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Drexel's 2018 Boren Awardees

April 27, 2018

Congratulations to Drexel’s 2018 Boren Awardees!

Two Drexel students have received prestigious Boren Awards. These students are among just 341 selected nationwide from 1,094 applicants. The Boren Awards recognize students who demonstrate strong academic achievement and commitment to study language and work in regions critical to U.S. national interests.

We congratulate these students and the faculty mentors who have given them guidance and support along the way.

Dylan O'Donoghue
MLS '18
Drexel Faculty Mentor: Uri Hershberg
Boren Fellowship to Taiwan
Dylan's research interests focus on immigration, immigration in employment law, and anti-human trafficking regulations. As a Boren Fellow, Dylan will be working with experts and practitioners from the Chinese Culture University, National Chengchi University, and Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union to examine Taiwan’s successful implementation of anti-human trafficking regulations, focusing on how the 2009 Human Trafficking Prevention an­d Control Act (HTPCA) changed the everyday practice of providers on the ground who work with foreign nationa­l victims of trafficking. This research will provide lessons to guide efforts in the U.S. to prevent and protect foreign national victims of human trafficking.  She will also be studying to improve her proficiency in two languages, Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien.

Tara Densmore
BA Global Studies ’20, Honors
Boren Scholarship to Mozambique
With her Boren Scholarship to Mozambique through the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI), Tara will spend the summer studying Portuguese in an intensive summer immersion program at the University of Florida. In the fall, she will travel to Mozambique and continue her language study at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane through a program hosted by the American Councils for International Education.

The Boren Awards, an initiative of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), fund undergraduate and graduate US citizens to study less commonly taught languages in world regions that are critical to U.S. national security and under-represented in study abroad. The awards promote long term cultural and linguistic immersion in countries in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Boren applicants are highly motivated individuals with an interest in serving in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren awardees commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

For more information, visit our Boren Awards page or contact

Official Press Release
2018 Boren Scholars and Fellows Awarded

The Institute of International Education (IIE), on behalf of the National Security Education Program (NSEP), awarded 221 David L. Boren Scholarships to undergraduate students and 120 David L. Boren Fellowships to graduate students to add important international and language components to their educations by studying overseas in world regions critical to U.S. interests. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 33 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swahili, and Korean. This year, 794 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 300 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship.

NSEP is a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. NSEP’s Boren Awards program provides U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. “The National Security Education Program,” according to Dr. Michael A. Nugent, NSEP Director, “is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures.”

“To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America's future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” says University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. Senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. “As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”

Since 1994, over 6,000 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact IIE at or visit