Three Scholars receive NSEP awards

May 16, 2007

By hammersmith

Flinn Scholars Devin Mauney (’04), Nicole Rennell (’05), and Ben Strauber (’05) have received the National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship, a nationally competitive study-abroad scholarship that will fund their travels to Brazil, South Africa, and India, respectively.

The NSEP-Boren Undergraduate Scholarship Program enables undergraduate students to study languages and cultures that are currently underrepresented in study-abroad programs and are critical to national security.

Mauney, a junior economics major at Arizona State University, will conduct intensive Portuguese language study for a year at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo through the Council on International Educational Exchange. He plans to enroll in courses relating to international commerce and economics, Brazilian politics, and inter-American political systems through the university. In addition to coursework, he will pursue an independent project focused on tracking changes in Brazilian trade policy.

Says Mauney, “I’m most looking forward to improving my Portuguese, learning about the Brazilian perspective on trade and global politics, and taking in some Brazilian music.”

ASU sophomore Rennell, a global studies major, will spend a year studying the Xhosa language at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Rennell also plans to gather information for her honors thesis on HIV as a global health issue while working with HIV patients in a clinic in Khayelitsha.

“I am really excited about learning in the field and applying material from my public health classes, as well as using my language, Xhosa, to help and treat individuals and communities,” explains Rennell.

Strauber, a sophomore biochemistry major at ASU, will travel to northern India to conduct intensive Hindi language study at the Landour Language School in Mussoorie for the summer, followed by a semester in Jaipur enrolled in the Minnesota Studies in International Development in India program. He will also participate in a volunteer internship and conduct research for an independent project.

“From what I’ve heard, India is a place to be experienced,” says Strauber. “It’s said to be the land of extreme contrasts—stunning poverty and enormous wealth, long-held tradition and fast-paced development, governmental disorganization and economic might. Most visitors either find the country intolerable, or fall in love with it. I hope I’m in the latter category.”