Russian Flagship students win Boren Scholarships, will travel to Kazakhstan
Author: Chelsea Bailey
Posted: May 29, 2015

Five Portland State University students received the David L. Boren Scholarship to study in Kazakhstan in 2015-2016.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) and are part of a federal initiative to increase the number of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

“To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America's future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world,” says University of Oklahoma President David Boren.

PSU's Boren Scholarship recipients are all studying Russian through the Russian Flagship Program:

Huell White, Russian major

Huell White started learning Russian as a freshman when he moved here from South Carolina. He first studied in Vladimir, Russia on the Russian Language and Area Studies Program in the summer of 2014. In fall 2015, Huell will travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where he will study for a full academic year and fulfill a capstone with an internship. Huell plans on seeking employment in the federal government, where he can use Russian to aid in the nation's diplomatic and national security endeavors.



William Forrest Holden, History major with focus on Imperial Russia

After studying in Vladimir, Russia in 2011 on the Critical Language Scholarship, Forrest Holden completed an internship through the Honors College at the European Reading Room in the Library of Congress. Recently, Forrest completed his honors thesis on the history of gender in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Russia. He is the current Honors Editorial Fellow at the Pacific Historical Review, where he serves as Book Review Coordinator. In addition, he works as a Russian Tutor at the Learning Center. After completing the program, Forrest plans to pursue a career in policy, research, or education.


Connor Michelotti, Russian major

Connor Michelotti is excited and honored to receive the Boren Scholarship. He spent his first two years learning Russian at PCC Sylvania. In the summer of 2013, he immersed himself in the culture in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, and the summer of 2014 in Vladimir, studying at the KORA Institute under the auspices of American Councils. He started an internship at the beginning of the fall quarter of 2014 working for the Portland Police Bureau on the Slavic Advisory Board, and will be completing his PSU capstone while abroad. After graduation, he is interested in using his high proficiency in Russian to work for the federal government.


Anthony Castaneda, Political Science and Russian major

In the spring of 2013, Anthony Casteneda studied at the Smolny Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia on the Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship. That following academic year Anthony enrolled into the PSU Flagship Program with plans to complete his PSU Senior Capstone abroad, which has been recently relocated from St. Petersburg to Almaty, Kazakhstan. Anthony is also a McNair Scholar and will complete an original research project with a focus on generational change within post-Soviet Russia before his year abroad. Anthony is interested in international relations and Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies and wishes to pursue a career within the federal government.


Conrad Henkel, Political Science and Russian major

Conrad Henkel first took Russian by mistake, but enjoyed it so much that he kept on studying the language. He is very excited to study abroad in Kazakhstan, especially because he gets to go with his best friends. Conrad wants to eventually become an ambassador, or a ski instructor in a Russian speaking country, depending on which career works out better.




About the Russian Flagship Program

Funded by the National Security Education Program, the Russian Flagship Program is a member of The Language Flagship, and it offers a four-year undergraduate program that permits students to receive a Certificate of Advanced Proficiency in Russian while completing a degree in any discipline.