Senior's Scholarship Funds Study in West Bank

Senior's Scholarship Funds Study in West Bank

Jordann Sullivan, a senior studying political science and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Kentucky, has been awarded a National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship.

Sullivan, the daughter of David and Geri Sullivan of Nicholasville, Ky., will receive a $20,000 award that will cover her expenses as she spends a year studying Arabic at Birzeit University in Palestine's West Bank. 

“Jordann Sullivan is a wonderful student, who is well on her way to becoming a top-notch authority on Arabic culture in the Middle East," said David Bettez, director of the UK Office of International Affairs. "We're excited that NSEP has recognized her achievements in language and cultural studies with this award, which we believe will help her become a valuable asset to our nation as a Middle East specialist."

The scholarship is a great fit for the UK senior, who has had a lifelong interest in politics, government and Middle Eastern culture. Likewise her own heritage played an important role in molding her interest. "Growing up in a Lebanese family greatly influenced my interest in the Middle East and the Arabic language," said Sullivan. "I also believe that it is important for Americans to have a comprehensive understanding of the Middle East and all of its complexities."

Drawn to UK by its Arabic program, Sullivan has taken advantage of several language and cultural programs and opportunities provided through the university. "During fall of 2007, I studied at American University in Cairo. As my first experience with the Middle East, it was overwhelming, but the experience was truly unforgettable," said the senior, who also volunteered to teach English while in Egypt. "It gave me the experience I needed to pursue the NSEP scholarship."

Sullivan, who served as secretary of UK's Arabic Club, has also earned a critical language scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, which will send her to study in Oman this summer.

The NSEP Scholar has also been a member of UK College Democrats and did a political science research internship at the university. A 2005 graduate of Lexington Catholic High School, Sullivan also likes to find time for painting, horseback riding and obviously travel.

The NSEP scholarship will be a great starting point for Sullivan, who already hopes to pursue a career in the federal government that will utilize her expertise in the Middle East after finishing her studies.

NSEP was established by the National Security Education Act of 1991, authored by Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma. The scholarship was designed to provide undergraduates with the resources and encouragement needed to acquire skills and experiences in countries and areas of the world deemed critical to national security. A broad definition of national security applies here, recognizing that the scope of national security has expanded to include not only the traditional concerns of protecting and promoting American well-being, but also the challenges of global society, including: sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness. In return for her year of study abroad, Sullivan will work for the federal government for a year in a position that carries national security responsibilities.

From the University of Kentuky News

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