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Villanova Student Jerisa Upton Awarded David L. Boren Scholarship

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Boren Scholars are sponsored by the National Security Education Program

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Jerisa Upton ’14 A&S, of Belleair Beach, Fla., has been named a 2012-2013 Boren Scholar to study abroad in China through the Council on International Educational Exchange’s (CIEE) Advanced Chinese Studies Program at Peking University, located in Beijing. Upton is the second Villanova University student to receive a Boren Award.

Sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are a federal initiative designed to build a broad and qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. The NSEP was established by the National Security Education Act of 1991, which created resources to provide undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and institutional grants, among other initiatives.

"Jerisa has demonstrated her commitment to intensive language study and understanding the Chinese culture, its politics and beliefs through full immersion," said Jane Morris, Director of the University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. "She is devoted to a lifelong career in fostering strong Sino-American Relations."

A Presidential Scholar and Critical Language Scholar, Upton is pursuing dual bachelor’s degrees in Global Interdisciplinary Studies and Honors as well as a minor in Chinese Studies. She began her study of Chinese independently in seventh grade and tested into Advanced Chinese as a freshman at Villanova. Upon graduation from Villanova, Upton plans to return to Peking University to pursue a master’s degree in International Affairs. Her goal is to secure a government position as a diplomat or political analyst.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the United States. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least one year. More than 4,700 students have received Boren Awards since 1994.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.