The University of Iowa

Critical Language Scholarship winner Isabelle Davis to study virtually in Turkey

March 12th, 2021

 

University of Iowa student Isabelle Davis of LeClaire, Iowa, has been awarded a 2021 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for a summer virtual intensive language and cultural program hosted by Ankara University TÖMER in Ankara, Turkey.

The CLS scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is intended to help broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages while building relationships between people of the United States and other countries. 

"When I participated in an academic summer program five years ago at the University of Iowa, I became friends with a group of Turkish students," said Davis. "Their generosity and kindness encouraged me to study their language. But seeing their frantic efforts to contact their families as their country underwent a coup made me realize I needed to learn Turkish. I felt an exigency to learn Turkish, so I could understand the political events that impacted the nation. At the same time, learning Turkish allows me to get to know the people, their culture, history, and literature."

"This summer at CLS’s virtual language institute and my previous experience as a Boren scholar in the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) program will provide me with the Turkish language and cultural knowledge necessary to translate critical texts as a Translation for Global Literacy minor and in my future career as a Turkish language analyst."

CLS participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. 

"This summer at CLS’s virtual language institute and my previous experience as a Boren scholar in the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) program will provide me with the Turkish language and cultural knowledge necessary to translate critical texts as a Translation for Global Literacy minor and in my future career as a Turkish language analyst."

CLS is a competitive scholarship with acceptance rates hovering around 10 percent each year, but Davis encourages her fellow UI students not to be discouraged.

"Keep applying, keep seeking out experiences to build your mind and your character."

Davis would also like to express her gratitude to those who've helped her along the way. 

"I would like to thank Associate Professor of Literary Translation Dr. Aron Aji, Associate Director of International Fellowships Karen Wachsmuth, and my Turkish teacher Ipek Sahinler." 

Learn more about the Critical Language Scholarship

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