Nguyen wins National Security Education Program’s Boren Scholarship

May 11, 2020

Lise Mychaleckyj, Benjamin Madnick and Kelly Nguyen
Lise Mychaleckyj, left, Benjamin Madnick and Kelly Nguyen

Three Virginia Commonwealth University students have been selected for Boren Scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year, one of whom is Kelly Nguyen, a junior majoring in political science in the College of Humanities and Sciences and in international studies within the School of World Studies. Other recipients were Benjamin Madnick, a senior majoring in homeland security and emergency preparedness and criminal justice in the L. Douglas Wilder School for Government and Public Affairs, and Lise Mychaleckyj, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.

The Boren Scholarship provides funding for undergraduate and graduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests that are underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. The addition of Madnick, Nguyen and Mychaleckyj brings the number of VCU Boren Scholars to 21.

Nguyen, a member of the VCU Honors College as well as VCU Globe, will participate in Boren’s African Flagship Language Initiative. Nguyen will study Portuguese at the University of Florida and then in Maputo, Mozambique, where she will take language courses as well as courses related to the culture and traditions of Mozambique. After graduation, she plans to join the Peace Corps and then pursue a law degree to serve as an immigration lawyer. Nguyen grew up in Springfield, Virginia.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students’ original plans have been altered. The host institutions will provide intensive language study virtually, and study abroad has been delayed to begin no sooner than Jan. 1, 2021.

Doane, Madnick, Mychaleckyj and Nguyen worked with VCU’s National Scholarship Office to apply for the Boren Scholarship. The office supports VCU alumni, graduate students and undergraduates who wish to compete for prestigious national and international scholarships. Interested students and alumni can contact the office at or (804) 828-6868.

Read full article on VCU News.