(Posted August 3, 2015)

Marlene Matula, a junior from Salix, Pa.
Marlene Matula, a junior from Salix, Pa.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Marlene Matula, a junior at Juniata College, of Salix, Pa., studying international political economy, has received a David A. Boren Scholarship to fund a semester studying abroad in spring 2016 at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.

Matula is the granddaughter of Daniel and Marie Matula, also of Salix.

She is a 2013 graduate of Forest Hills High School.

"During the application process I was very thankful for the professors who were willing to help me edit and revised my essays to make sure I was applying with my best foot forward," Matula says.

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Matula will receive $10,000 to study for one semester at the Chinese university.

Matula has had significant international experience already as a sophomore. In summer 2014, she participated in Juniata's three-week course in The Gambia, a country in western Africa. This summer, she will participate in a three-week Juniata course called China Today, which covers the history and culture of China and visits major cities and cultural centers throughout the country. After the course Matula will remain in Shanghai to participate in an internship.

Originally Matula intended to study abroad in Shanghai for the entire 2015-2016 academic year. However, she also accepted an internship for fall semester 2015 as an intern at the U.S. Department of State. She received the internship through an educational program sponsored by The Washington Center.

She remains active on campus as a member of the Chinese Club and the Knitting Club. She also works as an online journalist for the college's opinion team.

Boren Scholarships are designed to reward motivated individuals who are interested in working within the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholarship recipients commit to working in the federal government for a minimum of one year after graduation.

Boren Scholarships are part of the National Security Education Program, which was enacted in 1991 by the National Security Education Act. Resources from the act provide undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and institutional grants. It is guided by a mission that seeks to lead in development of the national capacity to educate U.S. citizens, understand foreign cultures and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness and enhance international cooperation and security.

David L.Boren, now president of the University of Oklahoma, was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program. Boren served as a U.S. Senator from Oklahoma from 1979 to 1994 and was the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He served as governor of Oklahoma from 1974 through 1978.

This year, the Institute of International Education received 750 applications from undergraduate students for the Boren Scholarship and 171 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 40 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Since 1994, over 5,400 students have received Boren Awards.

"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 Boren. "As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential."

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.