This spring, Georgetown University announced its National Security Education Program's (NSEP) 2017-18 David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship recipients. Among them is graduating MASIA student Kimberly Agarth. Kim is finishing her M.A. in Asian Studies with a concentration in International Political Economy and a regional focus on China. During her time at Georgetown, Kim not only focused on Mandarin language training but also interned at the Scowcroft Group performing research and analysis with international business clients. Originally from San Diego, California, Kim earned her Bachelor's of Science in International Relations from Point Loma Nazarene University. The Asian Studies Program conducted a brief interview with Kim to ask about her motivation to apply for the Boren Graduate Fellowship.
1. Why did you apply for a Boren Graduate Fellowship?
I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity to polish my Mandarin speaking abilities and improve my comprehension of primary sources so as to leverage those skills with confidence in a professional capacity. I view the Boren Fellowship as a strategic way to build on these desired skills while immersed in Chinese culture.
2. How do you think the Boren will help you reach your goals before and/or after graduation?
Because of the service requirement, undertaking a Boren Fellowship demonstrates a high level of commitment to U.S. national security. I hope that my time in-country will supplement the deep knowledge gained while at Georgetown University and that my combined experiences are of strategic use to a government agency.
3. What kind of language program are you pursuing during your year in China and why?
I plan to study Mandarin at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The program offers the level of intensity and demands the level of commitment necessary to make great gains in language proficiency while placing me in Beijing at the center of Chinese political thought. In my previous study abroad experience as an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to study at Beijing University. I am excited to return to a familiar city that I love.
4. How do you think MASIA encouraged/inspired/supported you to apply for this award?
I am beyond grateful to the School of Foreign Service for providing the platform and resources to submit a competitive application. I am thankful for Robert Lyons' guidance in navigating various opportunities. I am constantly amazed by the accomplishments of the MASIAns who have come before me and am grateful for their wisdom and encouragement.