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Two CLAS Students Win Prestigious Critical Language Scholarships

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Critical Language Scholarships sponsored by the U.S. Department of State have been awarded to two students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, one an undergraduate, the other a graduate student. The Critical Language Scholarships will provide each student with the opportunity for intensive overseas language study.

Communications and international relations student Kelly Morrissey ’15 has won a Critical Language Scholarship to continue her language studies in China.

Communications and international relations student Kelly Morrissey ’15 has won a Critical Language Scholarship to continue her language studies in China.

Junior Kelly Morrissey ’15 (CLAS), a double major in communication and international relations, will spend eight weeks in Suzhou, China, beginning in June. She previously studied Chinese in Shanghai in the summer of 2013, as part of a Center for International Education language program. A native of New Hartford, Conn., Morrissey hopes to pursue graduate study in China and to work for the U.S. State Department.

Ph.D. student Melanie Meinzer has won a Critical Language Scholarship to continue studying Arabic in Morocco.

Ph.D. student Melanie Meinzer has won a Critical Language Scholarship to continue studying Arabic in Morocco.

Melanie Meinzer is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in political science. She will travel to the Arab American Language Institute in Meknes, Morocco, for six weeks to continue her study of Arabic. Becoming proficient in conversational Arabic will aid her doctoral research, which focuses on the impact of foreign and nongovernmental organizations in Palestine, where she will be conducting interviews with Palestinians and other stakeholders. Meinzer received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

Morrissey and Meinzer were among more than 5,000 applicants from across the nation, competing for approximately 550 Critical Language Scholarships.

The program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Read the full story at UConn Today.

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