Two REEEC Students Receive National Language Scholarships

In separate federal competitions, two REEEC students received scholarships to fund their studies abroad as part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical languages.

Hristo Alexiev, a graduate student from Spring, Texas, will use his $21,200 Boren Fellowship to study Turkish and conduct research at Boğaziçi University in Turkey.

Alexiev, a native of Bulgaria, moved to the U.S. in 1998 with his family. He is an Illinois master’s candidate in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies. At Boğaziçi, he will focus his thesis studies on the regional role Turkey plays in the balance of interethnic and minority relations in the Balkans and its historical roots.

Boren awards, part of the National Security Education Program, provide funds for exceptional undergraduate and graduate students to study non-traditional languages around the world. Boren scholars pledge to seek employment with the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, or the intelligence community after graduation.

One hundred nineteen Boren Fellowships were awarded to graduate students from among 575 applications. The awards are named for David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma. He was a U.S. senator and principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program.

Additionally, one Illinois student earned U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships to fully fund overseas language study. Andrew Dolinar, a junior from Evanston, Ill., will continue his Russian studies in Kazan, Russia. A James Scholar honors student, Dolinar is a double major in sociology and Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies who also worked to promote cross cultural interactions as a programming adviser in the residential life program at Illinois.

Undergraduates or current graduate students who study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu may use these scholarships. Nationally, 12 percent of applicants received a Critical Languages Scholarship.

Recipients will spend seven to 10 weeks in immersive language institutes this summer in 14 nations where these languages are spoken. The CLS Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences.

The National and International Scholarships Program at Illinois assists students in applying for these and other nationally competitive awards.

A full list of university recipients is found on the Illinois News Bureau Website published on May 23, 2012 by Madeline Ley.

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