UTC’s Emma Roy Awarded Boren Scholarship

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Emma Roy was one of the UTC scholarship recipients celebrated at the annual Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, April 5
Emma Roy was one of the UTC scholarship recipients celebrated at the annual Scholarship Luncheon on Friday, April 5
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior Emma Roy, a secondary education: political science major and Brock Scholar in the UTC Honors College, has been selected for the David L. Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office, which is part of the U.S. Department of Defense.
 
Beginning in mid-September, Ms. Roy will spend 25 weeks, the equivalent of an academic year, at National Taiwan University as part of the International Chinese Language Program.
 
"The Boren program aims to provide funding and opportunities for U.S.
undergraduate and graduate students by producing a cadre of linguistically adept people with a thorough awareness of the political, economic and social dynamics of nations that are significant to world affairs, encouraging students to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture of these regions," official said.
 
“The Boren is the premier undergraduate scholarship focused on national security in the United States,” said Dr. Trey Straussberger, director of the UTC Office of National Scholarships. “It funds students who go abroad for either a summer or a semester—in Emma’s case, the whole academic year—in order to learn what the federal government calls a critical language. These are languages that are of special interest and special need to the federal government.”
 
The scholarship covers tuition, travel, living expenses and other educational expenditures related to the study abroad experience.
 
Last summer, Ms. Roy was one of 23 U.S. students selected for the Critical Language Scholarship Chinese Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and spent two months in an immersive Chinese language program at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan.
 
"A unique aspect of the Boren Scholarship is that, upon completion of the program and college graduation, recipients are expected to fulfill a service requirement by working for a federal agency or department with national security responsibilities," officials said.
 
Ms. Roy, a native of Murfreesboro, said her post-Boren plan is to return to UTC for the fall 2025 semester and graduate in May 2026. From there, she will spend at least one year working as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State.
 
“When I applied, I put all of my effort into that application; I really wanted this,” she said. “I had a discussion with my parents and they said, ‘If you get this, you are going to have to think your life is going to change; it’s basically planned out for the next three years,’ but it’s worth it.
 
“There are so many jobs and so many opportunities, and I’ll definitely be in a position to meet a broad network of people in foreign service. After the CLS, I knew I wanted a foreign service affairs career.”
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