UGA students awarded 2009 NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships

University of Georgia students awarded 2009 NSEP David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for language study abroad

Athens, Ga. – Four University of Georgia undergraduates in the Honors Program have been awarded 2009 National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships for language study abroad during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Three of the UGA recipients have accepted the award. They are Laura Eaton, who is from Watkinsville, and Daniel Jackson, who is from Marietta, both pursuing bachelor’s degrees in international affairs and Arabic language and literature; and Dan Healy, a senior from Milton, who is studying both international affairs and Chinese language and literature.

“This is the first time that four UGA students have received Boren awards in a single year,” said David S. Williams, director of UGA’s Honors Program and NSEP’s faculty representative at UGA. “They all began their language instruction at UGA and supplemented that with language study abroad. The awards will allow the three students who accepted them further extension of their studies by funding lengthy and immersive experiences. I am very proud of each of the recipients.”

The merit-based NSEP Boren Scholarships were created by the National Security Act of 1991 and named after the legislative author and current University of Oklahoma president David L. Boren. The scholarship, usually for one semester or a full academic year, aims to give recipients the tools and skills to work in fields deemed important to U.S. national security through the study of less commonly taught foreign languages and immersion in those cultures.

In exchange for the travel-study opportunity, the recipients agree to work for one year for the U.S. government. Priority agencies include the departments of state, homeland security or defense, and the intelligence community, but positions in other agencies that contribute to national security in a broader sense, such as those that deal with sustainable development, public health, population growth and migration, environmental degradation, and economic competitiveness, are also encouraged.

Eaton, who is also pursuing a minor in French at UGA, is currently studying Arabic at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco for one year-her second time studying in the country. She is taking classes in Arabic culture, politics, language and media, along with studies in French and international affairs. She would like to pursue a career in international diplomacy as a translator for the United Nations or work for the federal government.

“Upon receiving confirmation from the NSEP David L. Boren Scholarship, my reaction was a mixture of happiness, surprise and relief,” said Eaton. “I would like to thank the UGA Honors Program for their support. I also want to thank my Arabic professors Alan Godlas, Kenneth Honerkamp and Haider Bhuiyan for their conscientious assistance.”

Jackson is currently taking courses on the Arabic language at Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan for one year, hoping to complete the entire language curriculum (levels 3, 4 and 5) by spring. He had already studied Arabic in Morocco last summer at the Arabic Language Institute in Fes. Jackson would like to pursue a career in the federal government, possibly focusing on U.S. security issues.

“The Boren Scholarship has given me an unparalleled opportunity to immerse myself in the Arabic language and spend a significant amount of time in the region where it is spoken,” said Jackson. “I am excited that I am going to be able to devote myself to the language and experience Jordan for nearly a year. Language skills are more important than ever in a world where technology, trade and international issues have tied distant countries closely together.”

Healy is spending a year at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China where he is pursuing courses in the language, culture and literature of Mandarin Chinese. He has already studied in China in summer 2007, attending Nanjing Normal University for six weeks. Healy would like to pursue a career in the intelligence sector.

“I am pleased to be a Boren Scholar,” said Healy. “Winning this award makes life much easier for me as I was determined to go to China this fall. I am happy to help fill a government need for professionals who have global experience, particularly in areas and languages that are not popular choices for American students.”

More information on the NSEP Boren Scholarships is available at http://www.borenawards.org.

More information on UGA’s Honors Program is available at http://www.uga.edu/honors.