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Record for Boren Scholarships

BYU students received an all-time record number of nine Boren Scholarships for 2020–21. Recipients are Zachary Boyce (neuroscience; Mandarin), Louisa Dayton (bioinformatics; Mandarin), Brendan Hatch (linguistics; Arabic), Semie Lee (microbiology; Korean), Holly Lesser (microbiology; Mandarin), Derek LeSueur (Chinese; Mandarin), Hannah Miller (Middle East studies/Arabic; Arabic), Jon Rosenbalm (political science; Arabic), and Michael Shukis (neuroscience; Mandarin).

The Kennedy Center facilitates a wide range of scholarships for BYU students of all majors to study abroad. The David L. Boren Award funds language study abroad programs in countries that are critical to US national security interests. These programs span across Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to advance their language ability in these regions, with the commitment to use their language skills in a federal agency related to national security.

James Mayo, Kennedy Center scholarship coordinator, credits this remarkable year to the center’s intense marketing efforts, getting the word out to students about this scholarship, and the diligence of the students in preparing and polishing their applications. “The more time a student spends on her/his application, the greater the chances are of receiving the award,” Mayo affirmed. “My job is to help students present those aspects the committee is looking for in a clear and concise manner on their applications. It’s been a real team effort this year!”

Learn more about the Boren scholarship online here or at, and watch for fall semester workshops to help you prepare for the January application deadline.