University of Houston student Victor Yau was selected as a recipient of the Boren scholarship, which provides unique funding opportunities for American undergraduate students to study in underrepresented learning abroad programs. Yau will complete his overseas program in Korea, where he aspires to be a Foreign Service Officer. A current management major from the C.T. Bauer College of Business, he actively sees himself working towards a unified Korea and hopes to ease the transition of North Korean refugees into modern Korean culture.
Another UH student, Johnny Zapata, was chosen as an alternate. Zapata, a Spanish and history dual major from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, will study in Azerbaijan this fall. His previous experience in Azerbaijan and recent study of Turkish give him an advantage as he undertakes the challenge of learning Azeri while attending ADA University in Baku. Zapata is UH’s first student to participate in an exchange program with a partner university in Azerbaijan.
“The success of these two students further demonstrates the dedication of University of Houston students to pursuing their education and expanding their horizons” said Paula Myrick Short, senior vice president for academic affairs and Provost at the University of Houston. “UH continues to promote opportunities to study overseas and this news exemplifies that commitment.”
The Boren Scholarship is an initiative of the National Security Education Program and is administered by the Institute for International Education. Professor Richard Armstrong from the Honors College and UH’s campus Boren representative, Leah Scott of Global Strategies and Studies, mentored three applicants through the process. The process required applicants to outline their personal commitment to learning a language and explain how learning it in a country where it is spoken contributes to specific areas of National Security. For the 2016 cycle, 165 students out of 820 were selected nationally.
“Language acquisition is critical to the success of UH’s efforts in producing globally competent students” said Jaime Ortiz, Vice Provost for Global Strategies and Studies. Global Strategies and Studies will continue to offer information on global opportunities to students at all levels through the use of workshops, info sessions, and social media channels.