Nathaniel Shils ’13 has been awarded the Critical Languages Scholarship to study Russian in Ufa in the Republic of Bashkortostan of Russia. One of the most competitive scholarship competitions in the United States, the scholarship, granted through the Intensive Summer Institutes program, seeks to help students develop critical listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.
While abroad in Ufa, Shils will study at the Bashkir State Pedagogical University. While there he will receive more than 20 hours of classroom instruction, with courses on grammar and pronunciation, as well as Russian literature and mass media. He will also complete an essay project under the guidance of an instructor, and participate in cultural and community activities in and around Ufa.
Shils, a political science and critical social studies double major with a minor in international relations, was initially drawn to Russian studies because of its natural resources.
“I was attracted to Russian studies because I had a longstanding interest in the politics of natural resource distribution, or energy politics if you will, and was aware of the country’s vast supplies of oil, natural gas, and aggressive insertion of them into the world energy markets,” says Shils. “Following graduation, I plan to go to graduate school for political science, but do not know where yet. Afterwards, I want to pursue a professorship in the same field. Whether or not Russian is part of that is something I hope this summer will help me figure out.”
Shils studied abroad in Maastricht, Germany in fall of 2010 and is a member of Chimera Society. He is also a member of the Hobart rowing team and was named Liberty All-Academic during the 2010-2011 season. During his first year, he was a member of the novice eight that earned a victory at the Liberty League Championships and helped the Statesmen capture their fifth consecutive league championship title.
Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes is a program of the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Councils for International Education. The Critical Language Scholarships Program was launched in 2006.
For further information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit http://www.clscholarship.org and http://exchanges.state.gov.