News Release

Three University undergraduates awarded prestigious Boren Scholarships for foreign study

From left to right: Clara Bartnik, Juliet Paulson, and Anna Sherman

Three 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, established in 1991 and named after Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma, 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 to working for the U.S. government in a role related to national security.

Clara Bartnik, an Economics major from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, proposes to participate in the Boren Turkish Language Flagship Initiative, which combines a summer of intensive language study in the U.S. with a semester or more of immersive study abroad. A high school course on Middle East conflicts introduced her to the unique position and rich history of Turkey. As a student of Economics and observer of international affairs, she began to consider the particular role that the nation played in U.S. trade and security and decided to prepare herself for a career in economic policy with a focus on Turkey. She spent last summer studying Turkish in Azerbaijan on a Critical Language Scholarship and plans to return to Baku next year with the Boren Scholarship. In the future, she would like to broaden her Turkic language skills into Azerbaijani, Uzbek and Kazakh and complete graduate studies in developmental economics in preparation for a career with the Economics Section of the Foreign Service.

Juliet Paulson, of Minneapolis, is majoring in Anthropology, History, and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies with an emphasis on Chinese language and culture. A graduate of the Saint Paul Conservatory, she only began to study Chinese in her second year of college. Previously a student of French, she became interested in the history and cultures of Asia and subsequently joined the Chinese Flagship program at the University. She was awarded a Foreign Language and Area Studies scholarship to support her studies and spent last summer in Shanghai. In the future, she plans to complete graduate work in Chinese and Asian studies and develop expertise that will allow her to contribute to U.S. foreign policy.

Anna Sherman, who majors in Global Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, will participate in a new Boren initiative at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. A graduate of Forest Lake High School, Sherman began studying Chinese in high school and spent her senior year in Beijing with the National Security Youth Language Initiative (NYSLI) program. While there, she volunteered to help plan and host cultural events at the U.S. Embassy and began to think about a career in diplomacy. At the University of Minnesota, she has created educational materials for language study, and she developed programming to support foreign exchange students as a Program Assistant with Global Opportunities Minnesota. In the future, she plans to join the Foreign Service the goal of becoming a Public Diplomacy Officer.

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

Media Contacts

Kelly Glynn

Medical School, Twin Cities

Main Line

University Public Relations
(612) 624-5551
Mon, 07/27/2020 - 15:42
Three University undergraduates awarded prestigious Boren Scholarships for foreign study
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities