Three Nunn School Students Selected for Boren Awards

Posted April 27, 2018

Three Georgia Tech students from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs were awarded prestigious Boren Awards. Every year, Boren Awards are given to graduate and undergraduate students wanting to study a critical language abroad for the academic year.

“These highly competitive Boren Awards provide unique funding opportunities for students to study less commonly taught languages and promote cultural immersion and understanding in critical world regions,” said Joe Bankoff, chair of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs.  “The one-year awards for overseas study provide the opportunity for our students to build bridges of understanding and then use that experience to address the broad challenges of security and the global society.”

The purpose of the awards is to build a bigger pool of people with a foreign language and international skills.  In return, award recipients are required to work for a minimum of a year in a federal agency.

The Boren Fellowships given to graduate students have a value up to $30,000 and are awarded to those interested in studying in an area of the world that is of interest to U.S. national security.

Geoffrey Brown, a master's of science in International Affairs student, was awarded a Boren Fellowship to study Hindi in India. Geoffrey came to the Nunn School in the fall 2017 after working as a business analyst for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting US, following the completion of his European Business School Oestrick-Winkel and Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem dual degree.

“While I'm going to miss all my friends here in Atlanta, I feel honored to have been selected for something as prestigious as a Boren Fellowship,” said Geoffrey Brown. “It's always been my ambition to enter public service and this program will not only teach me in-demand skills but also offer a much simpler pathway to starting my career.”

Geoffrey is one of 120 graduate students receiving the fellowship from the 300 students who applied.

The Boren Scholarships, which have a value up to $20,000 and are given to undergraduate students wanting to learn a less commonly taught language.

Second-year International Affairs and Modern Languages student Taylor Poole was awarded a Boren Scholarship. Taylor, whose major requires 24-credit hours of a foreign language has chosen Russian as her concentration. Last summer 2017, she spent a month at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia and another month at Baltic Center in Latvia. “Boren is an exciting opportunity to represent the yellow jackets abroad in Daugavpils, Latvia, where I will be taking political science and Russian-language courses,” said Taylor Poole.

Economic and International Affairs student Mckenzie Rhone is in her third year of studies in the Nunn School. Mckenzie will be spending her upcoming year in Brazil learning Portuguese with the Boren Scholarship. During the 2016-17 academic year, she studied abroad in the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile and interned with VE Global as a development and communications intern.

 “While spending my sophomore year in South America I fell in love with the region, and so it felt natural that my next goal would be to learn Portuguese,” said Mckenzie Rhone. “I am extremely excited and honored to get to spend eight months studying Portuguese in Brazil.”

Mckenzie and Taylor are two of 221 scholarship recipients from the pool of 794 applicants.

“The Boren focus on language acquisition to meet the challenges of U.S. national security offers a prestigious and practical opportunity for Nunn School students” said Assistant Undergraduate Director Stephanie Jackson, who helped read and provide feedback to the Georgia Tech students’ applications. “Our degree programs provide a strong language and theoretical foundation for our students studying international cooperation and conflict, economic competitiveness, and innovations in technology — critical components of national security. These funding awards allow them to build and strengthen globally-acquired knowledge that will serve them well as public servants.”

Find more information about this prestigious program on the Boren Awards website. 

Georgia Tech students can find more information about study abroad scholarships on the Office of International Education website. 

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Jessica Palacios

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