10 UW-Madison students receive 2014-15 Boren awards

Nine University of Wisconsin–Madison undergraduates are receiving David L. Boren Scholarships to fund their study abroad during the 2014-15 academic year. Also, one UW–Madison graduate student is receiving a Boren Fellowship, which supports dissertation research and language study.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a federal initiative designed to broaden the 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 nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work for at least one year in a federal government position with national security responsibilities.

“The National Security Education Program represents an essential component of a comprehensive national security strategy to address serious and long-time deficiencies in critical language expertise,” says NSEP Director Michael A. Nugent.

Eight of the nine UW–Madison undergraduates receiving Boren Scholarships are students in the Russian Flagship Program, who will be participating in the Russian Flagship capstone program in St. Petersburg, Russia, for the 2014-15 academic year. The Russian Flagship Program, also funded by NSEP, is a rigorous undergraduate program that aims to enable highly motivated undergraduates to achieve a professional-level competence in Russian. The students are:

  • Anthony Betts, senior from Mechanicsburg, PA, majoring in nuclear engineering,
  • Kyle Farrell, senior from Bristol, WI, majoring in economics, international studies, political science, and Russian
  • Roy Ginsberg, senior from Mendham, NJ, majoring in Russian, economics, and a Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies certificate
  • Devin Hess, senior from Mounds View, MN, majoring in Russian, history, and an African studies certificate
  • Julianna Jerosch, senior from Madison, WI, majoring in economics, political science and Russian
  • John Lyell, senior from Madison, WI, majoring in economics and Russian
  • Leah Shapiro, senior from Oak Creek, WI, majoring in Russian, biology, and a global health certificate
  • Azeem Zaman, senior from Verona, WI, majoring in mathematics and economics

In addition, Kendra Burpee, a senior from Yorktown Heights, NY, majoring in languages and cultures of Asia, with certificates in global cultures and gender and women’s studies, received a Boren Scholarship to study in Istanbul, Turkey, through the Bogazici University Exchange, during the summer and fall of 2014.

UW–Madison graduate student Brian Pikaard received a 2014-15 Boren Fellowship for study in Russia.

This year, the Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, awarded Boren Scholarships to 165 undergraduates and Boren Fellowships to 106 graduate students.

Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 43 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 40 languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili, and Portuguese.

“To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America’s future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” says University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who, as a U.S. senator, was the principal author of the legislation that created the NSEP and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name.

“As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential,” Boren says.

For more information, visit the Boren Scholarships and Fellowships website, www.borenawards.org.

At UW–Madison, Matt Geisler, assistant director of International Academic Programs, serves as the campus representative for the Boren Scholarships. Undergraduate students who want to learn more about applying for the scholarship may contact him at mdgeisler@studyabroad.wisc.edu, or 608-265-6329.

Erin Crawley, the International Fellowships Advisor, is the campus representative for the Boren Fellowships. Graduate students who want to learn more about applying for the fellowship may contact her at fellow@intl-institute.wisc.edu or 608-262-9632.

– by Kerry G. Hill