MACON – Mercer University senior Timothy Walker has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study French and Arabic at Al Alakhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, during the spring 2016 semester.
Walker, a senior history major from Biloxi, Mississippi, will also study the history and culture of Morocco and the Middle East/North Africa region, as he seeks to enhance his language proficiency and cultural awareness for a future career in the U.S. Army.
"The Boren Scholarship will afford Tim a tremendous opportunity to study Arabic and Islam in an immersive environment. This experience will enhance his understanding of our comparative cultures, enhance his career and contribute to enhanced international cooperation and security," said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English.
"I am truly grateful to be a recipient of the Boren Scholarship, and I eagerly look forward to the chance for both formal and informal learning presented by this unique opportunity," said Walker. "It is my sincere desire that the lessons learned during my stay can be integrated into authentic solutions in my career serving our nation."
Walker is a military science minor and a cadet in Mercer's Army ROTC program. He has received several awards, including the Association of the United States Army Award for outstanding leadership and academic achievement, as well as the Leadership Award from Mercer ROTC, which recognizes cadets who make an impact on the University's cadet corps. He has also participated in the Army Ten-Miler and Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon.
Additionally, Walker volunteers with Mercer's Veterans Voices project, a nonprofit organization created by students to reach out to veterans in Middle Georgia, acknowledge their service and share their stories with the community.
He is also active in intramurals and several other student organizations, including Mercer Masala, which is the University's South Asian cultural club, and Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors society. He was invited to present his research on Muslims in 19th-century Coastal Georgia at this year's Phi Alpha Theta Georgia Regional Meeting.
Walker also serves as a study skills tutor in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and as an ARC Ambassador.
In 2014, he traveled to Cambodia with a Mercer On Mission team to facilitate health care to underserved communities in and around Kampot.
David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (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 resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.
This year, the Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the awards on behalf of NSEP, received 750 applications from undergraduate students for the Boren Scholarship, and 171 were awarded. An additional 385 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship, and 101 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 40 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. They will study 37 different languages.
Since 1994, over 5,400 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, IIE is among the world's largest and most experienced international education and exchange organizations. For more information, visit www.borenawards.org.