May 4, 2012
 

USD students awarded Critical Language Scholarships in 2012

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Two University of South Dakota students were awarded Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and The Council of American Overseas Research Centers.
 

Jessie Milstead from Hartford, S.D. will study Arabic while Kendra Van Nyhuis of Hull, Iowa will study Korean through this program, which allocates funding for students to participate in beginning, intermediate and advanced level summer language programs. Scholarship recipients are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their professional careers.

Milstead, a political science and physics major, is traveling to Jordan to study at the Jordan Institute in Amman. Van Nyhuis, who will graduate this month with a B.A. in anthropology and music, will attend the University of California Berkeley in the fall for their M.A./Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology, a combination of anthropology and music.

“Most of my research has been on East Asian music and instruments,” explained Van Nyhuis, daughter of Kevin and Linda Roozing of Hull, Iowa. “My end goal is to become a college professor and teach while doing research.”

Van Nyhuis will spend two months abroad in South Korea prior to enrolling at California-Berkeley. She will stay with a Korean family to fully immerse herself in language learning. As far as music goes, Van Nyhuis fully immersed herself in working on campus at the National Music Museum for two years. Not only did the experience expose her to a vast collection of musical instruments, it also helped her outline a career path.

“The National Music Museum has been an extremely important resource in my research,” Van Nyhuis said. “My honors thesis was a comparative analysis of East Asian bamboo flutes, which I could not have completed without the extensive collection at the National Music Museum. I have been working there for almost two years, and it shaped my career goals.”

A photo of Van Nyhuis is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Kendra_VanNyhuis.jpg.

Music, too, has played a big part in Milstead’s life. The daughter of Mike and Rhonda Milstead of Hartford plays a variety of musical instruments from the guitar to the saxophone, but politics, particularly Middle Eastern politics, keep her in step these days. That’s why the West Central High School graduate (2007) will be studying Arabic to develop a foundation in the Jordanian dialect.

“The Jordan Institute is considered the equivalent of a full academic year of Arabic study,” stated Milstead, a 2010 Boren Scholar. “For four hours per day, five days per week, I will be in the classroom learning both Modern Standard Arabic and the Jordanian dialect.”

It will be the third time in her academic career that Milstead has earned an opportunity to study the Arabic language in the Middle East. As a USD sophomore, Milstead traveled to Egypt. The David L. Boren Scholarship paid for a year of study at American University in Cairo. She was in the midst of this study abroad experience last winter when an Egyptian uprising led to a revolution that grabbed worldwide headlines. She returned safely to the U.S. weeks earlier than planned but because her studies in Cairo were interrupted, the Boren covered an additional three months for Milstead to study in Rabat, Morocco last summer. It was an unusual experience for the 23 year-old, but she’s looking forward to a return to the Middle East.

“The USD community has played a significant role in my academic success by providing the opportunities for me to be able to study around the world,” said Milstead, whose father, Mike, is the Minnehaha County Sheriff, and brother, Jeremy, is a 1st Lt. in the United States Army. “The support from faculty and administrative staff has created a very positive atmosphere at USD.”

A photo of Milstead is available for download at www.usd.edu/press/news/images/releases/Jessie_Milstead001.jpg.

Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, the Critical Language Scholarships Program was launched in 2006. In its inaugural year, the program offered intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2012, 631 students representing 240 colleges and universities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico were selected to receive a 2012 Critical Language Scholarship award. Over 5,200 students applied for the award, which places CLS among some of the most competitive scholarship competitions in the U.S. All program costs are covered for participants. This includes travel between the student’s home city and program location, pre-departure orientation costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, travel within country and all entrance fees for program activities. For more information, visit http://clscholarship.org.

 
About The National Music Museum
 
The National Music Museum, located at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, is the preeminent institution worldwide for the comprehensive study of musical instruments. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the NMM was founded in 1973 on the campus of the University of South Dakota. As a partnership between USD and the non-profit entity, National Music Museum Inc., the National Music Museum is home to the deepest and most distinguished collection of musical instruments in the nation. Both through bold purchases on the international market and through a network of donors from coast to coast, the NMM’s collections include many of the earliest, finest and most historically important musical instruments in existence.
 
About The University of South Dakota
 
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.
 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Phillip Carter
The University of South Dakota
605-677-6258
phillip.carter@usd.edu
 
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