The University of Iowa

Six UI students awarded prestigious Critical Language Scholarship for 2015

May 4th, 2015

The following six University of Iowa students have been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study critical needs languages during the summer of 2015. The University of Iowa has had a total of 28 CLS winners since 2006.

Name Hometown Major Language Location
Brittany Callahan Ypsilanti, MI B.A. English Russian Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Mandy Conrad   Ph.D. counseling psychology Arabic Tangier, Morocco
Elaine Mou West Des Moines, IA B.A. computer engineering Chinese Dalian, China
Destinee Gwee Iowa City, IA B.A. biochemistry and Chinese Chinese Xi'an, China
Stephanie Rue Cleveland, OH M.F.A. book arts/Center for the Book Korean Gwangju, South Korea
Laura Wang Cedar Rapids, IA B.A. English and Chinese Chinese Suzhou, China

These students are among the approximately 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2015. CLS participants will spend seven to ten weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in one of 13 countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Selected finalists for the 2015 CLS Program hail from 49 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and represent more than 200 institutions of higher education from across the United States, including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions and community colleges.

Consistent with the U.S. Department of State’s goals to increase diversity among international educational exchange program participants, the CLS Program actively recruits in states and regions of the United States that have been historically under-represented in international exchange and encourages students from diverse backgrounds and academic majors to apply. The CLS Program also promotes diversity in the independent review process, and includes readers and panelists from 48 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and 279 institutions, including land-grant public universities, liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Ivy League institutions, and community colleges. In 2015, over 450 professionals, including critical language faculty, area studies specialists, international education professionals, and fellowship advisors, participated in the selection process for the CLS Program.

CLS Program participants are among the more than 50,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils for International Education.

More on the Critical Language Scholarship program.