Seven URI students win Boren scholarships to study abroad – URI News

KINGSTON, RI – June 7, 2022 – Seven University of Rhode Island students have won the David L. Boren Awards, the most prestigious study abroad awards available to American students. The seven URI recipients place the University sixth in the nation for the number of 2022 Boren recipients. past years, as well as 9 alternates.

URI’s 2022 Boren Scholars are: Darby Donegan ’24 of Ashford, Connecticut, which specializes in sustainable agriculture and food systems and Chinese; Suzelle Glickman ’23 South Kingstown, who is majoring in international studies and Chinese; Leon Hartley ’24 Burlington, Connecticut, who specializes in computers and Chinese; Gillian Hodge ’23 North Providence, majoring in international studies, political science and Chinese; Kevin Suggs ’23 pawtucket, a major in computer engineering and Japanese; and Erin Torgersen ’23 from Chester, New Jersey, who specializes in global business management and Chinese. A seventh URI student was nominated but declined the award; two other URI students were selected as replacements for the scholarship.

The Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provides funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages ​​in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests. In exchange for funding of up to $25,000, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Donegan, Glickman, Hartley, Hodge and Torgersen, all members of URI’s Chinese Flagship Languages ​​Program, will spend their final year at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taipei, Taiwan, and participate in an internship during the second semester. The trip is particularly meaningful for the five because of the bond they have built in URI’s Chinese program.

“We all know each other,” Hodge said. “Some of my closest friends at URI are part of the flagship program and knowing that I’m going overseas with a support system already built in is something I look forward to.”

Gillian Hodge

Hodge, who is working to help pay for his education, applied for the Boren Scholarship to help fund the cost of studying abroad, as well as the experience and opportunity that comes with being able to work for the government after graduation. university. At URI, she actively participated in the International Studies and Diplomacy program and completed the University Honors program.

As an advisor to the Office of International Education, she helped students prepare for upcoming study trips abroad, and as a volunteer with the Global Peer Ambassador Program, she helped international students adapt to life in the United States. She also interned in the offices of US Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, and completed two honors projects on China.

“I wanted a major that lends itself to a career that could take place in different countries and allow me to experience various cultures,” says Hodge. “When it comes to Chinese, I really liked the idea of ​​an academic program that integrated studying abroad and would allow me to achieve a higher level of fluency during my university years.”

Darby Donegan

Darby Donegan

For Donegan, a cadet in URI’s Reserve Officer Training Corps who will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the military after graduation, the final year in Taiwan will bolster his Chinese fluency as he preparing for a career in the military. A graduate of a second major in agriculture and sustainable food systems, he is also interested in the challenges of sustainable development, which he will be able to explore this summer during an internship on a farm that practices regenerative agriculture.

“The flagship Chinese program and this flagship year in Taiwan will prepare me with a unique skill set for this career,” he said.

Suzelle Glickman

Suzelle Glickman

Glickman decided to pursue a degree in international studies because of the importance of international cooperation and understanding in an increasingly globalized world, she says. And knowing Chinese, one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world, would be a big help.

“I hoped a career in this field would be an engaging and fulfilling way to make a difference in the world,” says Glickman, a member of the URI section of Amnesty International and a volunteer with the Global Peer Ambassador Program. “I applied for the Boren Fellowship because I knew it could open up opportunities for me in the field of international relations.”

This will be Glickman’s second overseas trip under the flagship Chinese program, having spent a few months in Shanghai just before the pandemic. In Taipei, she is excited to participate in immersive Mandarin Chinese classes, including group and one-to-one sessions, and vocational courses with Taiwanese students.

Leon Hartley

Leon Hartley

Hartley’s interest in studying Mandarin Chinese began his freshman year of high school and grew as he had the chance to interact with Chinese exchange students. “It was an amazing experience for me to learn and understand another culture better,” says Hartley, who will be taking her first trip abroad after two other opportunities fell through due to the pandemic. “I decided to maintain this passion throughout college.”

After graduation, Hartley plans to combine her majors in computer science and Chinese, hoping it will allow her to learn more about Asian cultures. The Boren Award will help her achieve these goals, while potentially giving her the opportunity to experience working for the government.

“My future goals are mostly to help others in any way I can,” he says. “The Boren is a huge help in getting my foot in the door of government service.”

Erin Torgerson

Erin Torgerson

A graduate in global business management, Torgersen began studying Chinese in sixth grade at the behest of her father. She plans to eventually combine her interest in global issues and Chinese through a career in international management or intelligence. She has completed an in-depth research project on the US-China trade war as a Distinction Project.

“It was really interesting for research because I was able to bring my two majors together for the project by reading articles from both sides – written in Chinese and English,” she says.

Torgersen intended to complete the rigorous flagship program in four years, instead of the usual five. But the pandemic has changed that. The Boren scholarship will help ease the financial burden of this fifth undergraduate year, she says, and provide insight into her future career choice.

Kevin Suggs

Kevin Suggs

A student in the International Engineering Program, Suggs will make his first trip outside the United States thanks in part to the Boren Prize. Next year, he will take humanities and language courses at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan during the first semester and do research or work as an intern for a Japanese company during the second semester.

Introduced to engineering and electronics in high school, Suggs chose to study computer engineering at URI because he was interested in technology and it allowed him to build on what he he had learned electrical engineering at Davies Vocational Technical High School. At URI, he visited high schools as an IEP ambassador and mentored other URI students in the Japanese program.

An anime fan, Suggs chose to take a second major in Japanese. As his interest in the language has expanded to include the culture and people of the country, he has also worked on numerous projects in the lab. He created a rhythm game using the Unreal Engine 4 video game creation tool, built a weather forecast application based on the Flask web application framework and React, and worked with Zebra Technologies to create an interface that would simplify and speed up the troubleshooting process for faulty printers.

“My future goal is to find my passion in computer engineering and maybe continue to work and live in Japan,” says Suggs, a member of URI’s talent development program. “The Boren award will definitely help me because a federal job will give me more experience and maybe keep me connected to Japan in some way, but I’m excited for everything.”

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