Kansas State University student receives Boren Scholarship to study Russian in Kyrgyzstan
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University student Joel Blankenship, sophomore in political science, history and international studies, Valley Center, has been awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship for 2015-2016.
The National Security Education Program sponsors the David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships. Boren awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.
Applications from 750 undergraduate students were received for the Boren Scholarship, with 171 scholarships awarded. Blankenship has been awarded a $19,300 scholarship to travel to Kyrgyzstan to study Russian.
"Kyrgyzstan is going to be an adventure," Blankenship said. "I'll be participating in a home-stay for the entirety of my trip to be fully immersed in the Russian language as well as the Kyrgyz culture. In my second semester there, I hope to undertake an internship with a nongovernmental organization such as the United Nations Development Agency or conduct research for my Honors Project."
Blankenship is a cadet in the Army ROTC program and a member of the University Honors Program. He also is a founding father and philanthropy officer of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, secretary of the university's College Republicans, delegate on the university's Model UN team, member of Silver Key Sophomore Honorary and an intern in the university's Student Senate. In addition, Blankenship served in the U.S. Army Reserve from April 2013 to October 2014. This summer he will be cycling 4,210 miles across the U.S. through the Ability Experience's Journey of Hope to serve people with disabilities. He wants to train for a full Iron Man Triathlon while abroad.
After completing his undergraduate degree, he will be commissioned as an officer in the Army. He would like to one day pursue a master's in security studies and a doctorate in war studies or history.
"I'd really like to thank my Army ROTC cadre; Jim Hohenbary, director of the Office of National Competitive Scholarships at K-State; and select professors for working with me on completion of the scholarship," Blankenship said. "It's a tremendous honor to have been selected."
Blankenship's previous awards include the Pi Kappa Phi International Scholars Award, Goss Discovery Scholarship, Kansas State University Leadership Scholarship, a three-year Federal Army ROTC Scholarship, Sgt. Sean Patrick Riggins Scholarship, two Model UN Best Position Papers, National Sojourners Award, Association of the United States Army Cadet of the Semester, American Legion Military Proficiency Award, and he was on the commandant's list for the Army's Transportation Management Coordinator Course.
To learn more about competing for future Boren Awards or other scholarships while a student at Kansas State University, contact Hohenbary at firstname.lastname@example.org.