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Critical Language Scholarship names junior a finalist and three others alternates

March 30, 2020

University of North Georgia (UNG) junior Megan Shockley, a member of the Corps of Cadets, was thrilled to learn she received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) in early January 2020.

"I applied last year and didn't even make semifinalist," she said. "But when I saw the email that said, 'Congratulations,' it clicked in my mind that this was real."

In mid-March a different reality hit. CLS suspended its summer language institutes for 2020 in light of the U.S. state department's level 3 travel advisory because of the global coronavirus pandemic. All 2020 finalists or alternates may re-apply for the 2021 CLS Program, regardless of whether they are enrolled in a degree-seeking program at that time.

Shockley, who is pursuing a degree in modern languages with a concentration in Chinese for global professionals, is the lone finalist from UNG. The 20-year-old from Wilmington, Delaware, would have studied in Taiwan.

Three other UNG students who were named semifinalists had been designated as alternates. If a finalist declines the scholarship, then an alternate is selected. The three alternates were:

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.

The perseverance and adaptability of our students continues to amaze me," said Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president for research and engagement. "These traits, coupled with their academic excellence and leadership, is demonstrated time and time again as they attain national recognition."  

Shockley plans to study abroad in Taiwan in the coming year. As a cadet, she is encouraged to study abroad or complete an internship. As a participant in the Chinese Flagship Program, she also is advised to complete a capstone year to earn a superior level or at least advanced high level of Chinese proficiency. She also hopes to complete her capstone project in Taiwan, where she traveled in 2019 thanks to Gilman and Freeman-Asia scholarships.

"Now that I've gotten past the culture shock, I would really like to jump in and try the things that I was too afraid to try last year," she said.

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact ncs@ung.edu for more information.

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