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Ushyee Scholarship Essay

Sample Scholarship Essays

If you’re applying for a scholarship, chances are you are going to need to write an essay. Very few scholarship programs are based solely on an application form or transcript. The essay is often the most important part of your application; it gives the scholarship committee a sense of who you are and your dedication to your goals. You’ll want to make sure that your scholarship essay is the best it can possibly be.

Unless specified otherwise, scholarship essays should always use the following formatting:

  • Double spaced
  • Times New Roman font
  • 12 point font
  • One-inch top, bottom, and side margins

Other useful tips to keep in mind include:

  1. Read the instructions thoroughly and make sure you completely understand them before you start writing.
  2. Think about what you are going to write and organize your thoughts into an outline.
  3. Write your essay by elaborating on each point you included in your outline.
  4. Use clear, concise, and simple language throughout your essay.
  5. When you are finished, read the question again and then read your essay to make sure that the essay addresses every point.

For more tips on writing a scholarship essay, check out our Eight Steps Towards a Better Scholarship Essay .

The Book that Made Me a Journalist

Prompt: Describe a book that made a lasting impression on you and your life and why.

It is 6 am on a hot day in July and I’ve already showered and eaten breakfast. I know that my classmates are all sleeping in and enjoying their summer break, but I don’t envy them; I’m excited to start my day interning with a local newspaper doing investigative journalism. I work a typical 8-5 day during my summer vacation and despite the early mornings, nothing has made me happier. Although it wasn't clear to me then, looking back on my high school experiences and everything that led to me to this internship, I believe this path began with a particularly savvy teacher and a little book she gave me to read outside of class.

I was taking a composition class, and we were learning how to write persuasive essays. Up until that point, I had had average grades, but I was always a good writer and my teacher immediately recognized this. The first paper I wrote for the class was about my experience going to an Indian reservation located near my uncle's ranch in southwest Colorado. I wrote of the severe poverty experienced by the people on the reservation, and the lack of access to voting booths during the most recent election. After reading this short story, my teacher approached me and asked about my future plans. No one had ever asked me this, and I wasn't sure how to answer. I said I liked writing and I liked thinking about people who are different from myself. She gave me a book and told me that if I had time to read it, she thought it would be something I would enjoy. I was actually quite surprised that a high school teacher was giving me a book titled Lies My Teacher Told Me. It had never occurred to me that teachers would lie to students. The title intrigued me so much that on Friday night I found myself staying up almost all night reading, instead of going out with friends.

In short, the book discusses several instances in which typical American history classes do not tell the whole story. For example, the author addresses the way that American history classes do not usually address about the Vietnam War, even though it happened only a short time ago. This made me realize that we hadn't discussed the Vietnam War in my own history class! The book taught me that, like my story of the Indian reservation, there are always more stories beyond what we see on the surface and what we’re taught in school. I was inspired to continue to tell these stories and to make that my career.

For my next article for the class, I wrote about the practice of my own high school suspending students, sometimes indefinitely, for seemingly minor offenses such as tardiness and smoking. I found that the number of suspensions had increased by 200% at my school in just three years, and also discovered that students who are suspended after only one offense often drop out and some later end up in prison. The article caused quite a stir. The administration of my school dismissed it, but it caught the attention of my local newspaper. A local journalist worked with me to publish an updated and more thoroughly researched version of my article in the local newspaper. The article forced the school board to revisit their “zero tolerance” policy as well as reinstate some indefinitely suspended students.I won no favors with the administration and it was a difficult time for me, but it was also thrilling to see how one article can have such a direct effect on people’s lives. It reaffirmed my commitment to a career in journalism.

This is why I’m applying for this scholarship. Your organization has been providing young aspiring journalists with funds to further their skills and work to uncover the untold stories in our communities that need to be reported. I share your organization’s vision of working towards a more just and equitable world by uncovering stories of abuse of power. I have already demonstrated this commitment through my writing in high school and I look forward to pursuing a BA in this field at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. With your help, I will hone my natural instincts and inherent writing skills. I will become a better and more persuasive writer and I will learn the ethics of professional journalism.

I sincerely appreciate the committee’s time in evaluating my application and giving me the opportunity to tell my story. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

Do:Follow the prompt and other instructions exactly. You might write a great essay but it may get your application rejected if you don’t follow the word count guidelines or other formatting requirements.
DON'T:Open your essay with a quote. This is a well-worn strategy that is mostly used ineffectively. Instead of using someone else’s words, use your own.
DON'T:Use perfunctory sentences such as, “In this essay, I will…”
DO:Be clear and concise. Make sure each paragraph discusses only one central thought or argument.
DON'T:Use words from a thesaurus that are new to you. You may end up using the word incorrectly and that will make your writing awkward. Keep it simple and straightforward. The point of the essay is to tell your story, not to demonstrate how many words you know.

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Planners and Searchers

Prompt: In 600 words or less, please tell us about yourself and why you are applying for this scholarship. Please be clear about how this scholarship will help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Being African, I recognize Africa’s need for home- grown talent in the form of “planners” (assistants with possible solutions) and “searchers” (those with desperate need) working towards international development. I represent both. Coming from Zimbabwe my greatest challenge is in helping to improve the livelihoods of developing nations through sustainable development and good governance principles. The need for policy-makers capable of employing cross-jurisdictional, and cross- disciplinary strategies to solve complex challenges cannot be under-emphasized; hence my application to this scholarship program.

After graduating from Africa University with an Honors degree in Sociology and Psychology, I am now seeking scholarship support to study in the United States at the Master’s level. My interest in democracy, elections, constitutionalism and development stems from my lasting interest in public policy issues. Accordingly, my current research interests in democracy and ethnic diversity require a deeper understanding of legal processes of constitutionalism and governance. As a Master’s student in the US, I intend to write articles on these subjects from the perspective of someone born, raised, and educated in Africa. I will bring a unique and much-needed perspective to my graduate program in the United States, and I will take the technical and theoretical knowledge from my graduate program back with me to Africa to further my career goals as a practitioner of good governance and community development.

To augment my theoretical understanding of governance and democratic practices, I worked with the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) as a Programs Assistant in the Monitoring and Observation department. This not only enhanced my project management skills, but also developed my skills in research and producing communication materials. ZESN is Zimbabwe’s biggest election observation organization, and I had the responsibility of monitoring the political environment and producing monthly publications on human rights issues and electoral processes. These publications were disseminated to various civil society organizations, donors and other stakeholders. Now I intend to develop my career in order to enhance Africa’s capacity to advocate, write and vote for representative constitutions.

I also participated in a fellowship program at Africa University, where I gained greater insight into social development by teaching courses on entrepreneurship, free market economics, and development in needy communities. I worked with women in rural areas of Zimbabwe to setup income-generating projects such as the jatropha soap-making project. Managing such a project gave me great insight into how many simple initiatives can transform lives.

Your organization has a history of awarding scholarships to promising young students from the developing world in order to bring knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. I have already done some of this work but I want to continue, and with your assistance, I can. The multidisciplinary focus of the development programs I am applying to in the US will provide me with the necessary skills to creatively address the economic and social development challenges and develop sound public policies for Third World countries. I thank you for your time and consideration for this prestigious award.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Research the organization and make sure you understand their mission and values and incorporate them into your essay.
DO:Focus on your strengths and turn in any problems or weaknesses into a success story.
DO:Use actual, detailed examples from your own life to backup your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarship.
DO:Proofread several times before finally submitting your essay.
DON'T:Rehash what is already stated on your resume. Choose additional, unique stories to tell sell yourself to the scholarship committee.
DON'T:Simply state that you need the money. Even if you have severe financial need, it won’t help to simply ask for the money and it may come off as tacky.

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Saving the Manatees

Prompt: Please give the committee an idea of who you are and why you are the perfect candidate for the scholarship.

It is a cliché to say that I’ve always known what I want to do with my life, but in my case it happens to be true. When I first visited Sea World as a young child, I fell in love with marine animals in general. Specifically, I felt drawn to manatees. I was compelled by their placid and friendly nature. I knew then and there that I wanted to dedicate my life to protecting these beautiful creatures.

Since that day in Orlando, I have spent much of my spare time learning everything there is to know about manatees. As a junior high and high school student, I attempted to read scholarly articles on manatees from scientific journals. I annoyed my friends and family with scientific facts about manatees-- such as that they are close relatives of elephants--at the dinner table. I watched documentaries, and even mapped their migration pattern on a wall map my sister gave me for my birthday.

When I was chosen from hundreds of applicants to take part in a summer internship with Sea World, I fell even more in love with these gentle giants. I also learned a very important and valuable lesson: prior to this internship, I had imagined becoming a marine biologist, working directly with the animals in their care both in captivity and in the wild. However, during the internship, I discovered that this is not where my strengths lie. Unfortunately, I am not a strong student in science or math, which are required skills to become a marine biologist. Although this was a disheartening realization, I found that I possess other strengths can still be of great value to manatees and other endangered marine mammals: my skills as a public relations manager and communicator. During the internship, I helped write new lessons and presentations for elementary school groups visiting the park and developed a series of fun activities for children to help them learn more about manatees as well as conservation of endangered species in general. I also worked directly with the park’s conservation and communication director, and helped develop a new local outreach program designed to educate Floridians on how to avoid hitting a manatee when boating. My supervisor recommended me to the Save the Manatee Foundation so in addition to my full-time internship at Sea World, I interned with the Save the Manatee Foundation part-time. It was there that I witnessed the manatee rescue and conservation effort first hand, and worked directly with the marine biologists in developing fund-raising and awareness-raising campaigns. I found that the foundation’s social media presence was lacking, and, using skills I learned from Sea World, I helped them raise over $5,000 through a Twitter challenge, which we linked to the various social media outlets of the World Wildlife Federation.

While I know that your organization typically awards scholarships to students planning to major in disciplines directly related to conservation such as environmental studies or zoology, I feel that the public relations side of conservation is just as important as the actual work done on the ground. Whether it is reducing one’s carbon footprint, or saving the manatees, these are efforts that, in order to be successful, must involve the larger public. In fact, the relative success of the environmental movement today is largely due to a massive global public relations campaign that turned environmentalism from something scientific and obscure into something that is both fashionable and accessible to just about anyone. However, that success is being challenged more than ever before--especially here in the US, where an equally strong anti-environmental public relations campaign has taken hold. Therefore, conservationists need to start getting more creative.

I want to be a part of this renewed effort and use my natural abilities as a communicator to push back against the rather formidable forces behind the anti-environmentalist movement. I sincerely hope you will consider supporting this non-traditional avenue towards global sustainability and conservation. I have already been accepted to one of the most prestigious communications undergraduate programs in the country and I plan to minor in environmental studies. In addition, I maintain a relationship with my former supervisors at Save the Manatee and Sea World, who will be invaluable resources for finding employment upon graduation. I thank the committee for thinking outside the box in considering my application.

Scholarship Essay Do's and Don'ts

DO:Tell a story. Discuss your personal history and why those experiences have led you to apply for these scholarships.
DO:Write an outline. If you’ve already started writing or have a first draft, make an outline based on what you’ve written so far. This will help you see whether your paragraphs flow and connect with one another.
DON'T:Write a generic essay for every application. Adapt your personal statement for each individual scholarship application.
DO:Run spellcheck and grammar check on your computer but also do your own personal check. Spellcheck isn’t perfect and you shouldn't rely on technology to make your essay perfect.

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Sample Essays

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—UMBC in Mexico, Fall 2010—

Last August 2010 I had the pleasure of accompanying a group of UMBC students to Mexico. Students were about to spend four months studying Spanish at CEPE  (Centro de Español Para Extranjeros ) at the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México ).  When I welcomed the students at the airport in Mexico I saw on their faces a mixture of expectation, fear, and tiredness after a long flight.

The following days were full of activities from orientation to the school, placement tests, registration of classes and purchasing books to short excursions around the Zocalo, visits to Museo Antropologico, the city, and first food tasting before moving in with Mexican host families or roommates. Students had the opportunity to experience the greatest celebration of the year and century that took place on September 16 as Mexico celebrated the bicentennial of its independence.

Here is a picture of one of the best excursions we did to Xochimilco, a beautiful town that is better known for its extended series of canals and where some telenovelas have been filmed.

Study abroad is not just learning a new language but also experiencing the culture and challenging yourself to try other ways of being, doing, thinking, and expressing. Mexico is a very big country full of multiculturality, history, art and beautiful hidden places waiting to be discovered by all of us. Are you ready to experience it?  Read what our students share about their experiences:


David Anguish
I studied abroad in Mexico last semester.  Living in Mexico City made me realize that I knew hardly any Spanish.  But instead of spending my time missing my friends back home even more, I dedicated myself to learning the language as quickly as I could.  After four months I’m back home.  I don’t worry about Spanish clases anymore because I’m finally unafraid to speak.

Many professors have told me that the only way to learn a new language is to study abroad in a country in which that language is spoken.  It’s not true.  The truth is that spending time abroad will help you … but that alone is insufficient.  You have to practice what you learn in class, go to bars, make friends with natives and maybe even find a boyfriend or girlfriend (there is no better way to quickly learn a new language).  If you’re thinking about studying abroad—do it.  You’ll regret missing the oppportunity.

Ashley Pleasant—
I grew weary with the anticipation of another celebration in Mexico.  After the bicentennial of independence in September and the centennial of the Revolution in October, my heart finally began to settle down from the nightly shock of fireworks, concerts and random gunshots. But, the celebration that touched my heart was the very next month, November 1st and 2nd, El Dia de Muertos.  “It’s when the dead come alive. It’s an expression of departing souls in offerings and bursts of color,” my landlady told me before she advised me to brace myself, as she pulled out a sugary piece of bread crossed with bones from behind her back.  I wasn’t scared.  Of all the things I saw in Mexico the least frightful of them would have been souls following flower tracks to the homes of their loved ones. I embraced the occasion.  I went to Plaza Hidalgo in Coyoacan to see the massive offerings swelling with turquoise, orange, hot pink, beans, bread, fruit, and happiness. It made sense; why not celebrate life? And what didn’t make sense the other spectators gladly explained: there were two days for the holiday, the first for children, the second for adults, and the food on the offerings would help the dead complete their journey to the underworld. But, how far could a soul travel to an offering? That night I decided to test the distance.  I placed an old candle and a single cempasúchitl, half wilted from earlier that day, on the desk in my room, hoping the soul of my late uncle in Baltimore would find its way to Mexico. Even if he did not come, when I lit the candle I found peace with his death.

Sarah Carney
After spending close to four months in Mexico, I have become enchanted by the country. At first, I had simply decided to take advantage of UMBC’s study abroad program in Mexico City at UNAM to focus entirely on improving my speaking abilities, but the experience there gave me so much more. The classes offered were brimming with information about the development of Mexico’s spectacular, intricate history and culture, and being able to study a topic in the classroom and then venture out and study it further in one of the fantastic museums made me appreciate so much the amazing resources Mexico City had to offer. The language classes at UNAM were geared toward teaching the nuances of the Mexican Spanish and provided me with a much deeper understanding of the language than I feel I could have ever gained in a setting in the United States, while the art and literature courses revealed to me what great contributions Mexico has made to the world of photography, sculpture, literature and poetry.

And there is absolutely no greater feeling in the world, than sitting on top of a 2000 year-old pyramid at Teotihuacán, feeling like queen of the world . . .

—Dr. Elisabeth Arevalo-Guerrero, Visiting Professor of Spanish, MLLI

—From Our Alumni—

Recent MLLI graduate Danielle Viens-Payne (B.A., December 2010) writes:

I am taking a semester off before starting my graduate studies, and am currently working with U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education (USHYEE) right here in Baltimore.  What we do is focus on the high school to college continuum in regards to Hispanic youth, and introduce the idea of entrepreneurship to them.  Recently, USHYEE signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Baltimore County Public Schools to form three USHYEE student chapters in three local Baltimore County public high schools: Lansdowne, Woodlawn, and Owings Mills.  I, along with two other interns, work directly with these marginalized Hispanic high school students in a voluntary after-school program at these schools.  We stress what we like to refer to as H.C.L. or, High School, College, and Leadership.  During our after-school meetings twice a month, we discuss three main topics, along with many other sub-topics: the importance of finishing high school, how to do so; the importance of going to college, how to begin such a process and how to succeed; and we build leadership skills in the process.  The after-school meetings are our main method of reaching out to the students, but we also offer outside trips, activities, events, and more, such as the ACHIEVE Forums held at JHU and Towson, trips to Baltimore's City Hall for public hearings, trips to museums, fundraising events, and more. We encourage our students to apply to and attend the Hispanic Youth Symposium, as well.

Baltimore County has never had a program like this in the school system, and we are already seeing fantastic results in the short few months we have been involved.  We have about 75 students total participating in the student chapters, and the numbers are growing.  So many students have already thanked us profusely for helping them with their futures, and have told us that since joining USHYEE their grades have gone up, their attendance has gone up, and they no longer feel the need or desire to drop out of school or not move on to college.  Comments like these constantly remind us that we are not only interns for an organization that runs an after-school program for Hispanic youth, but we are also the mentors for these amazing students.  What a fantastic responsibility!

As a pilot program that is making history every day and growing rapidly, we are desperately in need of volunteers to assist us with many activities, events, trips, and more. Anyone who is interested in volunteering can reach me by e-mail or by phone at (888) 800-9779, press 1 for interns, ext. 110. Thank you!

Knitting is a common sight in Nepal, a small country that sits between India and China, and which contains the world's highest peak, Mount Everest. When one walks through the small alleys or gullies so common to the cities of Kathmandu Valley, there are numerous women sitting about their front steps, chatting and knitting. They're often making hats to help support themselves, and these hats are in turn collected by businessmen who ship them overseas, where there is a larger market. That these hats should end up in the hands of UMBC's German Club might seem unlikely, but that's exactly what happened this past February, when the club held a hat fundraiser—a gamble that grew from the personal connection of one student to Nepal, and the club's enthusiasm for supporting local, handicraft industries while raising money for German Club events. As it turned out, the gamble was a success.

The fundraiser was held in the Breezeway from February 28th to March 3rd, and every hat sold had been handmade in Nepal in the manner already described. Female locals made the hats from wool before their products were sent to a warehouse near Bhaktapur, where other workers added fleece linings. They came in all designs imaginable, from standard caps, to Tibetan styles, to hats that looked like strawberries or cat ears, and indeed, many of the more imaginative hats were the first to sell out at prices ranging from ten to sixteen dollars. The sale was very much a success, and the German Club was proud to tell customers that the hats were helping Nepali women support their families in a country where money earned through these means makes a real difference. As a further contribution to Nepal, the club is also sending part of their earnings to poor students in Nepal.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the fundraiser possible, and to those who bought hats in support of the German Club. Another sale is already in the works for the coming, Fall semester, and the club is planning to continue donating money to Nepali students as a result. In the meantime, look forward to the cultural events that the fundraiser will promote, and enjoy some of the best quality hats that you'll ever find. —Janessa Mulepati.

. . . und noch einige Neuigkeiten—

Students in German 319 (German translation) are helping the Maryland Historical Society prepare exhibits of Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German-language newspaper published between 1841 and 1918 in Baltimore. The newspaper was founded by German immigrant Frederick Raine and now comprises a collection whose digitization is supported by the Hilgenberg family foundation. Each student is translating the front page of one edition of the newspaper, which includes advertisements as well as news about domestic and international events. The class project is designed to deliver a complete translation of selected front pages from the period between April and September 1914, just prior to and during the outbreak of World War 1. The Maryland Historical Society hopes to provide web-based access to Der Deutsche Correspondent as a part of implementing a Maryland German Heritage program with a network of related collections and people interested in German-American heritage.

Brittany Grasser, class of 2009, has been accepted into the German Ph.D. program at the University of Connecticut.

The German Area is again soliciting applications for the Knapple and Plogman Scholarships.  The deadline for applications is April 28.

AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) /Maryland/VA/DC organized a  Summit Conference on the state of German instruction in the U.S. in February. More than a hundred educators attended along with representatives from the German-speaking embassies,  German cultural organizations, and industry and business.  Susanne Sutton was intimately involved in the organization of this event.  Brigitte May will be responsible for organizing the follow-up conference in September.

Susanne Sutton, Xenia Wolff and Brigitte May will all three present at the NECTFL (Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) conference in Baltimore, April 1 to April 4, 2011.

German Club's Techno Night a Big Success —The German Club hosted a Techno Night for the campus community on Friday, April 1. Techno is popular dance music in Germany and it turned out to be popular among UMBC students as well. During the course of the event, between 10 PM and 1 AM, about 300 people came to the Commons Game Room, enjoyed food and drink, and music provided by DJ Sparks. The event was made possible through SGA funds and organized by club officers Antoinette Seesz, Kyle Childress and Elizabeth Kohl.

Study Abroad in Montpellier, France . . .

A UMBC group consisting of Mark Chaffer, Jason Hall, Amy Kaper, Ryan Kotowski, Simon Maxwell,  Gerard Miller, Trisha Penn, Katherine Scheidegger-Hall, Tobi Thompson, and Thomas Field of the MLLI Department spent three weeks in Montpellier, France, during winter session, studying French, living with families, and traveling in the area.  Everyone seems to have felt that their proficiency in the language increased dramatically during this period. They also acquired new perspectives on public transportation, night life, food, Irish pubs, and "sales" (the regulated period of official discounting in all the stores of the city). Some were surprised to see that a typical French supermarket often has two full aisles of yoghurts and puddings, and that among the exotic American products for sale, one might find Marshmallow Fluff.  Ask any of the participants about their experiences with their families: most were memorable, and some were memorably strange.

Montpellier is a few minutes from the Mediterranean, but the group's stay there began with some very cold and damp weather, a lot like Baltimore, to our great disappointment -- Montpellier just had the coldest year on record. Fortunately, after about eight days there was a warm, sunny period, when people could easily sit outside at cafés and when one member of the group could rent a bicycle and ride to the beach. Short trips to Avignon, Nîmes, and the port of Sète were part of the school's offerings, and students also went on their own to places like Paris, Lyon, the Alps, and Perpignan (the capital of French Catalonia).

If you are interested, consider joining our next group to Montpellier, planned for January 2013. For more information, contact Dr. Thomas Field.

. . . and a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Russia

ooking back, my study abroad application process has been dictated more by the exigencies of the moment than by grandiose desires to travel to faraway lands.  I began in the Fall of my sophomore year scheming to find a way to go to Russia, the logical choice for a Russian major wanting to go to graduate school for Soviet history.  Study abroad programs in Russia are expensive, but early on I began talking to Dr. Brian Souders in the study abroad office to find alternative programs or ways of funding a semester abroad.  He introduced me to theBoren Scholarship, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State for undergraduate students wishing to study abroad in a country where the people speak a language deemed critical to national security and is less-commonly taught in American universities.  The application process is fairly involved, but personal statements are the crux of the application: applicants have to explain, in 12,000 characters, how their proposed study abroad program is essential to acquiring the language-skills necessary to national security, and why the applicant is particularly qualified to receive the scholarship. 

I remember when Dr. Souders returned my first drafts of Boren Scholarship essays last year and told me to just start over: the level of competition warranted a much more sophisticated and thorough argument for why I deserve such a scholarship.  On the surface it seemed discouraging, but after submitting multiple drafts I refined my motivations for studying abroad in Russia.

For the Boren Scholarship, applicants must declare a preferred and alternate study abroad program and explain why each is necessary to achieving their academic and professional goals.  I named Middlebury College School in Russia as my preferred program because it emphasizes independence in the host country in order to most effectively foster language acquisition.  I was selected as an alternate for the Boren Scholarship during the 2010 selection cycle.  Although I didn’t receive funding, my advisors reminded me that it was still an honor to be chosen as an alternate in only my second year of Russian. After going through the application process and exploring all of the opportunities within the federal government that acquiring advanced proficiency could provide, I knew that applying for the Boren Scholarship was something that I needed to do again.  I worked over the next months to improve my personal essays, continue to communicate with my professors about my study abroad plans, and absorb as much Russian as I could. 

Throughout the Boren Scholarship application process, there was frequent reference to the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program, also administered by the State Department.  I didn’t seriously consider the CLS until after I first applied for the Boren Scholarship.  Since I already had experience in compiling a competitive application, I again felt that I had nothing to lose by applying for another fantastic opportunity.  The Critical Language Scholarship is a fully-funded grant for undergraduate and graduate students to study a critical language at an intensive language institute over the summer.  So last October, I started the application process over again to study this summer (preceding my proposed full-year program which would begin in the Fall).  With the help of my advisors and the experience of applying for the Boren Scholarship the previous year, I was able to put together a successful submission for the CLS selection committee.  This June I will be going to Kazan', Russia, to study a year’s worth of college-level language material in eight weeks with the State Department!  Hopefully, after reapplying for the Boren Scholarship, I will be able to return to Russia in the fall at Middlebury College Schools in Yaroslavl', and then study in the Spring at Middlebury College’s site in Moscow.  With patience, introspection, and the invaluable guidance of faculty mentors, I finally made some lemonade.

—Abigail Bratcher (Honors College, double major: Russian and History, minor: Political Science)

— Korean Film Series: Family Values in Korea —

— Korean Culture Workshop —

For more information, contact Dr. Contact Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon.

Honors Presentations

Please join us on Monday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. in UC 310 to hear this year's presentations by the graduating students in our Honors Program:

Sarah Hovde will be talking about the things that she has discovered in her exploration of 1960s political activism, both the ways in which language was used for protest and the particular kinds of political language that were characteristic of linguists at the time. Was the use of obscenities in scholarly papers a form of activism?

Sandra Lamplugh will present her work on expressive character names in literature, the ways in which a name can be devised so that it communicates something about the character to whom it is attached and the problem that such names pose for translation. How do people translate the names in Harry Potter, for example?

The Tournées Film Festival — a series of five contemporary French films — returned to UMBC during spring semester. The festival took place in the University Center, featuring one film a week from February 17 to March 15, 2011.

The film festival was made possible this year thanks to the funding and support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Ministry of Culture (CNC), the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics and Intercultural Communication, the Honors College, the Office of Student Life’s Mosaic: Culture and Diversity Center, the Intercultural Living Exchange, and the French Society. All the films were free to the public.

The Tournées festival featured five critically acclaimed films chosen to represent the diversity of new French cinema in terms of cultural themes, styles, and genres. The festival opened with Two Days in Paris (Delpy, 2007), a comedy with an intercultural twist and continued with The Secret of the Grain (Kechiche, 2007),a drama centered on a North African family living in the Southern French town of Sète. The festival included also the last film of legendary New Wave auteur Eric Rohmer The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Rohmer, 2006) and the celebrated biopic portraying French icon Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose (Dahan, 2007). The last film, Paris (Klapisch, 2008), focused on the personal and intercultural complexities contained within one of the world’s greatest metropolises.

The screenings, attended by a mix of Francophiles, students and professors, were introduced by MLLI faculty members, including Dr. Thomas Field, Dr. Zakaria Fatih, Dr. Judith Schneider, Dr. Nicoleta Bazgan, and Dr. Denis Provencher. —Dr. Nicoleta Bazgan.

Dr. Denis Provencher (MLLI) introduces Paris (Klapisch, 2008), the last screening of the film festival.

The Modern Languages Letter is edited by Dr. Steven Young. 
The deadline for our Fall semester 2011 issue is Friday, October 21, 2011.
MLLI students and alumni are encouraged to submit items.