Three U-M students have been awarded Boren Fellowships for the 2012-13 academic year to participate in research and language study abroad.
The fellowships, sponsored by the National Security Education Program, provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to bolster their education through specialization in area study, language study or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages such as Chinese, Arabic and Swahili.
“The Boren Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in a new language and familiarity with another culture,” says Bobby Poulson-Houser, a U-M Boren awardee who will study in India this fall. “As an aspiring foreign service officer who plans to one day work for the State Department, I hope to finish my Boren period with professional fluency in Urdu to complement the cultural studies I pursued at Michigan.”
Poulson-Houser along with U-M students Megan Ryan and Andrea Trese are three of only 119 graduate students nationwide selected for a Boren Fellowship. He encourages other U-M students applying for the program to utilize advising resources available through the International Institute.
“The International Institute staff provided crucial administrative assistance during the application process,” Poulson-Houser says. “Without them my experience would have been substantially more stressful and my finished product less competitive.”
The 2012–13 U-M Boren Fellowship recipients, their degrees currently in progress, countries where they will be living, languages they will be studying, and their projects include:
• Robert Poulson-Houser, M.A., South Asian studies, India, Urdu, volunteering in local elementary schools.
• Megan Ryan, M.A., Southeast Asian studies, Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesian, “The Role of Adat and Islamic Law in Institutions of Dispute Resolution in Aceh, Indonesia.”
• Andrea Trese, M.S., engineering, Tanzania, Swahili, participating in a water supply internship.
This year, Boren Award recipients will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East, studying 39 different languages. Since 1994, more than 4,700 students have received Boren Awards.
For more information go to www.ii.umich.edu/fellowshipsandgrants/graduate.
Jeff Kopmanis, application programmer senior at the Center for Space Environment Modeling, College of Engineering, on his job: “I make the Web front-ends (that) make it possible for ordinary people to run these very sophisticated tools.”