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Cadets awarded Project GO grants to study abroad

The University of North Georgia (UNG) has awarded Project Global Officer (GO) scholarships to 21 cadets, including nine from other institutions, to study abroad through UNG programs during summer 2018.

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Benjamin Middleton, a UNG cadet from Greenwood, South Carolina, majoring in Russian with a minor in international affairs, is a Project GO alumnus and has previously earned two grants through the program to study abroad and take intensive language courses.

Project GO is often the starting point for cadets with an international interest to study abroad and pursue language studies, often earning multiple scholarships including the prestigious Gilman, Boren and Fulbright scholarships.

"Project GO programs provide unique language and cultural immersion options for cadets both domestically and overseas," said Daniela Martinez, director of sponsored programs-language at UNG. "Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Chris Jespersen, dean of the College of Arts and Letters, and the work of our faculty and staff, UNG is leading the way in critical language programs and Project GO is at the core of its success."

For Roderick Selman, a UNG cadet from Armuchee, Georgia, majoring in Arabic, spending the summer studying various Arabic dialects in Nizwa, Oman, would not have been possible without Project GO.

"I expect to be completely enveloped in the Omani culture, and the Arabic language, which will be overwhelming and daunting at first. But I know myself, and I know my desire to study Arabic, so I cannot wait for this challenge," Selman said. "Even though a part of me is intimidated, the other part of me is absolutely bursting with joy and excitement."

Though this summer will be Selman's first-ever trip abroad, he hopes to have additional study abroad trips in his future and plans to pursue graduate studies. Professionally, he seeks to commission into military intelligence in the Georgia National Guard and pursue a civilian job in national security. He knows that this summer's study abroad trip will help him realize many of those goals.

Benjamin Middleton, a UNG cadet from Greenwood, South Carolina, majoring in Russian with a minor in international affairs, has previously earned two Project GO awards, and this summer will serve as an intern in Latvia.

"Project Global Officer is the perfect program for those like me who want an opportunity not only to see the world and learn a language, but a program that also allows one to truly understand a culture and its people through immersion," Middleton said. "Both of my career goals are geared toward understanding the international stage and Project GO was a great first step in that direction."

His career plans involve either psychological operations/civil affairs in the military or working with the United Nations.

Nikulaus Pujals, a UNG cadet from Roswell, Georgia, majoring in strategic and security studies with a minor in Russian, seeks to commission into the U.S. Army signal corps or military intelligence, then pursue a career in the FBI or CIA. Like Middleton, he has earned his second Project GO award.

"This opportunity to study abroad will allow me to enhance my skills as a linguist and hopefully open my eyes to the threats our country currently faces in Eastern Europe," Pujals said. "As for the FBI or CIA, this opportunity will get me the 'out of country' experience I need to be successful on a global scale. Using language as a tool to gather intelligence is very important in the field I want to work in. Russian specifically has great value to both of these agencies and I hope this experience allows them to see me as a particularly beneficial asset to their agencies."

In addition to the 21 cadets awarded Project GO funds to study abroad, UNG awards Project GO to cadets seeking to participate in UNG's Summer Language Institutes, a six-week immersive language program. Those scholarships will be awarded later this spring.

Now in its 10th year at UNG, Project GO grants fund domestic and overseas experiences for cadets studying critical languages. The program is sponsored by the Defense Language and National Security Education Office and administered by the Institute of International Education. Project GO’s goal is to help ROTC students achieve at least an intermediate level of language proficiency by the time they graduate college.

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