By Breanne Smith
Ohio University students Jason Akbar and Kayleigh Forhan have been named David L. Boren National Security Education Program (NSEP) Scholars. The pair was among 150 awardees selected from 697 applicants.
The program focuses on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. NSEP recognizes that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also to the challenges of global society, such as sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
Boren scholarships support U.S. undergraduates who study languages and cultures currently underrepresented in study abroad. Following their year abroad, awardees are required to work in federal government national security positions with priority agencies, such as the departments of Defense, Homeland Security or State, or any element of the intelligence community.
Akbar is an Honors Tutorial College second-year student with senior standing majoring in political science with an East Asian Studies certificate. He will study at Musashi University in Japan for the full 2008-09 academic year and will be the first student to participate in this new exchange program.
He began studying Japanese at a college level through a post-secondary program while a high school junior and is presently in the highest level Japanese course. He hopes to eventually work in international diplomacy.
"Jason has always been an outstanding student," Associate Professor of Linguistics Chris Thompson said. "He has a very nice personality and a great character to match, so I expect nothing but great things from him. He has all the tools necessary to excel at Musashi University."
Forhan is a junior majoring in political science through HTC and German through the College of Arts and Sciences. She also is working on an East Asian Studies certificate. She will spend next year studying Mandarin and international relations at the CIEE Study Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai.
Forhan is interested in working in the area of international relations with China and hopes to eventually work in the foreign service. She has studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria, and is proficient in German.
"She's a really good student," Nikhil Sathe, assistant professor of German and Salzburg study abroad adviser to Kayleigh, said. "She works well with other students and was one of the pillars of our group abroad, being well-liked in the group and doing excellent work. She's well-prepared to deal in a different situation, and is resilient in figuring out how things work."
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