Two Brigham Young University graduate students, Annie Samhouri and Spencer Humiston, have been awarded a Boren Graduate Fellowship to further their studies abroad.
David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.
Humiston, a native of Minnesota, studied political science as an undergraduate and attended law school at BYU. A prior winner of a Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship, Humiston plans to use his award to live in Thailand where he will conduct research on the current political climate. After graduating from law school, he plans to practice law, preferably in Southeast Asia.
Samhouri, who is from Colorado, received a bachelor's degree in political science, with minors in Middle Eastern studies/Arabic and international development, and is pursuing an master's degree in sociology from BYU. Samhouri studied Arabic for two years and put that knowledge to use with two internships with the Jordanian Ministry of Social Development. She hopes to seek employment with USAID in the Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment or with the United Nations. In addition to the Boren, Samhouri also received a Fulbright award.
This year, 1,014 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 161 were awarded, while 575 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 119 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 39 different languages.
“Never in our history has it been more important for America's future leaders to 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.
Writer: Preston Wittwer