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Congratulations to Francisco Cruz-Urbanc and Afrah Howlader, selected for Critical Language Scholarships!

April 30, 2021

Congratulations to CLS recipients Francisco Cruz-Urbanc (BA Global Studies '24) and Afrah Howlader (BS Public Health '21, Honors)! The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Participants spend 8-10 weeks abroad over the summer, undertaking intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Francisco has been awarded the scholarship to support his study of Arabic and Afrah has been awarded the scholarship to support her study of Bangla during the summer of 2021. This year, the Critical Language Scholarship will take place virtually.

Afrah Howlader (BS Public Health '21, Honors)
Critical Language Scholarship recipient to study Bangla
Afrah is a senior public health student with minors in global studies and sociology. After graduation, Afrah will undertake a two-year Urban Health Policy Fellowship with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.  Ultimately, she would like to work in a governmental capacity and use evidence-based research to improve disparate health outcomes and empower marginalized communities. She is currently a Drexel Community Scholar serving at HIAS Pennsylvania, a Senior Class Representative in the Undergraduate Student Government Association, and a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity. In 2018, she was a Dornsife Global Development Scholar and worked in Eswatini.

Francisco Cruz-Urbanc (BA Global Studies '24)
Critical Language Scholarship recipient to study Arabic
Francisco is a second year global studies major and is pursuing a minor in Middle East & North African studies. He has a strong passion for language and is working towards a career in either interpretation/translation or language instruction. Recently, he completed an internship at HIAS PA helping refugees with social and health services.


    The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers intensive summer language institutes in 15 critical foreign languages. CLS is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    Learn more about the Critical Language Scholarship Program.