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Middlebury Sophomore Wins Boren Scholarship

May 1, 2019

Piara Biggs ’21.5

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Piara Biggs ’21.5 has been awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship for the 2019–20 academic year. Biggs is one of 244 undergraduate recipients of the competitive scholarship presented by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the National Security Education Program. Boren scholarships are designed to help students gain international and language education in areas of the world considered critical to U.S. interests.

An international and global studies major from Wilmington, Del., Biggs plans to spend the fall semester at the Middlebury School in Jordan. In the spring she will study at the Middlebury School in Morocco.

“Piara’s ambitious plan to spend a full year abroad at Middlebury’s programs in Jordan and Morocco, combined with her academic focus of international and global studies and her dedication to working on the world refugee crisis, is a perfect fit for the Boren,” said Stacey Thebodo, associate director of international programs and off-campus study.

Biggs, who is considering minoring in Arabic, was looking for an international opportunity that would provide a broad range of experience. “I decided to study abroad in two different regions of the Arab world to expose myself to different dialects of the language and experience different cultures within the Arab world,” said Biggs.

“It seemed like a perfect opportunity to help fund my study abroad experience and give me chances to gain career experience after graduation,” said Biggs. “The Boren scholarship helps me to fulfill two parts of my IGS major. First, I will be able to use Boren funding to become a better Arabic speaker and in the future, I can use my language skills and apply them to a broader field while fulfilling my service requirement by working on issues of national security like the ones I am studying in the IGS global security studies track.” 

Biggs says that after graduation she hopes to fulfill her Boren service requirement by working for the Department of State in foreign service. She envisions a career related to her primary interests—human rights and refugee management—at the international level, working for an international organization or an international NGO.

Since 1994, more than 6,000 students have received Boren awards. Recipients accept a service requirement to work for the federal government in the national security arena.