University of Washington

Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships Student Profiles

Each year the Center for Global Studies awards Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to UW undergraduate, graduate and professional students. These fellowships enable students to study world languages and their respective regions either at UW or abroad.

Katie MacDonald (International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Persian); Jennifer Mark (Epidemiology, Portuguese); Daniel Miller (MAIS, Chinese); Sarala Puthuval (Linguistics, Russian); and Jacob Reidhead (Sociology, Chinese).    

Jeffrey Bates (MPA, Swahili); Charlotte Guard (International Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Turkish); Eric Johnson (History, Kazakh); Courtney Skiles (Law, Russian); and Mary Toutonghi (MAIS, Arabic).   

Below are statements from prior FLAS Fellows who have completed the terms of their fellowship.


Celia Smalls–Law, Arabic

As a 2nd year law student, the FLAS scholarship provided me the opportunity to further study in Arabic language and Islamic law, particularly Islamic finance law. I was able to take Arabic language classes alongside Islamic law classes to strengthen my understanding of classical Arabic words and legal concepts.



Walker Frahm–Sociology, Russian

As a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology, I have been studying advocacy groups, migration, and human trafficking in Eastern Europe. The FLAS fellowship allowed me to enroll in regional studies courses that tremendously deepened and broadened my understanding of the political, cultural, and social history of the former Soviet space. These courses introduced me to new bodies of academic literature on security and area studies, which have become central components of my research agenda.

Katie MacDonald– Internatoinal Studies and NELC, Persian

During the summer of 2012 I was able to study Farsi and Tajik in the Republic of Tajikistan for nearly ten weeks, and immeasurably improve my understanding of both. As my language skills advanced I was able to participate in family life and gain a first-hand understanding of cultural traditions associated with everything from weddings to funerals. 

Daniel Miller– International Studies (MAIS), Chinese

Mandarin is the primary language used for most primary documents I examine. As such, improving my language abilities will allow me to access data and emic sources firsthand. FLAS has given me the opportunity to conduct more original research in a rapidly evolving field. As a scholar working on discerning realities from often-cloudy data, such support is greatly appreciated.


Daniel Kirk–International Studies and Public Affairs (MAIS/MPA), Arabic

A FLAS fellowship in Arabic has allowed me to build on the basic language skills I first developed as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan from ’07 to ’09. The training I have received in Modern Standard Arabic at UW has made it possible for me to follow along in Arabic newspapers, tune in to Arab newscasts, and use some Arab media sources in writing my MA qualifying paper.


Charlotte Guard–International Studies and NELC, Arabic

I am a third year undergraduate . I first became interested in Turkey when I participated in the National Security Language Initiative exchange program to Adana, Turkey. The  academic year FLAS from the Center for Global Studies has allowed me to continue learning Turkish as well as look at the history and politics within the country.


Sarala Puthuval–Linguistics, Russian

In Summer 2012 I studied first-year Russian in the summer intensive program at UW in Seattle. My MA thesis in General Linguistics concerns words borrowed from Russian and Chinese into different dialects of Mongolian, and my dissertation research will also be about contact between Mongolian and neighboring languages.


Jacob Reidhead–Sociology, Chinese

This last summer I was fortunate to spend at Sichuan University where I pursued advanced Chinese, built relationships with local researchers in my field, and laid the groundwork for future collaboration in China.


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Center for Global Studies
International Studies Program
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 685-2707
(206) 685-0668 fax

Sara R. Curran
(206) 543-6479

Tamara Leonard
Associate Director
(206) 685-2354

Lauren Dobrovolny
Program Coordinator
(206) 685-2707

Robyn Davis
Fellowships Coordinator
(206) 616-8679