Jenna Chambers to Spend a Year in Croatia, Carly LoVullo a Year in Tanzania
DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University senior Jenna Chambers and 2016 OWU alumna Carly LoVullo have been selected to receive Boren Awards from the National Security Education Program. The highly competitive awards enable recipients to study less commonly taught languages in world regions considered critical to U.S. interests.
Chambers, of Saugatuck, Michigan, is an international studies and German double-major and a studio arts minor. She earned a $20,000 Boren Scholarship to support a yearlong study of Croatian at the University of Zagreb’s Croaticum – Centre for Croatian as Foreign and Second Language.
“I’ve chosen Croatia as my area of potential study for two reasons,” Chambers said. “First, Croatia is a NATO member and a salient geopolitical ally. … Croatia’s geopolitical location and continued governmental alignment with the U.S. and the EU (European Union) is absolutely imperative for overall stability in the Balkans.
“My second rationale for learning Croatian is arguably far more significant to our world right now,” she said. “Croatia has a wealth of freshwater resources. … If the United States wishes to increase its security and safety, then we need to mitigate water stress across the globe. Preparing for the projected lack of clean and accessible fresh water in the Balkans is our collective responsibility. If potable water quality begins to decrease, and water infrastructure begins to degrade severely, the entire region will become far more vulnerable to political and economic destabilization, as well as populist movements.”
As an Ohio Wesleyan student, Chambers spent a semester studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany. During this time, she traveled to Croatia, where she realized that she wanted to learn more about its language and culture. She also took OWU courses exploring the significance of water from different academic perspectives, including political, economic, scientific, and cultural.
“In my eyes, this is a really strong opportunity for cross-cultural environmental understanding and learning,” Chambers said of her upcoming Boren Scholarship experience.
LoVullo, of Cleveland, Ohio, was a double-major in international studies and black world studies at Ohio Wesleyan. She earned a $24,000 Boren Fellowship to support a yearlong study of Swahili in Tanzania, Africa, at the Kiswahili na Utamaduni in Dar es Salaam. Simultaneously, she will research best practices for community-based disease surveillance (CBDS) of Dengue Fever in three Tanzanian coastal regions.
“Global health security is a collective responsibility, LoVullo said. “If we want to ensure that our nation is safe and secure from potential threats by using real-time surveillance, we must collaborate with all actors involved.
“Through my research, I will gain insight into how Tanzania has implemented CBDS,” LoVullo said. “After understanding these approaches, I will further investigate the best practices for CBDS of emerging infectious diseases. I can determine ways in which other countries can implement similar programs to help make real-time surveillance a reality.”
As an Ohio Wesleyan student, LoVullo spent a semester studying at the University of Dar es Salaam through the OWU in Tanzania program. While abroad, LoVullo completed an internship with the Medical Women Association of Tanzania (MEWATA) and presented research at the 31st annual scientific conference and general meeting of the Tanzania Public Health Association. A few months later, she received a university-funded OWU Connection grant to return to Tanzania to help MEWATA implement a mass breast and cervical cancer screening for 10,000 rural African women.
LoVullo currently is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at The George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.
After she and Chambers complete their Boren Award-supported projects, they must fulfill a one-year federal service requirement. Chambers hopes to take a position with the Department of State that intertwines translation and policy work. Then she plans to apply to the Master of Science program in environmental governance at Germany’s Albert Ludwig University.
LoVullo plans to work with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with a long-term career goal of becoming a USAID Foreign Service officer.
Both Chambers and LoVullo credited Ohio Wesleyan professors with helping them to secure their Boren Awards by providing helpful advice and strong letters of recommendation. Those faculty members are Thomas Wolber, associate professor of modern foreign languages; Randolph Quaye, director of black world studies; and Sean Kay, director of international studies, who wrote letters for both applicants.
“It’s a hugely prestigious and very, very difficult funding source to get,” said Kay, also a professor of politics and government. “To get two in one year is astonishing.”
According to the Institute of International Education, which administers the Boren Awards on behalf of the National Security Education Program, a total of 221 Boren Scholarships were awarded this cycle to undergraduate students and 120 Boren Fellowships to graduate students. The 2018 Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East, where they will study 33 different languages.
The Boren Awards are named in recognition of former U.S. Sen. David L. Boren, principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the Boren Awards. He currently serves as president of the University of Oklahoma.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.