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Korean Studies Student Sarah Leibson awarded Boren Undergraduate Scholarship

May 15, 2018

Sarah Leibson has been awarded a Boren Undergraduate Scholarship to study Korean language in South Korea during the 2018-19 academic year. Sarah is currently and undergraduate student studying Korean and International Studies at the University of Washington.

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, NSEP Director, “is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures.”

This year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received 794 applications from undergraduate students for the Boren Scholarship and 221 were awarded; 300 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 120 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 33 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swahili, and Korean. “To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America’s future leaders 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, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”

Since 1994, over 6,000 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 boren@iie.org or visit www.borenawards.org.

Isabel Bartholomew, a sophomore Linguistics major who also studies Korean language was named alternate.

Center for Korea Studies

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
Box 353650
Seattle WA, 98195-3650