UMES alumna named Boren Award fellow | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

UMES alumna named Boren Award fellow

  • Nylah McClain will spend the 2021-22 academic year in Japan studying the language

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021
    Nylah O. McClain

    Nylah O. McClain, a first-year student in UMES' marine-estuarine-environmental sciences graduate program, will spend a year in Japan starting this fall representing her alma mater as the university's first Boren Award fellow. 

    McClain, who in May 2020 completed her undergraduate studies by earning a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in environmental studies, will spend the 2021-22 academic year immersed in learning Japanese. 

    The David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a federal initiative designed to build "a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills."

    Boren Awards provide American college students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experiences by studying in countries critical to the security and stability of the United States.  In exchange, Boren award recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year. 

    McClain's fellowship comes with a $25,000 stipend. 

    “The National Security Education Program,” according to Dr. Michael A. Nugent, Director of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office, “is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures.” 

    This year's Boren Awards screening panel received 334 applications and named 124 graduate fellows to participate in the upcoming academic year, according to Michael Saffle, the program's outreach and recruitment specialist. 

    Since 1994, more than 7,000 students have received Boren Awards and have "contributed their vital skills to careers in support of the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government."

    The awards are named for the former U.S. senator from Oklahoma credited with being the principal author of federal legislation that created the National Security Education Program.  It is administered by the Institute of International Education, “an independent not-for-profit founded in 1919” and “among the world's largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations.”

    UMES gratefully acknowledges the Institute of International Education for providing background in support of this announcement.