Four Pitt Honors College Students Receive 2010 David L. Boren Awards for International Study

Issue Date: 
June 28, 2010

Four University of Pittsburgh Honors College students have received 2010 David L. Boren Scholarships for International Study. The students and their countries of travel are Utsav Bansal, China; Heather Duschl, Japan; Michelle Sattazahn, China; and Gregory Withers, Tajikistan.

For the second consecutive year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of National Security Education Program (NSEP), received a record number of applications for the undergraduate Boren Scholarship. This year, 925 undergraduate students applied for the Boren Scholarship and 138 were awarded.

This is the eighth consecutive year that a Pitt student has been awarded the honor. Since 1997, 23 Pitt students have received Boren Scholarships.

Bansal, who will be a senior at Pitt this fall, is majoring in neuroscience with minors in chemistry and Spanish. He also is working to earn certificates in Global Health and Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. Bansal is studying Mandarin this summer at the Beijing Language and Culture University’s Alliance for Global Education program. His future plans include graduating from Pitt with a BS degree, earning a master’s degree in public health, and attending medical school.

Duschl, a Pitt senior, is pursuing a BS in computer engineering and a BA in Japanese. She is studying Japanese this summer at the Hokkaido International Foundation’s Japanese Language and Japanese Culture Program. Upon completion of her Pitt degrees, Duschl plans to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in computer or electrical engineering with a focus on embedded computing solutions for the medical field.

Sattazahn, who will be a Pitt junior this fall, is majoring in Chinese with a minor in linguistics. She also is completing an Asian studies certificate. Sattazahn, who is now in China, will study Mandarin in the fall at The Alliance for Global Education Fudan University Intensive Language Program and in the spring at Fudan University Contemporary Chinese Society and Language Program. After earning her Pitt degree, Sattazahn plans to attend graduate school to pursue an MA in Chinese studies; she then hopes to work in the foreign service.

Withers, who will be a junior at Pitt this fall, is majoring in philosophy and linguistics and is a member of the Air Force ROTC. This fall, he will study Farsi at the American Councils for International Education-Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Withers’ future plans include working for the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, or furthering his education.

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by NSEP, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with the resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

The Boren Scholarship is the namesake of David L. Boren, principal author of the legislation that created the NSEP in 1991. Boren served as the governor of Oklahoma from 1974 to 1978 and as a U.S. senator from 1979 to 1994. He currently serves as the president of the University of Oklahoma.