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Lucille “Lucy” Greer, who just completed her junior year at UT, has received a prestigious Boren Scholarship that will allow her to spend next year studying Arabic and international politics in Jordan.

Greer, of Knoxville, is majoring in political science with a concentration in international affairs and Middle Eastern studies. She aspires to a career in diplomacy with a focus on the Arab world.

Philip Baites, who also just completed his junior year, was named an alternate for the Boren Scholarship and, if awarded, will study in Morocco.

David L. Boren scholarships and fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a federal initiative designed to build a pool of US citizens with foreign language and international skills. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for at least a year.

“Being named a Boren scholar and spending next year in Jordan—this is a life-changing opportunity for Lucy to further explore a language and world region already so clearly meaningful to her,” said Andrew Seidler, director of UT’s Office of National Scholarship and Fellowships.

Greer will spend the fall studying Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan; in the spring, she hopes to study Arabic, political science, and regional studies with the School for International Training in Jordan.

“I chose Jordan because it is part of a region of the Middle East called the Levant, which also includes Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine,” she said. “Some of the most compelling things in the Middle East are happening in the Levant right now, and I want the kind of understanding of that region that comes from an extended stay.“

While her post-Boren federal government work hasn’t been decided yet, Greer hopes to work for the US Department of State. She interned with them in the United States last fall and will be interning with them again this summer.

Studying in the Chancellor’s Honors Program, Greer has been a Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy Scholar and Ambassador. She is vice president and co-founder of the Feminist Alliance and has been on the UT Quidditch team. She’s a member of Phi Beta Kappa honors society and the Pi Sigma Alpha political science honors society, a recipient of the Elaine Evans Middle East Studies Scholarship, and a Findley Fellow and Alwaleed Fellow with the National Council on U.S.–Arab Relations. 

Greer is among 791 US undergraduates who applied for the Boren Scholarship and one of 194 who received awards. This year’s 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, with the most popular being Arabic, Mandarin, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese, Swahili, and Korean. For more information on the Boren Scholarship, see the program website.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,