UA Honors Students Receive Boren Scholarships for International Study
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Two Honors College students at The University of Alabama have been awarded prestigious Boren Scholarships by the State Department for the 2012-2013 academic year.
David L. Boren Scholarships provide undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to U.S. security.
The UA Boren Scholarship recipients are Lauren Marsh of Prattville and Sam Guggenheimer of Dayton, Ohio.
Marsh is a rising senior majoring in anthropology with minors in Chinese and public health. She will study in Chengdu, in the Sichuan province of China. She plans to complete the service requirement of the award by providing global public health aid with the Peace Corps, the CDC or USAID.
Marsh has already spent a year helping children with serious health problems in a village near Beijing, as well as a summer in Nairobi, Kenya, where her interest in U.S. government global health jobs was sparked.
“Those experiences, along with my knowledge that I cannot achieve Mandarin language fluency without immersion, made me realize that the Boren Scholarship would be a great opportunity. My studies abroad will allow me to experience the culture of the various minority groups in rural southwestern China, to study advanced Mandarin language and to take elective courses in anthropology,” said Marsh.
Guggenheimer is a rising junior double-majoring in economics and international studies with a minor in German. He will study abroad at Turkish Koc University in Istanbul after he spends this summer in Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. He plans to complete his scholarship service requirement as a Marine officer.
“I knew when I began my freshman year that I wanted to study abroad for an extended period of time and I began exploring various options almost as soon as I got on campus. I found out about the Boren Scholarship through Dr. Oneal (of the Honors College), and it suited my interests and goals well,” said Guggenheimer, who has hoped to visit Turkey again since his first trip there in high school.
Guggenheimer and Marsh are two of only 161 recipients of the scholarship nationwide. A record number of 1,014 undergraduate students applied for the 2012-2013 academic year awards.
“We are delighted that two of UA’s Honors College students were chosen as Boren Scholars this year. To be selected from such a large pool of qualified students around the nation to be among only 161 recipients of this award is a real distinction,” said Dr. Fran Oneal, director of the International Honors Program in UA’s Honors College.
“Lauren and Sam both have outstanding academic records here at UA, a demonstrated commitment to language learning, involvement in the international life of the campus and a vision of a career path that will promote the U.S.’s national interest through better international relations.”
Oneal said that the Honors College will use Skype to stay in touch with Guggenheimer and Marsh so that current students can hear about their experiences and be encouraged to apply to become Boren Scholars in the next round.
The Boren Scholarships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.