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Tuesday, May 06, 2014 - Scholarship sends student to Morocco to study Arabic

Oakland University student Carly Puzniak recently received a Boren Scholarship, which will fund a study abroad trip to Africa. Boren scholarships provide up to $20,000 for U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are vital to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad programs. Recipients come from all academic backgrounds and study less commonly taught languages.

Puzniak is a senior double majoring in History and English, with a minor in political science. She plans to study Arabic for one year in Morocco.

“I am truly honored to receive the Boren Scholarship,” Puzniak said. “I have always been interested in the region, and I look forward to studying in Morocco. Given the region’s current dynamics, I believe it is imperative for my generation – the future of foreign policy – to bridge cultural divides and build lasting relationships in the region."

Puzniak gained insight into the region through a course she took at OU called “Politics of the Middle East and North Africa” with Dr. Laura Landolt, associate professor of political science.

“A major component of the course analyzes U.S. foreign policy to the region, and Carly used some of her research for the course in her scholarship application essays,” Dr. Landolt said. “Not only is she smart, creative and hard-working, she's also personally committed to fostering positive relations between the U.S. and the region.”

In exchange for the grant, Boren scholars are required to work in the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities for at least one year. Puzniak said she hopes to serve in the U.S. Department of State.

“Boren’s federal service requirement is a win-win,” she said. “After graduate school, I hope to pursue a career as a foreign service officer. This award will open doors and put me one step closer to reaching my goals.”

For more information on the Boren Scholarship, visit the website at borenawards.org/boren_scholarship