Two Undergraduates Receive David L. Boren Fellowship

Posted: August 27, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Michael Morris, senior government and international politics major, and Matthew Palmieri, a senior global affairs major, have been awarded prestigious David L. Boren Graduate Fellowships, sponsored by the National Security Education Program.

The fellowships support students pursuing the study of languages, cultures and world religions that are critical to U.S. interests in Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia and the Caribbean.

Morris, who has a concentration in international and comparative politics, will travel to Turkey to study the Turkish language and take courses focusing on Turkish foreign policy.

“I am particularly interested in the Middle East and North Africa region and have focused on this area for my entire undergraduate career,” explains Morris. “Not only did I want to travel to the region, but I also felt that studying and being immersed in the community of that region was needed to effectively develop my understanding of the culture and regional politics.”

This trip, what he hopes is the first of many to the region, will serve as a foundation for further interaction with other cultures and countries in the Middle East and North Africa for Morris. When he returns to the United States, he would like to use what he has learned in a U.S. State Department post. He also plans on using the knowledge he will gain for his graduate school studies.

“I feel experience is just as essential, if not more important, than instruction received in a classroom setting,” says Morris.

Palmieri, who has a concentration in the Middle East and North Africa, will be traveling to Egypt to take classes in Arabic language, sociology and history to support his global affairs major at Mason. He is interested in international and Middle Eastern issues, and has already worked and traveled extensively in the region.

When he returns from Egypt, he is planning on continuing his education in the global affairs field and eventually working toward a PhD. “I hope to use the experience and knowledge I gain to work in a related field when I return,” says Palmieri.

For more information on the David L. Boren Fellowship, visit the National Security Education Program web site.

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