Two UB students win U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships

Tasnah Moyer and Rebecca Ward, two honors students from the University of Bridgeport  (UB), have been named among a select group of American students who were tapped by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the agency’s highly competitive Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program this summer, the University announced today.

Moyer, a World Religions major at UB’s International College, will study Korean at the Language Center of Chonbuk National University in Jeonju, South Korea. Ward ’11, who graduated from UB on May 5 with a bachelor’s in World Religions, will study Arabic at Dhofar University in Salalah, Oman. This is the second time that Ward has won a CLS scholarship.

Highly competitive, the CLS program aims to expand the number of American students who can speak one of more 13 languages—from Azerbaijani to Urdu—that the State Department as identified as critical. Scholarship winners are sent to live overseas, where they spend eight to ten weeks taking intensive language courses at international universities, research centers, and other institutions.

This year, the CLS program attracted 5,225 student applicants from U.S. colleges and universities. After a lengthy review process (applications were submitted in the fall of 2011, included numerous essays, and were reviewed by independent experts before being sent on to a panel of judges who selected winners out of a pool of roughly 1,700 finalists), 631 students were selected into the program for the summer of 2012.

“We are grateful that the State Department continues to support this program,” said UB International College Dean Thomas Ward. “It plays a crucial strategic role. It is helping the next generation of Americans to acquire the skills needed in critical languages. Proficiency in languages such as Arabic and Korean can help us to bridge gaps and further understanding between the United States and nations with which our futures are inextricably entwined.”
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625,