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Six students selected as CLS semifinalists

2021-02-08-CLS scholarship graphic
Six UNG students were selected as Critical Language Scholarship semifinalists. The CLS program funds American undergraduate and graduate students to complete intensive language study abroad in the summer.

University of North Georgia (UNG) students Elizabeth Hoyer and Bailey Pieplow dream of working for the FBI one day. Hoyer wants to be a profiler, and Pieplow aspires to become a linguist.

Both women know they need an advantage over other job applicants. One possible edge is proficiency in a critical language while another is a study abroad program.

Hoyer and Pieplow are on their way to securing both advantages as they are among six UNG students selected as Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) semifinalists.

"This came as a surprise," said Pieplow, a senior pursuing degrees in Spanish and modern languages with a Chinese language and literature concentration. "There were a lot of applicants, and I wasn't expecting to be chosen as a semifinalist. But I am very grateful."

Hoyer, a freshman pursuing a degree in psychology who is in the Honors program, and Pieplow were surprised to be selected as semifinalists since they were first-time applicants. Hoyer hopes to study Korean while Pieplow aims to study Chinese.

The other four are repeat applicants:

Dr. Victoria Hightower, assistant director of the nationally competitive scholarships office and associate professor of history, said having six semifinalists shows the strength of UNG's language programs, the mentorship of its faculty, and the encouragement students receive. She also praised the hard work of the applicants who complete five essays that explore their cultural knowledge, motivations, and futures.

"I am always humbled by the amount of work our students put in to these applications, both physical and emotional," Hightower said. "These scholarships require the students to think about their lives in five or 10 years. This takes a lot of emotional energy, and they are up for the task."

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CLS program funds American undergraduate and graduate students to complete intensive language study abroad in the summer. Finalists will be chosen later this month.

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact  for more information. Also, students interested in learning about funding and programs to study abroad in a variety of projects can visit the Center for Global Engagement website.

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