POSTED: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 11:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 11:04am
Baton Rouge, La — LSU junior Logan de La Barre-Hays, a native of Jackson, Miss., has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, or CLS, to study a critical language during the summer of 2013.
De La Barre-Hays is an Honors College and College of Humanities & Social Sciences student who is double majoring in both international studies and political science with minors in Arabic, history and religious studies. She will graduate from LSU in May 2014.
The application process was stressful, but it’s really exciting,” de La Barre-Hays said. “Getting selected was really amazing because I don’t think enough LSU students study abroad in general.”
De La Barre-Hays is one of approximately 610 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2013. CLS participants will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in one of 13 countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish or Urdu.
De La Barre-Hays will spend the summer in Morocco studying Arabic. She hopes that through learning Arabic, she’ll be able to work in the future with non-governmental organizations like the State Department or Amnesty International to try to remedy some of the humanitarian issues that are happening in the Middle East.
“I think there needs to be more American interest in remedying those sort of things, but I personally believe that the only way that we can remedy those issues is learning the language, immerging ourselves in the culture and then trying to give it a more indigenous solution,” she said.
De La Barre-Hays credits LSU and especially the LSU Honors College support network with her receiving the critical language scholarship.
“There’s a great support network,” she said. “I never would have been able to get the critical language scholarship without the support of teachers like Drew Lamonica Arms, who is the fellowship advisor in the Honors College. She’s just incredible.”
She added that the Honors College “provides that support system and reminds a lot of LSU’s high achieving students that they have the capacity to get these sort of big national scholarships.”
The CLS program is part of a U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
Selected finalists for the 2013 CLS program hail from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and represent more than 200 institutions of higher education from across the United States, including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions and community colleges.
Consistent with the U.S. Department of State’s goals to increase diversity among international educational exchange program participants, the CLS program actively recruits in states and regions of the United States that have been historically under-represented in international exchange and encourages students from diverse backgrounds and academic majors to apply. The CLS program also promotes diversity in the independent review process, and includes readers and panelists from 44 states and 160 institutions, including land-grant public universities, liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Ivy League institutions and community colleges. In 2013, 255 professionals, including critical language faculty, area studies specialists, international education professionals, and fellowship advisors, participated in the selection process for the CLS program.
CLS program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS program is administered by American Councils for International Education and The Ohio State University/Ohio University.
For further information about the CLS program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit www.clscholarship.org  and http://exchanges.state.gov .
The LSU Honors College Office of Fellowship Advising was created to assist students in applying for prestigious scholarships and fellowships, such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Mitchell, Udall, Truman and Goldwater awards. Students interested in applying for these and other scholarship opportunities or for more information on the office, contact Drew Lamonica Arms, director of fellowship advising, at email@example.com .