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Honors student receives prestigious Boren award

Posted on June 06, 2013

Grand Valley State University student Michael Martin is one of just 161 undergraduate students nationwide to have been awarded a prestigious Boren Scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year.

Martin is a Russian studies and economics double major, and is a member of the Frederik Meijer Honors College. He will study Russian at Irkutsk State Linguistic University in Russia. 

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the U.S. In exchange for funding, Boren Award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. 

This year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received a historically high number of applications for both the undergraduate Boren Scholarship and the graduate Boren Fellowship. This year, 947 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 161 were awarded, while 526 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 110 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. They will study 34 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Swahili, and Portuguese. 

“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 the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. “As we seek to lead through partnerships, respect for and understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”

Since 1994, over 5,000 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. 

For more information, visit or Students interested in applying for a Boren scholarship should contact Amanda Cuevas in the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships at

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