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Four UT students have received US Department of State Critical Language Scholarships to travel abroad and spend ten weeks studying critical-needs languages this summer.

This year’s scholarship recipients are:

  • Desiree Dube, of Clarksville, Tennessee, a senior in history and Russian studies who will graduate in May 2016. She will go to Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, to study Russian.
  • Jonathan Barsness, of Seattle, Washington, a doctoral student in political science. He will go to Madaba, Jordan, to study Arabic.
  • Michaela Clements, of Clarksville, Tennessee, a graduating senior in Hispanic studies and language and world business. She will go to Beijing, China, to study Chinese.
  • Joseph Garlington, of Knoxville, a graduating senior in linguistics. He will go to Tangier, Morocco, to study Arabic.

The CLS program, administered by American Councils for International Education, is part of a US government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS program participants are expected to continue their language study and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.

The four UT scholarship winners are among about 550 US undergraduate and graduate students to receive CLS Scholarships to thirteen countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. The recipients hail from forty-nine states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and represent more than 200 institutions of higher education across the country, including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions, and community colleges.

More information about other exchange programs offered by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is available online.

UT students interested in applying for the 2015–16 Critical Language Scholarships should visit the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships website and contact ONSF Director Nichole Fazio-Veigel at





Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,