Burch and Pavey Receive Critical Language Scholarships

April 14, 2021

Grinnell College students Makaela Burch ’22 and Andy Pavey ’22 were awarded Critical Language Scholarships for summer 2021. The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is a two-month summer study-abroad opportunity for American college and university students to learn one of 15 languages essential to America’s engagement with the world. 

Makaela Burch, class of 2022, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2021.

Burch, of Lithonia, Georgia, is double majoring in Chinese and political science with a concentration in global development studies. She was accepted for study of Korean at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea. 

Pavey, of LeClaire, Iowa, is a Russian and English double major. He was accepted for study of Russian at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. 

“Makaela and Andrew are embarking upon an experience that will strengthen and deepen their language competency whether they can participate in person or attend virtually,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean and director of global fellowships and awards at Grinnell. “At this time, Makaela is planning for full cultural immersion in South Korea, while Andrew’s program is running virtually.” 

Burch shared, “I have always loved learning languages and I am excited for the opportunity to have an immersive learning experience. I hope to come back with not only an increased language level, but also more understanding about my host country and its culture.” Following her Grinnell College education, Burch plans to get a master’s degree in urban planning with an intended focus on global urban sustainability and environmental equity. The Student Government Association, GreenFund, and the Chinese and Japanese Department Student Educational Policy Committee activities along with her academic studies have been influential experiences that have shaped her future plans. She has also held positions as community engagement assistant for the Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership and a summer residential counselor for Tufts University International. 

Andy Pavey, class of 2022, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2021.

Pavey is a member of the Russian Student Educational Policy Committee and has served several terms of AmeriCorps service and worked for the United States Census Bureau. “I’m so excited to build upon and intensify my study of Russian this summer with the CLS program. I’d like to thank my professors in the Russian department for supporting my application and instilling in me a deep appreciation for Slavic language and culture.” Pavey has a demonstrated commitment to policy and public service with the plan to work in non-profit or government upon receiving his bachelor’s degree. 

Students of all disciplines and varied language levels are encouraged to apply to study and master a critical foreign language through the CLS program. The process opens in early fall each year with a November application deadline. Landstrom encourages students to obtain advising through the Global Fellowships and Awards program and faculty mentors at Grinnell College. 

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