Miles Atkinson of Mount Pleasant, a rising senior at Clemson University, received two prestigious scholarships related to his study of the Russian language.
Atkinson, an economics major, was selected to receive a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to travel to Russia this summer. He is among 575 students nationwide who were chosen to study such languages as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and Persian, among others.
Atkinson will spend up to 10 weeks in an intensive language institute in Russia in a group-based program that includes cultural enrichment experiences.
The program is part of the government's effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans who are studying and mastering foreign languages. Scholarship recipients are expected to continue their language studies beyond the scholarships and apply them to their future professional careers.
Atkinson also received a Boren Award scholarship for his studies.
The David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a federal initiative to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills.
In exchange for the funding, recipients agree to work for the federal government for one year.
The Institute of International Education, which administers the awards, received 1,014 applications for Boren Scholarships and awarded 161.
"Never in our history has it been more important for America's future leaders to have a deep understanding of the rest of the world," said University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. senator was principal author of legislation that created the National Security Education Program and scholarships.