Grace Buchele’s high school experience was a little bit different than that of most American teenagers. Her parents taught in Ghana, West Africa, and she attended a boarding school in Japan. Now exciting news that she has been awarded a prestigious Boren Scholarship means she will return to study in Japan.
The Boren Scholarship allows the sophomore to study in Japan during the 2012-13 academic year. An International Relations and East Asian studies major, Buchele will be studying Japanese intensively at the International Christian University in Tokyo. David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills.
“My dream job is to work for the National Protection Agency (NPA) against human trafficking in East Asia, especially Japan,” says Buchele. One hundred and sixty-one awards were offered from a pool of 1014 applications. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. “The National Security Education Program,” according to Michael A. Nugent, director of NSEP, “represents an essential component of a comprehensive national security strategy to address serious and long-time deficiencies in critical language expertise.”
For the third consecutive year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received a record number of applications for both the undergraduate Boren Scholarship and the graduate Boren Fellowship. The winners will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East and will study 39 different languages such as Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese. In an announcement of this year’s Scholars Fellows, University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. Senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name, said, “Never in our history has it been more important for America’s future leaders to have a deep understanding of the rest of the world. As we seek to lead through partnerships, respect for and understanding of other
cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”
Since 1994, over 4,700 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should visit www.borenawards.org, and contact the Ursinus Dean’s Office.