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Jonathan Mangrum is Georgia College’s first David L. Boren Scholar—a prestigious award that will enable him to spend his fall 2018 semester learning Urdu in Lucknow, India. There the junior economics and political science major will gain a cultural perspective while staying with a host family, but first, he will develop his skills through intensive study of the language at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mangrum will learn first, second and third-year Urdu through lectures, discussions, tutoring, trips to cultural Indian historic sites, skits, poetry and songs.“The word that keeps coming to mind is ‘speechless,’” he said. “I’m most looking forward to getting to know the cohort of students because they come from all over. Beyond that, I’ve always enjoyed learning and traveling in groups. So, I I’m excited to immerse myself in the country, city and culture and meet the people behind the culture who speak the language I’m learning—just the whole in-depth experience.”
The Institute of International Education on behalf of the National Security Education Program awarded 221 Boren Scholarships out of a pool of 794 undergraduate applications. The summer study program is made possible through the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative, and the abroad program is sponsored by the American Councils for International Education.
Mangrum’s Boren Scholarship application process began after a discussion with National Scholarships Office Coordinator Anna Whiteside.
“This is something she brought to my attention, which deals with government service,” he said. “I applied over the December break. She helped me through the application process.”
Whiteside was impressed by Mangrum’s thoroughness in his application and preparation before even being accepted.
“In order to craft a competitive application for the Boren Scholarship, Jonathan not only completed several drafts of his statements, but he also performed considerable research on India and Urdu and their respective significances to U.S. National …