Three U-M Students Receive Prestigious Boren Fellowships


By Kirstin Olmstead
Jun 22, 2012

Bobby Poulson-Houser is a recipient of a 2012-13 Boren Fellowship. He will pursue Urdu language study in India.

Bobby Poulson-Houser is a recipient of a 2012-13 Boren Fellowship. He will pursue Urdu language study in India.

Student to Participate in Research and Language Study Abroad

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 22, 2012—Three University of Michigan students have been awarded Boren Fellowships for the 2012–13 academic year to participate in research and language study abroad.

The fellowships, sponsored by the National Security Education Program, provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to bolster their education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. Boren Fellows represent a variety of academic and professional disciplines, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages such as Chinese, Arabic, and Swahili.

“The Boren Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience in a new language and familiarity with another culture,” said Bobby Poulson-Houser, a U-M Boren awardee who will be studying in India this fall. “As an aspiring foreign service officer who plans to one day work for the State Department, I hope to finish my Boren period with professional fluency in Urdu to complement the cultural studies I pursued at Michigan.”

Poulson-Houser along with U-M students Megan Ryan and Andrea Trese are three of only 119 graduate students nationwide selected for a Boren Fellowship. He encourages other U-M students applying for the program to utilize advising resources available through the U-M International Institute.

“The International Institute staff provided crucial administrative assistance during the application process,” said Poulson-Houser. “Without them my experience would have been substantially more stressful and my finished product less competitive.”

This year, Boren Award recipients will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East, studying 39 different languages. Since 1994, more than 4,700 students have received Boren Awards.

For further information about the Boren Fellowship visit www.ii.umich.edu/fellowshipsandgrants/graduate.

The 2012–13 U-M Boren Fellowship recipients, their degrees*, countries where they will be living, languages they will be studying, and their projects include:

Robert Poulson-Houser, M.A., South Asian Studies, India
Urdu, volunteering in local elementary schools

Megan Ryan, M.A., Southeast Asian Studies, Indonesia
Bahasa Indonesian, “The Role of Adat and Islamic Law in Institutions of Dispute Resolution in Aceh, Indonesia”

Andrea Trese, M.S., Engineering, Tanzania
Swahili, participating in a water supply internship

*Degrees listed are currently in progress

University of Michigan International Institute
The University of Michigan International Institute houses 18 centers and programs focused on world regions and global themes. The institute develops and supports international teaching, research, and public affairs programs to promote global understanding across the campus and to build connections with intellectuals and institutions worldwide. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu.

###