Senior wins Boren Award to study Mandarin in Taiwan

By Beverly Makhani, Office of Undergraduate Education

PULLMAN, Wash. – Thomas G. Taylor, a senior in the Washington State University Global Campus, has received a Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program (NSEP) to study the Mandarin language in Taiwan during the 2014-15 academic year.

He is one of 165 Boren recipients out of 868 applications from students in 38 disciplines.

His degree will be in social sciences with concentrations in political science, sociology and history.

Taylor is WSU’s 13th Boren Scholar since 2001; the designation is for awardees who are undergraduates. WSU has also had two graduate student Boren Fellows since 2000.

NSEP reports that among this year’s winners, China is the most requested destination and Mandarin the second most popular language.

The new Boren Scholars represent 25 disciplines at 90 institutions in 36 states.

Sarah Ann Hones, WSU’s director of the Distinguished Scholarships Program, mentors dozens of students who compete each year. Chris Lupke, associate professor for foreign languages and cultures, is the WSU liaison to the Boren Scholarship program.

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to American undergraduate college students to study less-commonly-taught languages in about 90 world regions critical to U.S. interests but underrepresented in study abroad. These include Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Among the nearly 65 preferred languages are Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili.

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