Four OU Students Receive Boren Awards for International Study
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORMAN – Four University of Oklahoma students – Jeremy Allen of Oklahoma City; Luke Bartz of Wichita, Kansas; Daniel Meschter of Hockessin, Delaware; and Barrett Shelley of Edmond have won the Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program.
Boren Scholarships, named for David L. Boren, OU’s 13th president and a former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator, focus on geographic areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. The awards provide up to $20,000 in funding to undergraduate students to study abroad.
Allen, an Honors student who majors in economics, environmental sustainability and Chinese, will spend this summer in Xi’An, China, through the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Languages Scholarship. Afterward, he will study for the 2015-2016 academic year at Peking University, Beijing, China, through the Boren Award. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from OU in 2017, he plans to begin a career working on multilateral environmental policy with the Environmental Protection Agency, where he interned last summer as a Cortez A.M. Ewing Fellow.
Allen is currently an interdisciplinary analyst for the OU Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth and is president of the Honors Student Association. He has held active roles in the OU Student Government Association, where he has served in Student Congress and as Sooner Freshman Council Co-Chair. Named Outstanding Junior in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, he was a Capitol Scholar in 2014, a U.S. Senate Youth Program Delegate in 2012 and was recently named “Big Man on Campus.”
Bartz is pursuing bachelor’s degrees in Russian and International Studies and a master’s degree in Global Studies with a focus on security. He plans to study Russian at an Eastern European or Central Asian University for the 2015-2016 academic year. Before beginning his studies, Bartz will intern at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna, Austria. On track to graduate Summa cum Laude and earn a Master’s degree in 2017, Bartz plans to work for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.
A National Merit Scholar, Bartz also has received a number of other scholarships, including the International Activism Award, the College of International Studies Student Travel Grant, the Amy Taylor Sewell Scholarship, a Russian Club Scholarship, and the Cuba and Ted Webb Leadership Scholarship. Outside of classes, Bartz volunteers as a barista at Second Wind Coffeehouse in Norman and is active in Sooners Against Sweatshops, the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholars, and the Russian Club.
Meschter, a double major in Arabic and Economics, is a member of the Arabic Language Flagship program and will study for a full year at the Arab American Language Institute and the Université Moulay Ismail in Meknes, Morocco. Every summer since 2012 he has participated in intensive language programs at the University of Texas at Austin, the Sultan Qaboos College for Teaching Arabic in Manah, Oman, and AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan. An Honors student, Meschter is on track to graduate Summa cum Laude upon returning from Morocco and then plans to begin his career in public service.
At OU Meschter has received the President’s Awards for Outstanding Freshmen and Sophomores, the Regents’ Award for Outstanding Juniors, and is currently a member of PE-ET, the top 10 seniors honor society. A National Merit Scholar and Truman Scholarship finalist, he is a member of both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, and the recipient of the Melvin B. Tolson Modern Languages Scholarship, the Dennis G. McLaughlin Award, and other scholarships for his studies abroad. He has been an intern, business analyst and team leader at OU’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth; in addition, he was an Arabic teaching assistant for the Flagship program, a co-founder of the Oklahoma Teaching Alliance, the founder of the OU Honors College Classic Films Watch Group, and a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Scholars.
Shelley, a member of the Arabic Language Flagship, is pursuing majors in Arabic Languages and Literatures, Spanish, and Sociology. He will travel to Morocco this summer and begin study for a full year in Meknes, Morocco, at the Arab American Language Institute and the Université Moulay Ismail. Shelley has studied previously in Argentina and Spain; last summer he participated in an intensive language program in Amman, Jordan. After his year abroad, Shelley plans to pursue graduate degrees in law and Near Eastern studies and then begin a career as a Foreign Service Office with the U.S. Department of State. His ultimate goal is to work in North Africa, specifically Morocco and Algeria.
Active in the Flagship program, Shelley is the Arabic Flagship Program Assistant as well as an Arabic tutor and teacher’s assistant for Arabic classes. President of the OU Arabic Club this past year, he is also co-leader of the Arabic Flagship Cooking Club. Because of his Spanish-speaking skills, Shelley has volunteered as a translator at the Manos Juntas Medical Clinic in Oklahoma City. Consistently on the President’s and Dean’s Honors Rolls, Shelley’s other honors include the Presidential International Travel Fellowship.