Three NWU Students Win Boren Scholarships to Study Critical Languages

Three Nebraska Wesleyan University students have each been awarded the prestigious Boren Scholarship, which will send them abroad for one year to develop language skills.

Amirah Ali-Dinar, a University College student from Encino, Calif. who is studying criminal justice, Victoria Rosenboom, a political science and mathematics major from Ashland and Michael Sutherland, a senior political science major from Omaha are among 165 students from across the country selected for the scholarship.

The Boren Scholarship provides U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experiences in countries critical to the future of security and stability in the U.S. Awardees receive $20,000.

Ali-Dinar is NWU’s first adult student enrolled in the new criminal justice program to receive a Boren Scholarship. She will spend the next year in Jordan where she will study Arabic.

“The Boren Scholarship offered an opportunity to serve our nation’s security by educating ourselves on different cultures in efforts to effectively communicate with other nations,” said Ali-Dinar whose family has direct ties to Darfur and the Middle East. “I was born to do this.”

Following her year in Jordan, she will pursue a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Maryland and plans to pursue a career as an intelligence analyst.

Rosenboom will spend the next year in Tanzania where she will study Swahili. During her junior year, Rosenboom spent a semester in Ghana and a semester in Washington, D.C. Those experiences piqued her interest in education policy in African countries.

“I hope to intern with an organization that works with public policy or politics so that I can build policy-specialized linguistic skills,” she said. “By the end of this experience, I hope to make progress towards effectively understanding public policy and mass media messages in Tanzania.”

Sutherland will return to China where he studied last summer as a Critical Language Scholar. This time he will study Mandarin. While enrolled in the Critical Language Scholarship Program he spoke Chinese exclusively for two months and that experience interested him in more intensive language-learning opportunities.

“I realized I want to spend the next few years really digging into learning Chinese and perfecting my language skills,” said Sutherland who has also studied abroad in Hong Kong. He plans to pursue a career in international development.

Nineteen Nebraska Wesleyan University students have won Boren scholarships. Nearly 900 students in the U.S. applied for the honor this year. 

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Victoria Rosenboom will spend the next year in Tanzania where she will study Swahili.
Michael Sutherland will study Mandarin in China.
Amirah Ali-Dinar will spend the next year in Jordan where she will study Arabic.