Two 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.
Although Boren Scholars and Fellows usually spend up to a year abroad, immersing themselves in a foreign language and culture, the COVID-19 pandemic has limited options for travel. This year’s University of Minnesota recipients, both of whom are participants in the Chinese Flagship program, will spend their capstone year in the immersive Chinese program at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California.
Caleb Feltis of Apple Valley has wide-spread interests in languages. He is completing majors in French, linguistics and computer science, as well as minors in Chinese and Russian, and has also studied biblical Greek. Having started Chinese in high school, and continued with courses at the University of Minnesota, Feltis hopes to achieve full fluency through a year of immersion at Monterey. He plans to combine his skills with languages and computer science in career with the Foreign Service facilitating communications and diplomacy between the U.S. and China.
Maggie Lundberg, an Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Linguistics major from Edina, has been studying Chinese since middle school. At the University of Minnesota she has appreciated the opportunities that her language study has created for developing friendships with Chinese students. Additionally, Lundberg was worked as an ambassador for the Flagship program, encouraging others to take advantage of this resource. In the summer of 2019, she studied at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, and she hopes to spend more time there when travel restrictions are lifted. Her goal is to work in Consular Affairs for the Foreign Service.
Jessica Chang, who is majoring in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Business and Marketing Education, was named as an alternate to study Chinese in the same program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.