Three MASIA Students Win the 2018-2019 Boren Graduate Fellowship

The David L. Boren Fellowship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provides unique funding opportunities for U.S. graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests. The Fellowships support students to study abroad in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. For the 2018-2019 academic year, three M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) students have been awarded this prestigious fellowship.

Jason Bartlett (MASIA'19)

XAs a Boren Fellow, Jason will hone his professional Korean language skills by attending Yonsei University's intensive Korean language program, while also conducting research for his master's thesis at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul. His goal is to better understand the legal and social boundaries impeding North Korean refugee mothers and their children from achieving optimal success in South Korea. He also wishes to expand international literature and discourse in English regarding North Korean human rights abuses and refugee resettlement issues. In addition, Jason will use his time in Korea to organize language exchange sessions with North Korean refugee students attending college in Seoul. Before coming to Georgetown, Jason worked as a translator and interpreter for North Korean refugees, and held internship positions that involve research, outreach, empowerment, education, and geospatial mapping. As someone who focuses on the U.S.-ROK relationship and the North Korean human rights issues, Jason believes that his future experience abroad offered through the Boren Fellowship will best prepare him for a career in international human rights law and U.S. government service. 


XSam has always had an affinity for global geopolitics with a focus on East Asia. He came to Georgetown to enhance his knowledge and understanding of East Asian cultures, socities, and politics, and to polish his Mandarin Chinese language skills. For his Boren Fellowship, Sam will be taking part in a full-year intensive Chinese language study in the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. Sam believes that ICLP's rigorous academic climate will provide him with the perfect setting for rapid language improvement. Through his participation in the ICLP as well as his living experience in Taipei, he hopes to master all aspects of Mandarin Chinese before embarking on a career that involves engagement with China.  

Sonia Su (MASIA'19)

XStudying Mandarin intensively last summer motivated Sonia to embark on further academic and professional pursuits in Taiwan. Sonia is interested in learning more about Taiwan's linguistic differences from those of other Chinese-speaking nations, as well as the consequences of the oft-lamented media environment. She plans to split 12 months between Taipei and Taichung, focusing on intensive Chinese language study and internships with local media outlets. She also wishes to explore the connection between U.S. national security and the dire media landscape within the strategically important island. Through Boren, Sonia believes that she will develop a deeper understanding of U.S.-Taiwan relations amid parochial media environments on both sides. Upon completing Boren, she plans to serve in a public diplomacy role.