Emma Pierce-Schell ’12, has been selected for a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship that will enable her to travel to South Korea this summer. The Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) for Intensive Summer Institutes was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages.
Schell will spend seven to 10 weeks becoming immersed in South Korean culture and studying Korean in an intensive language institute. CLS program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
The competitive, merit-based program selected only 575 undergraduate and graduate students from nearly 5,300 applicants. This year’s scholarship recipients will study Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Persian, Russian and Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani) languages.
“I first became interested in learning Korean through some friends of mine whose parents were immigrants. I was able to experience bits and pieces of Korean culture and it really intrigued me to learn more, and spurred a desire to study Asia,” says Schell, who also takes courses in Japanese and Chinese. “I’m extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity.”
Schell is developing an individual major “Asian Media Studies,” which incorporates women’s studies, Asian studies, and media and society. She is planning to minor in anthropology. She is the vice president of the Asian Student Union and an intern at Intercultural Affairs.
For more information about the CLS Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit: www.clscholarship.org and http://exchanges.state.gov.
Pierce-Schell’12 is pictured above with her two mentors Professor of Religious Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures Lowell Bloss and Assistant Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa.