Graham Harper is a recipient of the Summer 2019 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
As a student in the Middle Eastern Studies MA program at the Jackson School of International Studies, I was awarded a CGS Summer and MEC Academic Year FLAS fellowship to learn Hebrew and study the greater Middle East. My studies and research are on regional security issues focusing on counter-terrorism, Iran and its proxies, and Israel as a regional actor. While abroad in Israel, I was fortunate enough to work with the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the IDC Herzliya, as well as many individuals in the political and security establishment in Israel to holistically understand security issues faced by the country. The language proficiency I acquired with the help of FLAS allowed me to have conversations with important figures as well as lay level practitioners, to whom I would not have been able to speak with as effectively, were I limited only to English. When I graduate in June, 2020 I will commission as a Military Intelligence Officer in the US Army and know that the knowledge I have gained through my studies with the Jackson School, as well as my experience abroad, will be indispensable in the roles in which I will find myself.