UNH Student Selected for Highly Competitive Boren National Security Scholarship
WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- Harrison R. Kaufman of Rockaway, N.J., has enough credits to be a senior at the University of New Haven. But the biochemistry and national security double major isn't graduating this year. He isn't even expected to graduate next year. He hopes to graduate in 2018.
That's not because he's had academic problems. Just the opposite, in fact. Kaufman, who has a minor in Arabic, was recently named one of only 105 undergraduates nationwide to be selected for a prestigious, highly competitive David L. Boren Scholarship from the Institute of International Education on behalf of the National Security Education Program (NSEP).
The scholarships are named for former U.S. Senator David Boren, the president of the University of Oklahoma and principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name.
A second UNH student, Aemin Becker of Kinnelon, N.J., who is majoring in political science, national security, and global studies with minors in Russian and sociology, has been named an alternate for the scholarship. If another Boren scholar declines the offer, Becker will be offered a scholarship.
The scholarship will permit Kaufman to study Urdu, a language primarily spoke in Pakistan and 11 provinces in Northern India, at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Lucknow, India.
"I decided to learn Urdu because it is spoken in two countries that are of national security concern to the United States," he said. "It also uses the same letters and some of the same vocabulary as Arabic, which I have been learning for two years. The semester in India will strengthen my Arabic while I am learning a new language in a new region of the world."
Kaufman, who has never been to Asia, will return to UNH next spring to finish his degree. He hopes to eventually earn a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies.
"The Boren scholarship is a true mark of distinction," said Lourdes Alvarez, dean of the UNH College of Arts and Sciences. "Not only am I so very proud of Harrison, but I am proud of the university and the wonderful faculty who are opening opportunities for dedicated and talented students like him."
Interestingly enough, Matthew Schmidt, an assistant professor of political science who mentored Kaufman and Becker through the scholarship process, was a Boren winner in 2000.
Boren scholars and fellows will live in 41 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East next year and will study 36 languages. This year, 820 undergraduate students applied for the Boren scholarships, and 350 graduate students applied for the 105 graduate Boren fellowships.
Since 1994, more than 5,500 students have received Boren Awards. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations.
"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," Boren said. "As we seek to lead through partnerships, the understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential."
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920, the university enrolls approximately 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates.