by Charles Anzalone
Published April 27, 2020
Alisa Delaj, a mechanical engineering major from Yonkers, has been selected to receive the prestigious Boren Scholarship. She will study at Korea University in a year-long program.
Delaj previously studied mechanical engineering in Korea during the spring 2019 semester. She is currently an intern with the U.S. Department of the Navy, Strategic Systems Programs. She also had an internship with the Department of State, where she helped teach diplomats the Albanian language.
She participates in UB’s Nanosatellite Laboratory and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Her ambition is to become an engineer in the Navy.
“For me, this award means stepping out of my comfort zone of numbers and theories,” Delaj says. “It means developing as an engineer, both technically and culturally.”
The Boren Scholarship provides funding to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Boren Scholars represent many academic fields, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages.
Successful candidates will be able to relate their career goals, as well as country and language choice, to U.S. national security broadly defined. Applicants must demonstrate interest in government service, also broadly defined.
The award is for one semester or one academic year, and includes $8,000 for a summer program (special initiative for STEM students only; eight weeks minimum), $10,000 for a semester and $20,000 for a full academic year. Nearly 800 students in the country applied for this award, with 220 being selected for scholarships.
Carmila Stafford of Orchard Park, a linguistics major with a concentration in Japanese, also received the award and will study at Konan University in Japan on a year-long exchange program.