren year abroad.

 

Anna Pavlos (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Anna is a senior in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences double-majoring in Government and Politics and Arabic Studies, and minoring in Global Terrorism Studies, and is a member of UMD’s Arabic Flagship Program and of the University Honors Program of the Honors College. She has had multiple internships at the Department of State and with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). Anna will study in Meknes, Morocco, with the Arabic Flagship Overseas Program.

Catherine Tappert (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Catherine is a senior in the College of Arts and Humanities double-majoring in Arabic Studies and Government and Politics, and is a member of UMD’s Arabic Flagship Program and of the University Honors Program of the Honors College. She has interned with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), taken part in the Federal Semester program, and worked full-time for over one year with the office of the Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Iraq in the U.S. Catherine plans to enroll in the Arabic Flagship Overseas Program in Meknes, Morocco during her Boren year abroad.

Joseph Sammarco (award to study Arabic in Morocco)

Joseph is a senior in the College of Arts and Humanities double-majoring in Arabic Studies and Persian Studies. He has lived in the Arabic Cluster of Language House, is a member of the Intelligence Center of Academic Excellence program at UMD, and has interned with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). This year Joseph is participating in the campus-based Capstone Year of UMD’s Persian Flagship Program, and next year he will enroll in the Arabic Flagship Overseas Program in Meknes, Morocco.

2015-2016 UMD Boren Fellowship Awardees:

Paul Boccaccio (award to study Swahili in Tanzania)

Paul Boccaccio, a second-year graduate student in the Master of Library Science program, has been awarded a 2015-2016 Boren Fellowship to study Swahili in Tanzania and research the information needs of farmers in Morogoro and surrounding regions. His project title is, “Intensive Study of Swahili, and Research on Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure in Tanzania.” After spending the summer in an intensive language program with the African Flagship Languages Initiative at University of Florida, Paul will participate in a language immersion program in mainland Tanzania and an internship promoting digital literacy for youth.