Two Josef Korbel School graduate students have been awarded Boren Fellowships for the 2013-14 academic year.
Laura Jagla has been awarded a Fellowship to study in Mozambique. Jagla is currently an MA candidate in the School's Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration program. She will study Portuguese at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and research media, youth, and state building in Maputo. Laura is also a Marc Nathanson Fellow with the Josef Korbel School and the Aspen Institute. This past March, the Aspen Institute published "Integrating Diplomacy and Social Media," which she co-wrote as part of the fellowship.
Sarah Gates, an MA candidate in the School's International Development program, will study Swahili. After studying the language at the University of Zanzibar, Gates will collaborate with a local NGO in Kenya to carry out research on youth participation in peacebuilding and civic engagement.
David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. "The National Security Education Program," according to Dr. Michael A. Nugent, director of NSEP, "represents an essential component of a comprehensive national security strategy to address serious and long-time deficiencies in critical language expertise."
This year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received a historically high number of applications for both the undergraduate Boren Scholarship and the graduate Boren Fellowship. This year, 947 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 161 were awarded, while 526 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 110 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 34 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Swahili, and Portuguese. "Never in our history has it been more important for America's future leaders to have a deep understanding of the rest of the world," says University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. Senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. "As we seek to lead through partnerships, respect for and understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential."
Since 1994, over 5,000 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact IIE at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.borenawards.org.