NORMAN – University of Oklahoma senior Ellie Bednarek recently was selected as a recipient of the prestigious Boren Award for International Study, sponsored by the National Security Education Program. Bednarek is the 32nd OU student to receive the award since the program began in 1994.
Boren Scholarships are named for David L. Boren, OU’s 13th President and former Oklahoma Governor and U.S. Senator, in recognition of his authorship in the U.S. Senate of the National Security Education Program. The program focuses 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. The National Security Education Program is the largest study abroad program for American students since the Fulbright program. This year, Boren Scholarships were awarded to fewer than 200 undergraduate students from among the pool of applicants.
“I am thrilled that in 2017 two outstanding OU students, Ellie Bednarek and Ben Korty, have won the national study abroad fellowship, which I worked to create while in the U.S. Senate,” said OU President David L. Boren.
Bednarek is a member of the OU Arabic Flagship program. She will spend her capstone year at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan. This summer, she is participating in an intensive Arabic language program in Meknes, Morocco. Upon graduation next year, she plans to work as an Arabic language analyst.
Two years ago, Bednarek interned with Child’s Cup Full, a nonprofit fair-trade organization in the West Bank. Her work led her to research the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees living in Jordan.
At OU, Bednarek was part of the College of International Studies Leadership Fellows and worked for the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Bednarek also is a National Merit Scholar and a member of the Honors College, earning a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. She completed two intensive Arabic programs in Manah, Oman and Jerusalem, respectively.