Student Receives Prestigious Boren Scholarship

Shelby McGuire ’15 has been awarded a Boren scholarship to study in Rwanda during the 2013-14 academic year.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a 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.

McGuire will receive funding to study post-genocide restoration and peace building as part of the School of International Training. “I am passionate about human rights and peace and conflict issues, and this is a great way to expand my knowledge and understanding of them,” she says. “I’m also an international relations major and hope to join the U.S. Foreign Service. It is important for me to gain a variety of international experiences and become more culturally adaptable.”

In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. “I don’t know which I’m more excited about; the financial support, or the obligatory year of service that I will be doing with the government after graduation,” McGuire says. “This scholarship gives me a huge leg up for my entire career.”

A total of 947 undergraduate students applied for the Boren scholarship and 161 were awarded, while 526 graduate students applied for the Boren fellowship and 110 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 34 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Swahili, and Portuguese.

Since 1994, over 5,000 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.