Four University Undergraduates Awarded Prestigious Boren Scholarships for Foreign Study

Four University of Minnesota students have been selected by the National Security Education Program as winners of competitive Boren Awards to support the study of languages and cultures critical to U.S. interests. This program was established in 1991 and named after Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma. It aims to strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation and security by providing students with scholarships to support long-term, immersive study in critical regions of the world. Undergraduates are awarded scholarships up to $20,000 and graduate students are awarded fellowships up to $24,000. Recipients agree to devote at least a year of service working for the U.S. government in a role related to national security.

Benjamin Allard, a junior from Shakopee, majoring in Asian languages and literatures and political science, studied Spanish and Japanese in high school. He began his studies in Chinese and Hindi at the University of Minnesota. He will spend next year participating in Boren’s South Asian Flagship Initiative, which includes summer language instruction in the United States, followed by advanced Hindi courses in India. Allard plans to spend the complete 2019-20 academic year in India to study international relations, South Asian history and Hindi.  While at the University, Allard has served as an International Justice Intern with the Advocates for Human Rights and as membership coordinator for the Japan Society of Minnesota. He draws on his skills in languages and further experience in Asia and plans to become a policy analyst with a focus on South and East Asia.

Jace Galley, a food systems major from Neenah, Wisconsin, will spend next year in Dakar, Senegal with the Minnesota Studies in International Development Program. He is long active in matters of sustainable agriculture, including research with Professor Craig Shaeffer’s sustainable cropping systems lab, volunteer work implementing a fresh produce initiative with Second Harvest Heartland and a summer agricultural internship in France. Galley will study food security and sustainability in West Africa. As he completed a minor in French, he will begin studying Wolof and anticipates working internationally on food and policy issues with the United States Agency for International Development or the State Department.

Samuel Lindberg of North Saint Paul is majoring in global studies with an emphasis on Asia.  Originally a physics major, he took a break from his studies and spent several years helping students master core math skills with the Minnesota Math Corps. When he returned to the UMN, Lindberg began studying Korean. He plans to spend 2019-20 developing advanced language skills and studying international trade and economics in Seoul. In addition to being a student, Lindberg is the Lead Program Director for Math & Science Inc., a non-profit educational enterprise. After completing his degree program, Lindberg plans to have a career in diplomacy with the Foreign Service.

Joshua Ott is a sophomore political science major from Minnetonka and a member of the Marine Corps Reserve. He studied Spanish in high school and some Arabic while deployed in Jordan. Although, at the University of Minnesota, he has committed himself to Chinese and will spend the fall semester at the East China Normal University in Shanghai studying Mandarin and Chinese politics. After graduation, Ott plans to gain more experience in China and eventually work as a regional analyst for the federal government.

A fifth student, Eva Dwyer, a journalism and Asian languages and literatures major from Minneapolis, has been named an alternate for the Boren Scholarship, which may support her study of Arabic in Amman, Jordan, if additional funds become available.


Students at the University of Minnesota who are interested in applying for a Boren Scholarship or Fellowship should contact Timothy Jones in the Office of National and International Scholarships at 612-624-5522 or

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