TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama student Ann Williams has received a Boren Scholarship for the study of languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad.
Williams, of Montgomery, will study Mandarin in Taiwan.
In addition, Blake Moreland, of Cumming, Georgia, was selected as an alternate to study Arabic in Jordan.
Williams is a junior majoring in international studies with minors in Chinese and women’s studies, and is part of the Blount Scholars Program. She is simultaneously pursuing a master’s degree in public administration through UA’s Accelerated Master’s Program.
Williams’ immediate career goal is to be a public diplomacy officer in the foreign service. In the future, she has loftier goals of working in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and eventually a policy director for UN Women.
Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught language in such regions as Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
Boren Scholarship recipients represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholarship recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation. Amounts range from $8,000 for a summer program to $20,000 for six-to-12 months of study.
In addition to the Boren Scholarship, Williams was recently awarded a Critical Language Scholarship. Part of the U.S. State Department, the CLS program works to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.