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Two USD Students Receive Prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship

VERMILLION, S.D. – Two current students in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of South Dakota, committed to pursuing careers in national security, have received the prestigious David L. Boren Scholarship for 2019.

Elena Freeman is a junior at USD with a triple major in international studies, political science and French. Freeman received a Boren scholarship to study in Senegal. Ross Oyler, a sophomore majoring in international studies and political science, will spend the next academic year studying in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

As a long-time public servant committed to international affairs, Senator David L. Boren established his scholarship to support young scholars who address vital national security issues. The Institute for International Education administers the scholarships.

Boren Scholarships provide unique funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students planning to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. After receiving up to $20,000, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

“We are very proud of these hardworking and dedicated students,” said David Earnest, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Political Science. "Ross and Elena have very bright futures, and we are very fortunate to have students like them representing our department with such distinction.” 

Elena Freeman headshot

Elena Freeman, a junior at USD, received a Boren Scholarship to study in Senegal.

Ross Oyler headshot

Ross Oyler, a sophomore at USD, received a Boren Scholarship to study in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News