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Four Pomona College Students Receive Critical Language Scholarships

Four Pomona College students have been selected to receive U.S. Department of State 2011 Critical Language Scholarships from a pool of more than 5,200 applications. The students will spend seven to 10 weeks this summer in intensive language institutes and participate in cultural immersion activities.

  • Nathaniel Brown ’12, from Washington, DC, will study Chinese in China. His is a politics major whose long-term career plans include working for the U.S. government, possibly in the State Department.
  • Alice Chan ’14, from Westford, MA, will travel to Jordan to study Arabic. Though she has not yet declared a major, she hopes to use Arabic for a future career involving international law or politics, with a focus on human rights issues.
  • Alexandra Gutowski ’13, from Montclair, NJ, will travel to Oman to study Arabic this summer. She was also recently awarded a National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship to study in Damascus, Syria, in spring and summer 2012. In the long-term, the international relations major is interested in working in the U.S. intelligence community.
  • Benjamin Yarbrough ’11, from Beach Park, IL, will travel to China to study Chinese. When the scholarship is completed, he will work at Taurus Education in Shanghai. He is an international relations major, and his thesis, “Notes from the Underground: Women in Beijing's Rock Music Scene," examined “the current state of rock and underground music in Beijing, and how women's status in the industry might be representative of trends in women's status in Chinese society in general.”

The Department of State's Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) for Intensive Summer Institutes was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages.

This year, approximately 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students were selected to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu languages.

The scholarships cover travel between the student's home city and program location, mandatory costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, program-sponsored travel within country, and all entrance fees for program activities.

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, is known for small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.