maroon wave

Four SU Students Earn Prestigious Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarship recipientsSALISBURY, MD---Four Salisbury University students have won prestigious Boren Scholarships: Abiodun Adeoye will study Swahili in Tanzania, Chase Alexander will study Arabic in Morocco, Nate Sansom will study Polish in Poland, and Hira Shahbaz will study Urdu in India.

“To my knowledge, they are SU’s first winners of this prestigious award,” said Dr. Kristen Walton, director of SU’s Nationally Competitive Fellowships Office. “Out of eight applicants, we have three winners and four alternates. This is quite a coup for SU!”

An initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), Boren scholarships provide funding for U.S. undergraduates to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to national interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. 

Each of the SU students earned up to $20,000 for six months of study overseas. In exchange, Boren scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Adeoye and Sansom are part of SU’s Honors College.  

“I applied for the Boren to learn a new language, explore a new area of the world and engage with communities in the East African region that I hope to work with in my career, said Adeoye, a junior history and political science double major from Hyattsville, MD. 

“I hope to expand my understanding of international relations and broaden my cultural horizons,” said Sansom, a sophomore political science and conflict analysis and dispute resolution double major from Salisbury. “It will allow me to visit, study and live in the land of my Polish ancestors while learning the native language.”  

Alexander is a member of SU’s ROTC program, and is a sophomore history and French double major from Gaithersburg, MD.

“I hope to be able to use my Arabic skills and my understanding of the history and traditions of modern cultures in North Africa to pursue a job in the intelligence community focused in that region,” he said.

“I strive to interpret and experience the splendor of such poets as Muhammad Iqbal in the original script," said Shahbaz, a junior English literature major from Salisbury, explaining that she enjoys the works of Urdu poets and writers, but finds that in the versions she reads, much is lost during the transliteration and translation processes. The Boren will allow her to study in a region close to her family's heritage. She also was offered a Critical Language Scholarship.  

“I’m so pleased to see Boren awards go to four of our finest students,” said Dr. Maarten Pereboom, dean of SU’s Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts. “We provide a curriculum that embraces all of the human experience across cultures and time, and they have taken full advantage of the rich learning opportunities we offer. Their study of diverse languages and cultures will contribute to our national security by helping to sustain peaceful political relations and beneficial economic ties among the countries of the world.”  

The Boren is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense and administered by the Institute of International Education, on behalf of the NESP. 

SU’s alternates also are from the Fulton School: Eva Fialkowski (English for speakers of other languages) to India, Darian Mullikin (history) to South Korea and Jared Johnson (political science) to Estonia.  

The three winners also are recipients of other honors: the Bosserman UNESCO Fellowship, a United Nations Institute for Training and Research internship, the Public Policy and International Affairs Program’s Junior Summer Institute fellowship, and a Project GO scholarship. More than 40 SU students have won national and international fellowships, scholarships and awards in the past five years.

For information about national fellowships, SU students or alumni may contact Walton at  visit the Nationally Competitive Fellowshps Office Website.