Schroeck receives prestigious Boren Award

Schroeck receives prestigious Boren Award

Alexander Schroeck
Greg Nathan | University Communication
Alexander Schroeck

Alexander Schroeck, a senior mathematics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been awarded a Boren Scholarship to study in China during the 2017-18 academic year.

Schroeck, a graduate of Salem High School in Canton, Michigan, will study Chinese through an independent program at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Boren awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the United States. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

Schroeck, with minors in Asian studies and national security studies, applied for a Boren scholarship because it matches his professional goal of working in national security. Schroeck previously traveled to China, visiting Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing. He said he is looking forward to reconnecting with Nanjing and exploring the smaller cities nearby, many of which preserve traditional architecture, customs and language. He said he believes this will be a great way to experience the undiluted, traditional aspects of the country.

This year, the Institute of International Education, which administers the awards on behalf of the National Security Education Program, received 791 applications from undergraduate students for the Boren Scholarship and 194 were awarded; 340 graduate students applied for the Boren Fellowship and 114 were awarded. Boren Scholars and Fellows will live in 44 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. They will study 36 different languages. The most popular languages include Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swahili and Korean.

"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," said University of Oklahoma President David Boren, who as a U.S. senator was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. "As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential."

Schroeck will foster the partnerships Boren encourages during his time in China using his familiarity with the culture and language. His interactions with Chinese exchange students at Nebraska complemented his classroom lessons and provided him with insight into cultural norms, the language and the fostering of intercultural relationships. Schroeck said he is grateful to graduate student Jia Lu, whom he considers a friend and mentor, for helping him prepare for both of his study abroad experiences.

Since 1994, over 6,000 students have received Boren Awards. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying should contact boren@iie.org or click here.