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Two Dickinson College Students Receive U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship

Photo montage of portraits of Rediet Patterson and Xenia Makosky

Rediet Patterson '22 (L) and Xenia Makosky '24.

State Department Scholarship Furthers Study of Arabic

Two Dickinson College students have been awarded the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to continue their studies for eight weeks this summer. Rediet Patterson '22 and Xenia Makosky '24 will further their study of Arabic through the scholarship. Patterson is a two-time recipient of the CLS, having also received the award in 2020.

“I am honored to be part of the State Department’s CLS program again this summer,” said Patterson. “Although it is a challenging program, Dickinson’s Middle East Studies Department has prepared me to take on the challenge and master the language.”

Patterson and Makosky are among 700 students selected to participate in CLS, and Dickinson is one of 255 institutions represented in the 2021 program. Due to the global pandemic, CLS Institutes in 2021 are offered virtually. Although the format is different than the usual study abroad experience, the Virtual Institutes from 2020 resulted in impressive language gains among participants with opportunities for virtual engagement with host communities abroad.

“While I was of course disappointed that I would not be able to study in Meknes, Morocco, this summer, I have been impressed by the program’s organization and the quality of education,” said Makosky. “One of my teachers is known internationally for training Arabic instructors and is part of the team of teachers writing the newest textbook in the Al-Kitaab series. CLS has done everything possible to give us an enriching, high-quality experience.”

The CLS program is administered by American Councils for International Education as part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. The CLS program provides opportunities to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study one of 15 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu.

Dickinson’s distinctive approach to international education includes offering programs in 13 languages and running 18 global programs in 15 countries. The college is the only institution to win the NAFSA Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization twice.

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Published July 15, 2021