Eastern Michigan University student receives prestigious Boren Award to study in Shanghai, China

by Debra Johnson, Published May 31, 2012


YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University student Joshua DeVriendt has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources 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.

DeVriendt, 21, is an undergraduate student studying international affairs. He said he is looking forward to his trip and called the opportunity "an experience of a lifetime."

"Winning the Boren scholarship means I will actually see and experience the Chinese culture, which has been the focus of my academic pursuits," said DeVriendt. "I am truly honored to have been selected for this award."

While in China, DeVriendt plans to continue his studies in international affairs and is excited "to experience international relations from a Chinese perspective."

Stephen Burwood, director of international studies and a Boren Scholarship Advisor, said, "We are tremendously excited for Joshua."

"This is one of the most prestigious international study awards offered in the United States. It is a tribute to the quality of Joshua's preparation and final application and also is a tribute to Eastern that awards of this nature are within the grasp of our most motivated students."

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, sponsors the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. Senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the NSEP and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name.

This year, 1014 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 161 were awarded. Boren scholars will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 39 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, Swahili, Russian, Portuguese, and Japanese.

"This award is a tremendous opportunity for Joshua and for EMU," said Rebecca Sipe, Boren Scholarship Advisor, and director of the honors college. "It also exemplifies a high level of collaboration between programs within Academic Affairs and strong emphasis at EMU for international studies. Joshua is an outstanding student who will represent our university and programs well as he pursues his studies in China."

Boren Scholarship awards range from $8,000 for a summer program, to $10,000 for a semester and $20,000 for a full academic year. The scholarships are based on the length of time the Boren Scholar spends overseas and the cost of the program.

"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," said Boren.

The 2013-14 Boren Scholarship and Fellowship applications will be available in late-August 2012, with an application deadline of February 13, 2013. Visit the Boren Scholarship Application Process homepage for more information.




Debra Johnson

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