Maya Ramaswamy named 2016 Boren Fellowship Award recipient

Maya Ramaswamy
Maya Ramaswamy, winner of a 2016 Boren Fellowship Award, will study Tamil at VIT University in Tamil Nadu, India.

UI International Programs congratulates Maya Ramaswamy on being awarded a Boren Fellowship to study in India during the 2016-17 academic year. Maya is a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Iowa College of Public Health’s Occupational and Environmental Health program. She will study Tamil at VIT University in Tamil Nadu, India.

In addition to her language studies, Maya will also conduct a research project aimed at reducing health problems in agricultural workers, specifically developing policies to improve health in tea harvesting workers in Valparai, India.

Read more about Maya Ramaswamy's preliminary research conducted on a tea plantation in India.

More about the award:

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. 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 Dr. Michael A. Nugent, NSEP Director, “is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures.”

This year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received 820 applications from undergraduate students for the Boren Scholarship and 165 were awarded; 350 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 105 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 41 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 36 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, and Swahili.

“To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America's future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” says 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. “As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”

Since 1994, over 5,500 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital 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. 

Learn more about about applying for the Boren Awards. 

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