News Archive 2009-2018

Sarah Siwak ’13 Awarded State Department Scholarship Archives

Sarah Siwak '13 in Cape Town, South Africa, in January 2012, to attend the Mellon Mays Annual Conference.


Sarah Siwak ’13, of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., has been selected for a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study intensive advanced Russian during the summer of 2012.

A Russian and anthropology double major and film studies minor, Siwak will spend eight weeks at Bashkir State Pedagogical University in Ufa, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia.

“Intensive language study in Russia will deeply enhance my ability not only to communicate in that language,” Siwak says, “but also to conduct research and handle untranslated material for potential future careers in higher education and foreign language education.”

Upon her return, Siwak says she intends to start work in the fall on an honors project in the Russian Department as a continuation of the research she’s currently doing as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow.

Siwak is one of 575 U.S undergraduate and graduate students selected by the U.S. Department of State to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu languages.

The CLS program comprises fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

The Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages.

CLS participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The CLS program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and American Councils for International Education.