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DAAD RISE, CLS award recipients from OHIO recognized with video tribute 

Before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, several Ohio University students were notified that they were awarded Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) or admitted into the DAAD RISE Germany program through the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA).

The plans the students began to focus on were disrupted when OHIO announced the cancellation of summer study abroad programs on March 13 due to coronavirus concerns. Despite the pandemic, ONCA was determined to still honor these students’ hard-earned accomplishments. 

“Though these programs are suspended temporarily, I nevertheless want to really stress how proud we are of these Ohio University students and their commitment to international collaboration, exchange and communication,” said Dr. Christopher Lewis, director of ONCA in the video. 


The CLS program is a summer study abroad program through the U.S. Department of State for American university students to learn other languages that are essential to American engagement with the world. 

Five OHIO students were awarded CLS for summer 2020: Feven Berhe, Andrew Howard, Will Mullen, Aaron Reinhard and Megan Westervelt.

Lewis was also proud of the six OHIO students selected for the DAAD RISE program. Through this, students are connected with doctoral students and researchers who serve as mentors in Germany for internships. The program is open to undergraduate students from North America, Great Britain and Ireland and awards about 300 scholarships every year, according to their website. “DAAD” stands for “Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst” (German Academic Exchange Service) and “RISE” stands for “Research Internships in Science and Engineering.”

Six OHIO students were awarded DAAD RISE internships for summer 2020: Anna Brant, Benjamin Carman, Garett Cunningham, Courtney Fularz, Emily Marino and Madeline Sudnick.  

Although the students cannot elect to attend their programs or internships this summer, some students hope to apply and attend these opportunities next year and shared their thoughts about the opportunity through videos.

“I think being in a scientific field, I’m finding more and more that success isn’t just based around your research skills. It’s based on how well you can engage the public and the scientific community as well, and I think to do these things, it’s so important to have global knowledge and leadership skills,” Brant said. 

“I am extremely lucky to have already received the award and been a participant in the program last summer, so I can really attest to what a phenomenal program DAAD RISE really is,” Carman said. “Last summer when I went, it not only gave me the opportunity to have an amazing research experience, but it also allowed me to experience cultures and languages that were completely new to me.”

Watch the video above to hear more from students and Lewis about this achievement. 

April 23, 2020
Jalyn Bolyard