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Students receive prestigious scholarship to study abroad

July 17, 2009

Six ASU students have been chosen to receive the prestigious National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship and study abroad next year.

Three of the students will travel to China, one will go to Taiwan and the other two students have chosen to study in Turkey and Jordan.

Many of their projects are focused on learning the business, politics and language of the local culture.

To gather this knowledge they will take courses at different universities, and a few will have the chance to live with local families to gain extra insight into the culture.

One student will complete an internship with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan. Her goal is to gather information and knowledge for her project on refugee resettlement.

The NSEP awards provide each student with up to $20,000 for a year’s study in countries outside New Zealand, Western Europe and Australia.

ASU has led the country for the past five years as the university with the most NSEP awardees.

Winners are chosen by selection committees at the regional and national level, and the decision is based on the quality of their application and the campus committee report. Applicants are interviewed by the campus committee to determine the feasibility and validity of their proposed projects, the effectiveness of the language program they have chosen, and their maturity and readiness to conduct studies in a foreign environment.

The goal of the program is to assist students who wish to go into international relations in the future. The awards focus on geographic areas, languages and fields of study considered critical to U.S. national security. The Department of Defense, which funds the award, includes global disease and hunger, sustainable development, population growth and economic competiveness in its definition of national security.

The following students are 2009 NSEP David L. Boren Scholars:

• Devon Gan is a senior with a double major in political science and French languages and literature, while also earning a minor in Chinese languages and literature. Gan will travel to Beijing to study the Mandarin language, as well as study the politics behind the Chinese Communist Party.

• Alisha Herman, a transborder Chicana and Latina studies senior, will venture to Jordan to study in the Arabic Language Program at the University of Jordan. She hopes to improve her fluency in Arabic by taking language classes, and will pursue an internship with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees.

• Kevin Keller, an economics and Spanish language and literature major, will travel to China to study at a university in Nanjing. Keller will take intensive courses in Chinese language, economics, business and history.

• Bryan Tom, an economics and political science major, will attend East China Normal University in Shanghai. Tom will study how China is interacting with the international community by specifically studying political development, globalization and international business law.

• Cole Wirpel, a global studies and economics major, will travel to Turkey to attend Bogazici University in Istanbul. He will study the history and language of Turkey.

• Shirlene Yee, a global studies and political science senior, will travel to Taipei, Taiwan to study in the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University. She will work to be competent in the Chinese language, as well as study business and politics in China.

Natasha Karazcan,
Media Relations