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USC Announces Critical Language Scholarship Winners

William Clinton Welsh and Anna Witkin, both USC juniors, have been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to attend an overseas intensive language institute this summer. Welsh will study both the Farsi and Tajik dialects of Persian in Tajikistan. Witkin will study Russian in Nizhny Novgorod. 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 19 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.

Welsh is a junior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major and a member of the South Carolina Honors College. He is the recipient of the Dean's Scholarship and the Palmetto Life scholarship. Selected as an alternate in the Boren Scholarship competition in 2014, he has also received the Passport Travel Grant to support his study in Seoul, South Korea. A SURF grant recipient, his undergraduate research has focused on mesenchymal stem cell tissue engineering. He is currently studying abroad in Istanbul, Turkey. On campus he is a member of Sigma Omega Upsilon international business fraternity, International Toastmasters at USC, and USC Rotaract. He plans a career in international collaborative medical research and development.

Witkin is a junior in the South Carolina Honors College and is majoring in Russian and International Studies with a minor in Spanish. She was named Outstanding Junior in International Studies by the department of Political Science, and is a Phi Beta Kappa Scholarship recipient. At USC, Witkin is a member of Mock Trial, and currently serves as Vice President of College Democrats. Her research interests include the current legal institutions of countries formerly in the Soviet bloc, and the interface between language and culture. She aspires to bring her studies of Russian Language into a career with the federal government.

Students interested in the CLS and other national fellowships are assisted by the Office of Fellowships & Scholar Programs.
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