Rosenbloom and Youngdahl Receive Critical Language Scholarship Honor

May 20, 2020
Daniel Rosenbloom, class of 2022, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2020
Daniel Rosenbloom ’22, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2020

Daniel Rosenbloom ’22 and Sophia Youngdahl ’23 were awarded Critical Language Scholarships for summer 2020. 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.

Rosenbloom, of Park City, Utah, is majoring in Russian and political science with a concentration in linguistics. He was accepted for study of Russian in Vladimir, Russia.

Youngdahl, of Lexington, Virginia, was accepted for study of Indonesian in Malang, Indonesia.

Unfortunately, due to travel concerns associated with the coronavirus pandemic, the program was suspended shortly after the scholarship recipients and alternates were announced in early March. Then, the scholarship program announced in early May that it will be able to offer virtual language institutes for scholars in six languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, and Russian.

“Daniel and Sophia join 11 other Grinnell graduates who have had the honor of being named Critical Language Scholars,” said Ann Landstrom, assistant dean, and director of global fellowships and awards. “For the eight-to-10-week experience, students strengthen and deepen their language competency with the expectation they will continue the language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.”

Sophia Youngdahl, class of 2023, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2020
Sophia Youngdahl ’23, is named a Critical Language Scholar for summer 2020.

Rosenbloom plans to pursue a career in international relations with a focus on Russia’s interaction with former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Along with his two years of Russian study at Grinnell, he participated in the Russian program of the Middlebury Language Schools in summer 2019. “I was incredibly happy to find out that I received the Critical Language Scholarship, and I’m delighted to continue to study the language that I’m so passionate about,” Rosenbloom said. It will be confirmed soon if he will participate in the Russian virtual language institute.

Youngdahl’s study of Indonesian was a gateway to learn less-spoken languages on the hundreds of Indonesian islands. “Language is my passion, because of the inherent connection learning a new language creates with other people; and I was really excited to be able to foster those connections this summer,” Youngdahl said. She grew up speaking Spanish and English and learned French in high school. After high school, she spent a year living in rural Senegal immersed in Wolof language study, cultural engagement, and teaching. Youngdahl has not yet declared her major, but she imagines it will be in the realm of anthropology, religious studies, and studio art.

Students of diverse 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.

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