Asian Languages students win big scholarships
Three students in the University of Colorado Boulder’s Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations have won prestigious Critical Language Scholarship. The winners are Esha Mehta, Nicholas Martino and Erik Nesse.
Mehta is a second-year student in Hindi-Urdu language in the department. Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Councils for International Education.
Critical Language Scholarships support intensive study in 13 languages deemed “critically important” by the Department of State, seven of which are taught in CU-Boulder’s Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations (Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic and Persian).
The very competitive CLS award for Hindi will fund Mehta’s intensive, immersive study of Hindi this summer for 10 weeks in Jaipur, India. This is a very special honor for Mehta, a student for whom the challenge in foreign language learning is compounded by visual impairment.
But her passion for learning Hindi despite her disability is directly related to her dedication to working with visually impaired students in India after college, her colleagues say.
Mehta says: “Receiving the CLS award was an amazing honor and surprise. Being a blind student in a Hindi course has proven challenging because Braille materials in the Bharati Braille code are scarce in the U.S. By going to India and participating in the CLS program, I will be able to have access to Braille material, which will not only help me academically, but it will allow me to take the first step in pursuing my dreams of working with children with disabilities, specifically blindness, in India. Speaking and writing Hindi proficiently is the first step in reaching this dream and the CLS program will make this first step a reality!”
ALC Arabic students Nicholas Martino and Erik Nesse have also received the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship.
Currently studying abroad in Jordan, Martino will attend an intensive Arabic immersion program this coming summer before returning to campus for the fall semester.
Nesse is a second-year Ph.D. student in the French Department doing research on the modern French novel in post-colonial North Africa.