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Five UM Students Win Boren Awards

By Erin Garrett

University of Mississippi

Manuel Campbell, a Boren scholar majoring in biochemistry, plans to study in Korea using a Fulbright ETA award. Submitted photo

The National Security Education Program has offered five University of Mississippi students coveted David L. Boren Scholarships. 

Manuel Campbell, of Jackson; Samantha Fabian, of Omaha, Nebraska; Sarah Hall, of Madison; and Susan Soh, of Houston, Texas, have been named Boren scholars. Shekinah Doze, of Columbia, Missouri, has been named a Boren fellow.

“The Boren Awards really speak to public service,” said Vivian Ibrahim, director of the UM Office of National Scholarship Advisement. “These students are learning a critical language and marrying it with their major while aiming to give back to the U.S. They have all shown a commitment to working for the federal government in the future.”

Boren scholars and fellows study critical languages and plan to work in positions crucial to U.S. national security. Recipients come from diverse fields of study and immerse themselves in the cultures of world regions underrepresented in study abroad, such as Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. 

Boren fellows have additional guidelines for self-designed research, internship and study programs.

Three of the four UM Boren scholars will use their scholarship to study in Taiwan. Hall and Soh will complete their capstone, or fifth year, program there.

“When I first started college, I had developed a sort of notion that I would face a lot of limitations and difficulties post-graduation due to only having one major, and a modern language at that,” said Hall, a Chinese major minoring in Korean and global security studies. “Plenty of times I was asked, ‘What can someone do with a Chinese major?’ and I think that really discouraged me. 

“Now that I have been named a Boren scholar, I feel as though a door has been opened and there are more possibilities than I – or anyone else – originally thought. Because of that, I am extremely grateful not only for the financial help Boren provides, but also the career opportunities it creates.”

Fabian, a business management major minoring in entrepreneurship and Chinese, said she was “very honored and excited” to receive the award. She will travel in August to National Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Training Center in Taipei.

“While at the MTC, I plan to enroll in their intensive Chinese course, as well as a business domain study course,” Fabian said. “To get involved with the community, I plan to participate in the school’s language exchange program and culture classes.”

Hall is enrolled in the university’s prestigious Chinese Language Flagship Program. She will attend National Chengchi University in Taipei, where she plans to take courses relating to Taiwanese politics and intern with a policy-focused nonprofit or organization that deals in international education exchange. 

“My primary goal during my capstone year is to not only further develop my professional Chinese, but also establish a better understanding of political diversities in and relating to Taiwan,” Hall said. 

Soh, a double major in Chinese and international studies, also will study at National Chengchi University.

“The first half of the year, I will be taking traditional academic classes in Chinese, with the help of tutors,” said Soh, who is also enrolled in the Chinese Flagship program and minoring in economics. “The second half of the year, I will intern at a business in Taipei to apply my Chinese skills to real-world scenarios.”

Campbell planned to use the Boren scholarship to study in Korea, but ultimately decided to pursue an opportunity with the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Doze is pursuing a doctorate in nutrition and hospitality management specializing in community nutrition.

Students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at onsa@olemiss.edu.


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Adam Brown
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