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LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 2, 2014) — Three University of Kentucky students and an alumnus have been awarded Critical Language Scholarships to study the Arabic, Japanese and Turkish languages abroad.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program, a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages during the summer of 2014. The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
The four UK recipients of Critical Language Scholarships are:
· marketing and media arts and studies sophomore Jordie Gamble, who will travel to Morocco for Arabic language studies;
· biology senior Naomi Hayes, who will travel to Japan for Japanese language studies;
· anthropology doctoral student Lydia Roll, who will return to Turkey for her second consecutive year of language coursework in Turkish; and
· 2013 Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce graduate Wade Wilson, who will travel to Jordan to study Arabic.
Honors Program member Jordie Gamble, a 2012 graduate of Christian Academy of Louisville, is the daughter of Lisa and Shannon Gamble of Louisville, Ky.
Gamble, who also plans to study abroad in Spain next fall, will use her Critical Language Scholarship in Arabic to strengthen her conversational skills and learn more about the culture. "I will bring my Arabic skills up to a fully conversational level that will increasingly open up the opportunities available to me. I will also gain valuable experience about living abroad and how to assimilate to new cultures gracefully, a lesson that will come in handy if I'm to become a viable player in the global marketplace."
The Global Scholar credits Nada Majzoub, her Arabic teacher in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages Literatures and Cultures, for her love of Arabic. "She helped inspire in me a love for the language while breaking it down into manageable portions. I'm so grateful to her," Gamble said.
Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, Gamble would like to work with a global nonprofit on marketing and promotional materials.
Honors Program member Naomi Hayes, a 2011 graduate of Louisville Male High School, is the daughter of Hiromi and Peter Hayes, of Louisville.
Hayes, who is also working on a Japanese minor at UK with her biology major, will use her Critical Language Scholarship to take intensive language classes in Himeji, Japan.
The choice to study Japanese is a very personal one for Hayes, who is president of the Japanese Culture in Kentucky Society. "I decided to study Japanese because even though my mother is Japanese herself, I am not able to speak the language fluently. I hope to reclaim some of my heritage by learning the language and culture. I also in general have an interest in Japan and its modern entertainment industry.
Hayes hopes to one day be fluent in Japanese. Upon completion of her bachelor's degree, she would like to pursue graduate school in Japan.
This is the second Critical Language Scholarship awarded to Lydia Roll, daughter of Darla and Roger Pitman of Bloomington, Ind., and Michael and Cheryl Roll of Marathon, Fla. She will use the second scholarship to help prepare her for a year of living in Istanbul to complete her dissertation.
"I conducted three weeks of preliminary dissertation fieldwork in Istanbul during May 2013. Additionally, I will conduct 12 months of dissertation research in Turkey, beginning in 2015. While there, I will engage in participant observation and ethnographic interviews with university students. For this reason, conversational Turkish language skills are essential. Participation in the Critical Language Scholarship Program will provide the opportunity to strengthen my Turkish language skills, thereby enabling me to conduct my research."
Roll, who holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University, became interested in studying Turkish after living in the International House at the University of Chicago while she was a master’s student at Loyola University. "At I-House, I was able to make friends from around the world, including a group of Turkish students, who over countless cups of tea and conversation, inspired my initial interest in studying Turkish."
At UK, Roll credits her advisor in anthropology, Diane E. King, with providing invaluable guidance, including the process of narrowing her research focus and crafting the application for the Critical Language Scholarship program.
Upon completion of her doctoral degree, Roll plans to become a university professor.
Wade Wilson, the son of Bill and Nancy Wilson of Owensboro, Ky., holds multiple degrees from UK. He earned his bachelor's degrees in accounting and economics and most recently received his master's degree from the UK Patterson School in December 2013. He will use the Critical Language Scholarship to advance his language skills in Arabic in Amman, Jordan.
Studying a language critical to national security makes sense for an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who has seen U.S. foreign policy at work on the front line. "International relations and the American foreign policies that frame those relations have always been very interesting to me, especially after joining the military and experiencing the effects of our policies first hand," Wilson said.
Last year, Wilson studied Arabic at Yemeni College of Middle Eastern Studies in Sanaa, Yemen, with partial funding from the Patterson School. He hopes to continue his Arabic education after finishing his Critical Language Scholarship program, as well as studies in other foreign languages.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks for U.S. citizens who are undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. During the summer program, participants will cover approximately one academic year of university-level language coursework. The application for the 2015 summer program will be available in the fall on the program website, http://clscholarship.org.
Students interested in applying for the Critical Language Scholarship and/or Boren Scholarships should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships (OES). Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, OES assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These major awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with OES well in advance of the scholarship deadline.