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National Fellowships and Scholar Programs

University of South Carolina Announces Critical Language Scholarship Winners

Hannah Keefer, a USC junior, and John Tasevski, a 2013 graduate, have each been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to attend an overseas intensive language institute this summer. Keefer will study Chinese, and Tasevski will study Turkish. A program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Scholarship Program offers intensive summer language institutes in 13 critical foreign languages. The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils and The Ohio State University/Ohio University. This brings USC's total of CLS award winners to 17 since it was established in 2006. 

Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes are part of a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Scholarship recipients receive funding to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs at American Overseas Research Centers and affiliated partners. 

Keefer is a junior International Studies and History major with a minor in Chinese, and a member of the South Carolina Honors College. A junior Phi Beta Kappa, she is the recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, the USC Dean's Leadership Scholarship, the Kapstone Scholarship, the Zonta International's Young Women in Public Affair's Scholarship (2011), and the Coolidge Award in History. Keefer is currently studying abroad in Kunming, China, where she finds time to volunteer with a non-profit to aid TB patients. Back in the US, she has been a clerk at the Richland County Public Defender's office, a museum interpreter at the Powder Magazine in Charleston, and a member of USC's Rotaract Club. She is a member of and served as treasurer for Phi Alpha Delta, and a member of Phi Alpha Theta Honors Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Society. Keefer has also volunteered as a buddy for Buddies Beyond Borders, and as a conversation partner with the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) program. She plans to attend law school to study international law, and ultimately work for the Federal Government or the United Nations. 

Tasevski is a December 2013 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Linguistics. He was a Capstone Scholar, the recipient of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship and the Dean's Scholarship, and graduated summa cum laude. While an undergraduate, he was very active with the Methodist Student Network at USC, helping with monthly international student dinners and participating in volunteer mission trips to New York, New Orleans, and Brazil. He volunteered with the Washington Street UMC soup cellar, and served as a conversation partner with the English Programs for Internationals (EPI) program. Tasevski plans to continue his study of Turkish, and hopes to teach English as a foreign language, as well as work on researching and promoting peace in the Balkan region. 

Students interested in the CLS and other national fellowships are assisted by the Office of Fellowships & Scholar Programs. For more information about the CLS, contact the Office of Fellowships and Scholar Programs at 777-0958, visit us online at

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