Student Success

Green School students receive Boren Scholarships to study abroad

Max Keck and Mychtane Paul

Two students attending the Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs have earned Boren Scholarships during the spring 2024 semester and one has been named an alternate. The Boren Scholars, Max Keck and Mychtane Paul, have each received $25,000, the maximum award, for educational coursework in language immersion programs, primarily overseas.  The competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Security Education Program.

The Boren Awards offered to undergraduate students provide for in-country language study and are tied to future public service. The students selected get to learn a critical language that will benefit the major they are pursuing, and in the future, the federal government. They had to show a commitment to work for the federal government as part of the award application process. The recipients are selected from a wide range of disciplines and travel to regions underrepresented in study abroad programs, such as Africa, Asia, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Keck and Paul will be studying in Taiwan and South Korea, respectively. The alternate named to study in Taiwan is Mikele Mancuso. All are International Relations majors.

“Boren Award recipients are among our finest students pursuing a career in public service,” said Shlomi Dinar, dean of the Green School. “Congratulations to these outstanding students who are learning a critical language while studying international relations and will be prepared to serve our nation.”

All three students received application assistance from Ashley Floyd Kuntz, PhD, director of prestigious scholarship development. Kuntz says Boren reviewers seek students with feasible and detailed plans for long-term study abroad of less commonly taught languages. She added that successful applicants draw clear connections from the target language to national security and their professional goals for federal service.

“I could not be happier for Mychtane and Max. Having served as a Boren Awards reviewer, I can attest to the highly competitive nature of these awards. Their selection speaks highly of them as individuals and of FIU as an institution!” said Kuntz.

Keck, a junior who also participates in the FIU Model UN team, is receiving a National Security Studies Certificate from the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy.

His Boren Scholarship will take him to Taipei to study Mandarin for a two-month summer term at the National Taiwan Normal University. After his summer term ends, he will be spending his academic year at National Taiwan University, where he will continue his study of Mandarin.

“This scholarship is completely life changing, and I am extremely grateful to have received it. Fluency in Mandarin will be a vital skill I can leverage in my future career in public service,” Keck said.

Junior Mychtane Paul participates in the undergraduate Asian Studies certificate program and the Chinese Salon Club. She looks forward to studying at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea. She will intensively study Korean by taking a six-credit Korean language course every semester for a year to reach a conversational or fluency level.

“This award is an amazing opportunity to study Korean, develop regional expertise in East Asia and build up to a high conversational level in Korean,” Paul said. “Without it, I would not be able to study abroad. My experience pursuing the Boren Scholarship is just one of many steps on my career path to working for the federal government one day.”