Six Maxwell students receive prestigious Critical Language Scholarship

March 16, 2021 | Kelly Homan Rodoski

Critical Language Scholars 2021Six Maxwell School students have been selected as recipients of the Critical Language Scholarship, through which they will immerse themselves in intensive language study this summer. Additionally, three students were named as alternates.

The recipients and the languages they will study are:

  • Courtney Blankenship, a first-year master’s degree student in international relations in the Maxwell School also pursuing certificates of advanced study in security studies and Middle Eastern affairs, studying Arabic;
  • Jenna Burgess ’21, a senior international relations major in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a minor in linguistics in A&S, studying Korean;
  • Sarah Forland G’21, a dual degree public diplomacy graduate student in international relations in the Maxwell School and public relations in the Newhouse School, studying Portuguese;
  • Jeremy Gonzalez, a first-year graduate student pursuing a joint master’s degree in public administration and international relations in the Maxwell School, studying Bahasa Indonesian;
  • Roger Onofre G’21, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in international relations in the Maxwell School, studying Arabic; and
  • Charlotte Volpe G’21, a graduate student pursuing a joint master’s degree in public administration and international relations in the Maxwell School, studying Urdu.

The students selected as alternates are:

  • Claire Howard ’23, a sophomore in economics and international relations in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Maxwell School and a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, studying Arabic;
  • Angela Jumbeck, an M.P.A. student in the Maxwell School, studying Swahili; and
  • Scott Patnode, a first-year graduate student in international relations in the Maxwell School, studying Persian.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities. Traditionally, some 550 students spend eight to 10 weeks abroad studying one of 15 languages—Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish or Urdu. The program is fully funded and includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. This year, because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, most experiences will happen remotely.

CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity.

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