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### Five Students Awarded Esteemed Critical Language Scholarship

Five students from Syracuse University have been chosen to participate in the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program, where they will engage in intensive language study over the summer.

The selected students and their respective languages of study are as follows:

  • Christian Bevilacqua ’24, a student majoring in social studies education and geography, will be studying Urdu.
  • Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer G’24, a poetry M.F.A. student in the College of Arts and Sciences, will focus on Russian.
  • Anthony Ornelaz G’24, a creative writing M.F.A. student, will immerse himself in Turkish.
  • Chelsea Sato, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics, will be learning Korean.
  • Ciara Young ’24, majoring in international relations, anthropology, and linguistics, will also be studying Korean.

The CLS program, aimed at American graduate and undergraduate students, offers an intensive language and cultural immersion experience in various countries. Participants typically spend eight to 10 weeks abroad studying languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Turkish, and more. The program, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, includes rigorous language instruction and cultural activities to facilitate rapid language acquisition.

Christian Bevilacqua, who will be studying Urdu in Lucknow, India, expresses his enthusiasm for enhancing his language skills and cultural knowledge of South Asia. This will be his second time participating in the CLS program, having previously studied Hindi in Jaipur in 2022. Bevilacqua aims to use his Urdu proficiency to delve into the experiences of South Asian migrant workers in urban areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer, with a background in a family of Foreign Service officers, values the role of language in fostering international connections. Her study of Russian in Kyrgyzstan will provide insights into Central Asia and the linguistic landscape of post-Soviet countries.

Anthony Ornelaz, a U.S. Air Force veteran, sees the CLS program as a pathway to serving through language and cultural understanding. His interest in translating Turkish poetry and immersing himself in Turkish culture during his time in Ankara reflects his commitment to meaningful cross-cultural experiences.

Ciara Young’s dedication to Korean language and affairs aligns with her CLS participation, where she plans to deepen her understanding of Korean culture and language. Her aspirations to pursue a career as a Foreign Service officer will be enriched by the insights gained during her time in Gwangju, known for its historical significance in Korean democracy.

The CLS program not only enhances language skills but also fosters intercultural competence and understanding, preparing students for diverse professional paths in an increasingly globalized world.