Four West Virginia University students have been awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship and will spend a year immersed in the language and culture of countries that have been identified as critical to U.S. interests.
The Boren Scholarship, administered by the National Security Education Program, supports students who study abroad and then commit to working in the federal government for one year.
“Working with accomplished students like these is one of the best parts of my job,” said Dr. David Hauser, teaching assistant professor and Boren Scholar faculty adviser. “This is a highly competitive process and it’s rewarding to see the national recognition WVU programs continue to receive.”
The 2018 recipients are all students in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences.
Lawrence Georgiana of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, will return to China for a year to study Chinese linguistics at Zhejiang University. He was in China last year as a Critical Language Scholar. The Navy veteran is a senior majoring in international Studies and Chinese studies. With his military experience in South Korea and his previous studies in China, he is quite knowledgeable about the political and security issues in Asia.
“I want to pursue a career in intelligence or diplomacy and this experience will help me to better understand regional politics through a more solid grasp of the language,” Georgiana said. “I am excited about this opportunity and will be a positive student ambassador representing the U.S. abroad.”
An internship with NASA inspired Scott Lopez to think about the possibilities of learning Chinese and working on bilateral space cooperation with China while advancing U.S. astronautics and space research technology. The Morgantown resident is a junior chemistry major with a minor in mathematics. After intensive language training at the Beijing Language and Culture University this summer, he will spend the next academic year at Tsinghua University where his brother, Colin Lopez, will also be studying as a Schwarzman Scholar.
“After interning with NASA at the Langley Research and Goddard Space Flight centers, I knew this was where I wanted to work,” Lopez said. “The Boren Scholarship is an amazing opportunity to learn about Chinese language and culture within a scientific context.”
Annalice Mollica of Falling Waters will spend the year the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan, studying Modern Standard Arabic and the Levantine Arabic dialect. She would like to intern for a refugee relief center. The senior political science major has a minor in French and will earn a second minor in Arabic after her studies in Jordan. She is also a student in the Honors College.
“The Boren Scholarship is providing me a rare opportunity to learn Arabic in an immersive setting,” Mollica said. “After law school, I’d like to join the U.S. State Department and work in humanitarian law in the Middle East.”
Brianna Paul of Martinsburg loves learning new languages and the Boren Scholarship will enable her to study Swahili in Arusha, Tanzania this fall. With a minor in Spanish and a double major in international studies and geography, she will be well prepared for the career in the U.S. government that she aspires to.
“My major in international studies has an emphasis in international development so I would like to work for the United States Agency for International Development,” Paul said. “Being proficient in multiple languages will be useful in my career.”
Two other WVU students—Morgan King and Morgan Stemler—were also awarded the Boren Scholarship but declined to take a Fulbright Scholarship instead.
CONTACT: David Hauser
Boren Faculty Adviser
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