Tuesday May 10, 2011

Boren Leader

Emily Jirles receives a prestigious federal Boren Scholarship. On average, less than 200 students nationwide receive one each year.

It's not everyday a college student receives a job offer with the federal government after her second year of school. But, that's exactly what University of Dayton student Emily Jirles has by earning a prestigious federal scholarship.

Jirles, a sophomore international studies major and Asian studies minor from Lore City, Ohio, is the recipient of a David L. Boren Scholarship. As a Boren Scholar, she must work at least one year after graduation for the federal government in a position with national security responsibilities.

Jirles hopes to someday work for the U.S. government as either a diplomat or an analyst dealing with Asian affairs and politics.

"I am honored to receive the Boren scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year and I look forward to representing the University of Dayton abroad next year in Beijing," Jirles said. "This scholarship will allow me to make the most of my experience in China by participating in a program that will provide me with a foundation of knowledge I can use for my future career goals as an employee of the U.S. State Department."

Before then, she'll attend the Beijing Center at the University of International Business and Economics during the 2011-12 academic year. She'll study Mandarin Chinese and Asian history, politics and culture. Jirles also may have an opportunity to participate in a business internship through the Beijing Center at a local company in spring 2011.

"The main goal is to better my Mandarin language skills and gain a better understanding of Asian politics and culture," Jirles said. "I believe this program will best help me achieve my goals because of its intensive language lessons and ample opportunities to travel around China. The Beijing Center also sponsors four major expeditions to Guangxi, Yunnan, Sichuan and the Silk Road. During these trips, I will be able to experience the different facets of China and some of its 55 ethnic groups."

Funded by the National Security Education Program, the Boren scholarship provides up to $20,000 to undergraduate students to study in geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. Last year, only 138 Boren Scholarships were awarded to students representing only 83 colleges and universities across the country. Figures are not available for this year.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.