Boren Fellowships

David L. Boren Scholarship and Fellowship Award

Boren recipients represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal government, often in agencies focusing on US national security. In exchange for funding, Boren awardees commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Application Deadline
January for the following academic year

Boren information sessions are held on campus during fall term.

Program web site:

For more information about the Boren awards visit their site or email

Meet PSU's Boren recipients

2021-2022 Recipients

Sasha Gorda - Kazakhstan

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Sasha is part of the Russian Flagship program at PSU. In addition, she plans to graduate with a double major in International Studies and Russian Language. Sasha has previously studied in Moldova with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program and in Kazakhstan on the Russian Language and Area Studies program. Additionally, she has participated in a virtual study abroad with the Critical Language Scholarship learning Turkish. She plans to return to Kazakhstan for an academic year to further her Russian language study. At PSU, she has taken several environment courses which sparked an interest in sustainable development. After graduation, Sasha hopes to find work in USAID, where she can combine her love of sustainability and international relations. 

2020-2021 Recipients

Isaiah Mendoza - Armenia

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Isaiah is graduating with his Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He has a deep interest in the Syrian Kurds, and will be studying the Kurdish language in Armenia. Additionally, he is a musician of 12 years and has delivered a TEDx talk that touches upon symphony and music composition in 3rd world countries. Isaiah was also chosen to be a speaker at the Lewis and Clark MENA symposium to speak about how he has sought to communicate cultural understanding and empathy through the universal language of music. He is graduating with high accolades, and has consistently been awarded Dean's list merits throughout his time at PSU. After finishing his studies through Boren, Isaiah plans to further develop his skills and expertise surrounding Kurdish culture and language.

Yves Wienecke - Kazakhstan

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Yves is an urban honors student in the Russian Flagship Program completing his undergraduate double major in Computer Science and Russian Language. Years of living with a Filipino mother and father who served in the air force drew Yves to the opportunities in the Pacific Northwest and the diverse community at Portland State University. He is an active member of the community and has held leadership positions in Student Leaders for Service and Kaibigan Filipino-American Student Association, as well as completed internships at Ronald McDonald House Charities, Free Geek, and Intel. Yves has previously studied abroad in South Korea on the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program and in Kazakhstan on the Russian Language and Area Studies program with the Sandra G. Freels Endowed Scholarship for the Study of Russian. Yves is looking forward to returning to Kazakhstan to complete the Russian Overseas Flagship capstone and hopes to continue working in the tech industry or completing research in the fields of Natural Language Processing and High Performance Computing following his graduation. Understanding the ethical questions and unprecedented difficulties of an increasingly digital world, Yves is dedicated to using his knowledge for good and serving the community.

Katie Ryder - Kazakhstan

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Katie studies in the Russian Flagship Program at PSU, and is working to complete her Bachelors of Arts in Russian Language, and her minor in Sociology. She is a member of the Phi Sigma Iota International Foreign Language Honors Society and has spent two years in students leadership as co-president of the PSU Russian Club. Katie has already studied in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the Russian Language and Area Studies Program in the summer of 2019, and is excited to return and continue her study with the Russian Overseas Flagship program. While studying sociology, Katie decided to focus her career goals on the preservation of human rights. Upon completing her degree, Katie plans on using her Russian language and sociological skills in pursuing a career with an agency that monitors and fights against human trafficking.

Hannah Shipman - Kazakhstan 

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Hannah is an undergraduate student in the Russian Flagship Program at PSU. The Capstone Year abroad in Kazakhstan is the next and final step to finish her double major in Mathematics and Russian. She has previously studied abroad in Moscow, Russia with the Russian Language and Area Studies Program (RLASP) and has received numerous scholarships, including the Sandra G. Freels Endowed Scholarship for the Study of Russian and the Clifford and Deborah Burns Scholarship (for Math majors). Hannah is studying Russian in order to better connect with the Russian-speaking population in her native state, and is especially excited to study it in Kazakhstan, where the Baikonur Cosmodrome is located (from which the majority of flights to the International Space Station launch). She is a seventh-generation Oregonian and grew up in a large family that homeschooled all of their children. She received her G.E.D. when she was sixteen, transferred from Chemeketa Community College, and hopes to go on to earn a Master's degree in astrophysics or a related field after finishing her Bachelor's at Portland State. Her dream job is to become a mission specialist aboard the ISS.

Alyssa Nicia Delurey - Kazakhstan

Kevin Ngo - Japan

(bios/photos pending (4/29/2020))

2019-2020 Recipients

Kelsey Canfield - Arabic - Doha, Qatar

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Kelsey finished her B.S. in Political Science and Middle East Studies Certificate in 2018. She has decided to stay at Portland State and complete a B.A. in Arabic, earning her a concurrent degree. While at Portland State, Kelsey has been an intern at the Middle East Studies Center, and is the founder of the GCC-American Student Council, a group of international and domestic students who seek to strengthen relations between the U.S. and GCC countries in the Middle East through education, business development, and various outreach projects. As an undergraduate she has begun research on transnational identities in the Persian/Arabian Gulf region and how both foreign and domestic policies have impact beyond state borders. In addition to receiving the Boren Scholarship, Kelsey was also awarded the Gilman Scholarship. During the summer of 2019 Kelsey will be studying her fourth year of Arabic in a summer intensive program at the Arab American Language Institute in Meknes, Morocco. She intends to focus on both Modern Standard Arabic, as well as Hassaniya Arabic. Upon finishing her Arabic degree, Kelsey plans on continuing her education in an M.A program with the goal of pursuing a career in international policy analysis/research. 

Celine Kuang - Mandarin Chinese - China

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Celine is an honors student majoring in international development studies and minoring in business, economics, and Chinese. She was born in China but raised in the United States and speaks Cantonese with her family, but can also speak Mandarin. Celine will be going to Shanghai, China in the Fall, then  and then Chengdu, China in Spring 2020 studying bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and China. She is excited to study Mandarin through a language intensive program abroad and learn more about the country she originated from. When she returns from China and completes her bachelor's degree, she hopes to get a job with the federal government giving back to the community by working as a policy analyst for national security.

Jessica Rhee - Russian - Kazakhstan

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Jessica is a post-baccalaureate student in the Russian Flagship Program at PSU. She previously studied abroad in Kyrgyzstan on the Critical Language Scholarship, and will be returning to Central Asia to complete her capstone year on the Boren and Russian Flagship scholarships. Her interest in Slavic languages and culture was sparked by her love of Russian music, which led her to write her master’s dissertation on Igor Stravinsky at the University of Oxford. Prior to the M.St., she completed her B.A. at New York University majoring in music performance and minoring in history and art history. She recently presented a paper at the UCLA Undergraduate Conference on Slavic and East/Central European Studies in which she analyzed Russian-language media sources to discuss the use of poetic language in contemporary political discourse. This project, centered on interpreting the capacity of art objects to support political objectives, reflects her research interests in cultural policy in Russian and post-Soviet contexts. She also presented in Russian on Stravinsky’s neoclassical aesthetics at the Language Flagship Russian Culture Online Conference earlier this year. She now eagerly awaits her next opportunity to ride horses on the steppe and explore her new community in Kazakhstan.

2018-2019 Recipients

Ramona Kline - Russian—Almaty, Kazakhstan, 2018-2019

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Ramona has been interested in Russia since she was very young. She began to teach herself Russian before she decided to take the leap and enroll in Russian classes at PCC Sylvania.
In 2016, she studied Russian in Vladimir, Russia at KORA Institute on a Critical Languages Scholarship, and transferred to PSU that fall to be a part of the Russian Flagship Program. Ramona will spend her academic year studying Russian in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and will graduate with a B.A. in Russian Language and a minor in International Studies. After graduation, she will seek employment in the Federal Government, where she plans to pursue a career in the area of Russian policy and research.

2016-2017 Recipients

Kelsey Canoy - Arabic - Amman, Jordan

 Kelsey is an Arabic and Russian major in her third year of study at PSU. She started taking Arabic one summer, where she discovered her love of languages. More recently, she has been studying Russian, both independently and at PSU. She spent the summer of 2015 studying Arabic in Jordan and Oman. For the fall of 2016, Kelsey is excited to return to Amman to spend the year improving her language skills and eating at her favorite shawarma place.


Colton Hennick - Russian - Almaty, Kazakhstan

Colton began to independently study Russian his sophomore year of high school and moved specifically to Portland to be a part of the Russian Flagship Program at PSU. Colton studied abroad during the summer of 2014 in Georgia on the Critical Language Scholarship. He won the Critical Language Scholarship again in 2015 and spent the summer in Russia. Colton is excited to spend the academic year in Almaty, Kazakhstan with two other students. He will graduate with a B.A. in Russian.


2015-2016 Recipients

Huell White - Kazakhstan 

Huell White is a Russian major and a member of the PSU Russian Flagship Program. Huell started learning Russian as a freshman when he moved here from South Carolina. He first studied in Vladimir, Russia on the Russian Language and Area Studies Program in the summer of 2014. In fall 2015, Huell will travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he will study for a full academic year and fulfill a capstone with an internship. Huell plans on seeking employment in the federal government, where he can use Russian to aid in the nation's diplomatic and national security endeavors


William Forrest Holden - Kazakhstan 

Forrest is a history major with a focus on the history of Imperial Russia, as well as a student in the Russian Flagship Program. After studying in Vladimir, Russia in 2011 on the Critical Language Scholarship, he completed an internship through the Honors College at the European Reading Room in the Library of Congress. Recently, Forrest completed his honors thesis on the history of gender in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Russia. He is the current Honors Editorial Fellow at the Pacific Historical Review, where he serves as Book Review Coordinator. In addition, he works as a Russian Tutor at the Learning Center. After completing the Russian Overseas Flagship Program, Forrest plans to pursue a career in policy, research, or education. 

Connor Michelotti - Russian 

Connor Michelotti is excited and honored to receive the Boren scholarship to study Russian at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan for the academic 2015-16 year. Having spent his first two years learning Russian at PCC Sylvania, he is now a Russian Flagship student majoring in Russian at Portland State University. He spent the summer of 2013 immersing himself in the culture in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, and the summer of 2014 in Vladimir, studying at the KORA Institute under the auspices of American Councils. He started an internship at the beginning of the fall quarter of 2014 working for the Portland Police Bureau on the Slavic Advisory Board, and will be completing his PSU capstone abroad in the aforementioned university in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  After graduation, he is interested in using his high proficiency in Russian to work for the federal government.

Anthony Castaneda - Kazakhstan 

Anthony Castaneda is a student in the Russian Flagship Program studying Political Science and Russian Language. In the spring of 2013, he studied at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia on the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship. That following academic year Anthony enrolled into the PSU Flagship Program with plans to complete his PSU Senior Capstone abroad, which has been recently relocated from St. Petersburg to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Anthony is also a McNair Scholar and will complete an original research project with a focus on generational change within post-Soviet Russia before his year abroad. Anthony is interested in international relations and Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies and wishes to pursue a career within the federal government.

Conrad Henkel - Kazakhstan

Conrad Henkel is a Flagship student studying Russian and Political Science.  He first took Russian by mistake, but enjoyed it so much that he kept on studying the language. He is very excited to study abroad in Kazakhstan, especially because he gets to go with his best friends. Conrad wants to eventually become an ambassador, or a ski instructor in a Russian speaking country, depending on which career works out better.


2014-2015 Recipients

Ashley Moe - Russia

Ashley Moe is a Russian Flagship student majoring in Russian language at Portland State University.  Her first trip to Russia was in the fall semester of 2012, when she lived in St. Petersburg and studied the language at Smolny Institute.  Upon returning home to Portland, OR, Ashley decided to join the Russian Flagship at PSU.  Soon afterwards, she was chosen to work for NBC at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, and consequently lived and worked for one month in Sochi as a runner and interpreter.  In the summer of 2014, Ashley will head off once again to St. Petersburg, where she will study for one academic year at St. Petersburg State University, thereby completing her PSU Senior Capstone.  Ashley is interested in using her Russian language skills to pursue a career in the federal government. 

Miriam Goldman - Russia

Miriam Goldman is thrilled and honored to be awarded a Boren Scholarship to study Russian at the Overseas Flagship Center at St. Petersburg State University for the 2014-2015 year! She is a Russian Flagship student with a double major in Psychology and Russian. Over the academic year she will be immersed in Russian culture and language through academic courses, a direct-enrollment course in psychology, an internship at a local organization, and living with a host family. She has a strong interest in understanding the stigma surrounding mental illness and the study of human behavior in Russia. She will pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology, and hopes to apply her Russian language and cultural skills as a Clinical Psychologist within the intelligence community of the U.S federal government. 

2013-2014 Recipients

Nick Smith – Jordan (Arabic)

Nick is working on his Master's degree in International Conflict Resolution. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 where he studied International Studies and Political Science with a focus on the Middle East and Middle Eastern languages. He is in his fifth year of Arabic study and will be using this fellowship to specialize his language skills in conflict resolution and technology in order to examine the future that language will play in the coming age of digitized conflicts. Nick will be doing research in Jordan during the 2013-2014 academic year to see where language and digital conflicts intersect so that we might better understand how our use of language prevents/encourages conflict scenarios at an interstate level. He hopes to use the skills and knowledge be obtains to do translation/interpretation work with the Department of State or USAID.

Robert Eshleman- China 

Bobby is an International Studies of East Asia major. He has interests in development, the environment, and human rights. He is on his 2nd year studying Mandarin Chinese and in 2013-2014 he will be studying in Beijing, China. 

Evan Schott- Russia

Evan is a Russian Flagship student at Portland State University, majoring in Computer Science and Russian Language. He will participate in the Russian Overseas Flagship Center at St. Petersburg State University during the 2013-14 academic year, completing academic courses in Russian and working as an intern at a Russian company. After graduation, he plans to work on issues of cybersecurity and technological development in a globalized world.