Five Awarded State Department Critical Language Scholarship
Ousman Laast-Maiga (’12), Alyssa Alfano (’12), Rachel Rosenstrock (’12), and Leah Kolman (M.A. ’10) from the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, and Laura Gruca (’12) from the College of Arts and Sciences, were awarded the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). The CLS will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in thirteen critical need foreign languages for summer 2010. Participants will cover approximately one year’s worth of language study during the summer institutes. The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
Sophomores Ousman Laast-Maiga and Alyssa Alfano will study Arabic at the American Institute for Maghrib Studies in Tunis, Tunisia. “I’m thrilled to have an opportunity to travel and learn a new language and culture. I hope this experience will help me understand how I can address the challenges facing the local communities in the country,” noted Laast-Maiga. Laura Gruca will participate in the CLS Russian immersion program in Kazan, Russia and Whitehead School graduate student Leah Kolman was awarded a scholarship to continue her studies of Arabic. She will study in Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Cairo, or Egypt. Rachel Rosenstrock will attend the Beijing Language and Culture University, one of China’s premier Chinese language training institutes. “It was a great honor to be selected for this exciting program, and I know it will be a great introduction to China and its unique culture. This is only the beginning of the long and exciting road ahead of me,” said Rosenstrock.
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