News

National scholarship sends two Willamette undergraduates to Tanzania

Two Willamette University undergraduates will travel to Tanzania as part of the National Security Education Program David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarship, a prestigious program that provides support for American students to develop their language abilities and experience in countries of security interest to the U.S.

Isabella Guida ’12 and Carley Kwiatkowski ’13 will both learn Swahili while studying at the State University of Zanzibar in the fall and at Arcadia University in Arusha in the spring. The award, which requires them to work for the federal government for at least a year after graduating, also provides them with a fellowship for graduate studies.

Isabella Guida

Guida, an English major, will participate in an intensive Swahili program this summer at the University of Florida before heading to Tanzania. She plans to go on to complete graduate work in Swahili literature and African studies.

“In the African politics and history classes I have taken at Willamette, I’ve been especially interested in East Africa, so I am excited to learn the region’s most widely spoken language,” Guida says. “While in Tanzania, I plan to work at internships, broaden my experience in different fields, and do some heavy contemplation regarding my future vocational plans.”

At Willamette, Guida already earned a Lilly Project Summer Research Grant to examine the construction of identity in contemporary memoirs.

“After my experience with the Lilly grant, I wanted to challenge myself further,” Guida says. “Willamette exposes students to broad resources and opportunities to extend one’s education and interests in any direction.”

Carley Kwiatkowski

Kwiatkowski, a history major, hopes to study the ways Tanzania’s politics and history compare to that of Kenya — a country she already examined while living there before college and during the summer after her freshman year through a Willamette College Colloquium Student Research Grant.

She plans to go on to work for a government agency to gain experience she can use to explore how grassroots and governmental organizations can work together to produce the type of change that people in East Africa are seeking. She also wants to develop education programs to connect people in her hometown in Washington with communities in East Africa.

“There is probably no way I would have heard about or been qualified to apply for the Boren Scholarship had I not had the experience and support I’ve found so far at Willamette,” she says. “The opportunity to do research in Kenya last summer made me more certain of my academic interests and passions.

“I have also had support from many professors, including my advisor, Professor Bianca Murillo, who has given me academic inspiration and positively shaped my Willamette experience in so many ways.”

For more information about national scholarships for students, visit Student Academic Grants and Awards.

05-23-2011