FSU students earn competitive language study scholarships  

(From L clockwise) Auria Rembert, Roz Wadsworth, Kate Alonso, Shallom Tabib, Kaitlin Bell.

Five Florida State University undergraduate students have been selected to receive nationally competitive language study scholarships through initiatives funded by the federal government.

Three FSU students won Boren Scholarships, which are offered through an initiative of the National Security Education Program and two students won Critical Language Scholarships (CLS), offered through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Both scholarships aim to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages critical to national security and economic prosperity.

The Boren Awards allow students to study abroad for up to a year in areas of the world critical to U.S. national security. Named after David L. Boren, former governor of Oklahoma and three-term senator, the scholarship provides up to $20,000 for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in regions that are underrepresented in study abroad programs and critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

The 2024 Boren Scholarship recipients are:

Kate Alonso, 23, a senior working toward a dual degree in international affairs and philosophy with a minor in French, will spend her summer immersed in the Indonesian language and culture. In the future, she plans to attend graduate school with the goal of improving relations between the United States and Southeast Asia. She also has studied Arabic within the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and completed the U.S. Intelligence Certificate with the Askew School of Public Administration.

“Southeast Asia is rarely discussed outside of conflicts, international manufacturing, trade and military endeavors, yet it’s important to expand our discourse and understandings to include the culture, history and beauty of the region while advocating for human rights,” Alonso said. “Receiving a Boren Scholarship grants me the opportunity to study Indonesian language and culture at the intimate level needed to build relationships and foster connections to engage with communities on the ground, and I am beyond grateful for this experience.”

Shallom Tabib, 21, a senior pursuing a major in political science with a minor in Russian and Eastern European studies, will study Russian in Latvia this fall. Like Alonso, Tabib is also pursuing the U.S. Intelligence and National Security Certificate. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs while continuing to study U.S Intelligence and National Security.

“Studying in Latvia will allow me to advance my novice Russian language skills and be better equipped to work with analysts in the target language,” Tabib said. “Moreover, mastering a foreign language is imperative when dealing with issues in foreign policy and can help bridge the gap between countries.”

Kaitlin Bell, 21, a senior pursuing a dual degree in international affairs and business management, will travel to Azerbaijan to study Turkish. After graduation, she hopes to join the Department of State’s Civil or Foreign Service.

“The Boren Award will allow me to study Turkish in an immersive environment and have the opportunity to connect with a diverse range of people, perspectives and cultures,” Bell said. “This cross-cultural experience will provide me with an invaluable foundation for a career in diplomacy.”

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides American undergraduate students from diverse disciplines with 8 to 10 weeks abroad while studying one of 15 critical languages. The program’s goal is for each scholarship recipient to act as a citizen ambassador in their country while finding their place in a globalized workforce.

The 2024 CLS recipients are:

Rosalyn (Roz) Wadsworth, 22, a senior majoring in anthropology with a minor in Japanese language and culture, will study at Okayama University in Okayama, Japan. After graduating, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a primary focus in archaeology.

“I am incredibly grateful to have been given the opportunity to immerse myself in Japanese language and culture,” Wadsworth said. “I am excited to expand my linguistic skills and connect these skills to my academic and professional pursuits in anthropological study.”

Auria Rembert, 20, a junior majoring in international affairs and studying Arabic, will study at the Jordan Language Academy in Amman, Jordan. Her goal is to work in diplomacy, specifically in the Middle East.

“I am deeply grateful to get this opportunity,” Rembert said. “My goal abroad is to be a sponge: Learning the culture, the food and, of course, developing in the language. I am truly honored and excited to broaden my global knowledge.”

For more information on scholarships and foreign language studies, contact the Office of National Fellowships.