OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students William Bumpas III and Alison Bartel have been awarded Boren Scholarships to study in China for the academic year.
Bumpas, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, and Bartel, of Harvest, Alabama, both international studies and Chinese majors, will use the scholarship to complete their capstone year in the Chinese Language Flagship Program.
“Mr. Bumpas and Ms. Bartel are two of the strongest students in our Chinese Language Flagship program and very deserving of a Boren Scholarship,” says Donald Dyer, chair of modern languages. “They have worked hard to develop their language skills and have high proficiencies in the language to show for it. The Department of Modern Languages and, indeed, the University of Mississippi community are very proud of their accomplishments.”
Scholarship recipients receive up to $20,000 to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the national security arena of the federal government for at least one year.
“I am happy but not surprised Alison Bartel and William Bumpas both won Boren Scholarships,” said Kees Gispen, executive director of the Croft Institute for International Studies. “They are among the very strongest students in the Croft Institute for International Studies at the university. These are two fantastic students, shining examples of what it is possible to accomplish at the University of Mississippi.”
Bumpas, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree earlier this month, plans to pursue a graduate degree after studying in Nanjing for a year. He is a Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Scholar and member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, and he credits the Croft Institute for the opportunity to combine his Chinese language skills with a nuanced understanding of the evolving world.
“I’m excited to take what I’ve learned at the University of Mississippi and put it to use during my time as a Boren Scholar and also in my career,” Bumpas said.
“William was a terrific student to work with these past few years and he wrote a superb senior thesis on the mass expansion of enrollment in China’s higher education system,” says Joseph Howard, Croft associate professor of history and international studies. “I am so proud of him that he received a Boren fellowship to continue his studies at Nanjing University this coming fall.”
Bartel, a rising senior, will continue her study of the language and focus on refining her understanding of governance from the Chinese point of view through an internship in Nanjing. A member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Bartel hopes to pursue graduate studies in international relations and public policy and then work in government service.
“Alison is one of those great students who seems to excel at everything she does,” says Carl Jensen, director of the UM Center for Intelligence and Security Studies. “A few years ago, she and another student took first place in a briefing competition at a prestigious conference in Washington, D.C. We’re very proud but not at all surprised that she was awarded the Boren.”
Bartel and Bumpas are the university’s 15th and 16th Boren Scholars since 2000. Last year, Kevin Scott (China, Mandarin) won a Boren Scholarship.
Students interested in applying for a Boren Scholarship or Boren Fellowship are encouraged to contact Andrus Ashoo, Boren campus representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.