Three University of Nebraska–Lincoln students — Esbeidy Chavez, Sadie Ritter and Ellie Woody — have received the Critical Language Scholarship for summer 2021. Two others — Sarah Lies and Brooklyn Terrill — have been selected as alternates.
Finalists for the program were selected from a diverse pool of over 4,600 applicants, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. They represented 628 higher education institutions across the country, including 151 minority-serving institutions, 14 historically black colleges and universities and 57 community colleges.
The U.S. Department of State sponsors and oversees the program as part of a larger government effort to expand the number of Americans studying foreign languages critical to national security and economic prosperity. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of institutes for summer 2021 will offer virtual programs.
The Husker scholarship recipients:
- Esbeidy Chavez is a junior global studies major from Sutton who will study Punjabi. She speaks English and Spanish and wants to add Punjabi in hopes of becoming a Foreign Service officer.
- Sadie Ritter is a sophomore global studies, political science and Russian major from Alma. She will study Russian. She became interested in the language when her family hosted students from Ukraine and Kazakhstan while she was in high school. She also would like to work for the federal government.
- Ellie (Elizabeth) Woody is a junior Spanish and political science major from Lincoln. She is also in the University Honors Program. She will study Arabic and plans to go to law school to help immigrants and refugees. She believes that by diversifying the languages spoken by those who work in the immigration field, the United States can provide resources to ensure smooth immigration proceedings to a wider range of people.
Lies is a global studies and political science major from Omaha who hopes to study Arabic. Terrill is a political science major from Prairie Village, Kansas, who hopes to study Russian.
These scholarships can also serve as a gateway to encourage students to apply for other international scholarship programs, such as the Fulbright U.S. student program.