Public Policy Graduate Student Wins Boren Fellowship

Posted: June 1, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Christopher Anzalone

Next spring, when other graduate students are beginning their course work at Mason, Ann Lane will be beginning intensive Vietnamese language studies.

A School of Public Policy graduate student in peace operations, Lane won a David L. Boren Graduate Fellowship from the National Security Education Program.

Lane earned a BA in sociology with a focus in anthropology from Mary Washington University.

Ann Lane
Creative Services photo

As an undergraduate, she studied ethnic minorities of Vietnam’s central highlands at the School for International Training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Lane’s mother is from the Chru, one of Vietnam’s largest ethnic minority tribes.

Later, the three years Lane spent managing The Choice Program, a community-based program for youth offered by the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Juvenile Services, led her to pursue a degree in peace operations.

“I worked closely with a number of youth and their families who came to the U.S. as refugees and immigrants escaping or forced from their homes by conflict and war,” says Lane.

“The challenges they faced were often compounded for recent arrivals due to loss or displacement of family members, trauma due to violence and continued instability in their new environments.”

Now Lane is combining all of her academic and work experiences to achieve her goals.

“The peace operations program has given me a global context with which to understand these individual cases and is preparing me to work towards implementing better protection for children and youth affected by conflict and violence, both internationally and domestically.”

Lane will begin her Vietnamese language studies this fall in the United States in preparation for her intensive training in Vietnam.

“The opportunity to study culture and development in Vietnam as an undergraduate student, along with my personal interest in how postconflict development affects ethnic minorities, shaped my goal of gaining the skills, experience and language capabilities to engage in these issues,” says Lane.

In return for the fellowship, which provides funding for her domestic and overseas studies, Lane signed a service agreement to work for the U.S. government for one year after she completes her degree.

During her time in Vietnam, Lane proposed to conduct independent research on HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs in Vietnam and the surrounding region. She hopes to travel around the country and to neighboring Cambodia and Laos to examine how agencies and organizations serve children and young people.

“I hope to come away from this experience with a high proficiency in Vietnamese, a capacity to engage in professional and academic endeavors in Vietnam and the skills to contribute to U.S. relations with Southeast Asia,” says Lane.

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