Campus News

UGA students awarded Critical Language Scholarships for summer language institutes abroad

Athens, Ga. – Two University of Georgia students have been awarded 2010 Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State for participation in summer language institutes abroad.

Logan Krusac, a sophomore in the Honors Program who is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in political science and Mandarin Chinese, will be studying Mandarin in Nanjing, China. Erin Barrentine, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Islamic studies, will be studying Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes program was established in 2006 by the U.S. Department of State and is part of a larger U.S. government initiative to significantly increase the number of U.S. students proficient in “critical-need” languages who in turn can apply these skills in their future careers.

Krusac and Barrentine are among a group of approximately 575 undergraduate and graduate students from across the U.S. who were selected for seven- to ten-week intensive immersion programs for foreign languages such as Arabic, Indonesian and Persian that are deemed essential to the U.S. in fostering international relations.

“Through the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship, Logan and Erin will advance both their linguistic and cultural fluency,” said David S. William, director of the UGA Honors Program. “We are thrilled that UGA students are pursuing and receiving support for such endeavors. Logan and Erin’s well-deserved honor recognizes and encourages their global citizenship.”

Krusac, also a recipient of UGA’s Foundation Fellowship, will attend the Institute for International Students at Nanjing University, starting in June. His program also combines formal classroom instruction and community interaction activities such as Chinese calligraphy or tai chi to support language acquisition.

“This scholarship will provide me with the opportunity to improve my language skills and to increase my cultural awareness,” said Krusac, who is from Smyrna.”The relationship the United States has with China is extremely important and I hope that I can help ensure that the two nations continue to work together to resolve the challenges both countries face.”

Krusac, who also is pursuing a certificate in global studies through UGA’s Center for the Study of Global Issues, plans to spend his junior year in China, investigating the politics behind the country’s emerging environmental movement. After graduating from UGA in 2012, Krusac would like to pursue a law degree, focusing on immigration issues.

Barrentine will be spending approximately 20 hours a week in the classroom along with extracurricular academic enrichment activities at the Alexandria Centre for Languages, starting at the end of May.

“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to be able to spend time living in Egypt and learning about the Arabic culture and language this summer,” said Barrentine, who is from Deer Park, Wash. and currently a graduate assistant in the religion department at UGA.

Barrentine, who is finishing up her first year in the master’s program, is focusing on poetry in early Arabic literature. She is also pursuing a minor in Arabic. Barrentine earned bachelor’s degrees in religion and classical and Near Eastern archaeology from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 2003. After graduating from UGA in 2011, she would like to pursue a Ph.D. in religion and literature.

For more information on the Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes, see