Nine Carolina students win Boren Awards

Nine Tar Heels have received scholarships and fellowships from the Boren Awards, matching last year’s record-breaking total. Carolina was once again honored as a top-producing institution for Boren Scholars.

Boren Awards provide funding for intensive overseas study of less commonly taught languages overseas, languages deemed critical to U.S. interests. The Boren Awards, named for former U.S. Senator David Boren, is a federal initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The awards provide undergraduate students up to $25,000 and graduate students up to $30,000 to study these critical languages.

“It is great to see UNC recognized as a top-performing institution for Boren Awards for the second year in a row,” said Adnan Džumhur, associate director of the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies. “In my capacity as the Boren campus advisor, I really enjoy working with students who are committed to developing language proficiency and area studies expertise for professional careers. Many of them plan to enter the federal workforce after college, specifically in the areas of national security, international development, and diplomacy.”

Carolina students will use Boren Awards to immerse themselves in study abroad experiences to intensively study critical languages. During the 2024-2025, the awards will fund UNC-Chapel Hill students to study Russian in Kazakhstan, Arabic in Morocco, Mandarin in Taiwan, and Korean in South Korea. Program lengths vary for each awardee, but they last 12 weeks minimum and often extend to two semesters.

Nationally, Boren awarded scholarships to 215 undergraduate students and fellowships to 102 graduate students.

The Boren Awards are a federal initiative that seeks to lead in development of the national capacity to educate U.S. citizens, understand foreign cultures, strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation and security. Any UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate or graduate student interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact the Office of Distinguished Scholarships.

2024 Boren Awardees

Wilma Casey ’27, a global studies major, won a scholarship to study Mandarin in Taiwan.

Dionne Jordan, an anthropology and Korean studies double major, won a scholarship to study Korean in South Korea.

Tekla Maisashvili ’24, a neuroscience and computer science double major, won a scholarship to study Russian in Kazakhstan.

Zachary Miller ’25, a peace, war, and defense major, won a scholarship to study Russian in Kazakhstan.

Jasper Schutt ’25, a global studies and interdisciplinary studies double major, won a scholarship to study Russian in Kazakhstan.

Katelyn Shadowens, a master’s student in global studies, won a fellowship to study Mandarin in Taiwan.

Ian Wallace, a PhD student in sociology, won a fellowship to study Arabic in Morocco.

Two additional students won and then declined Boren Awards.