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14 Gatton Academy Students to participate in National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program

Fourteen students at The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science at Western Kentucky University (WKU)  have been offered nationally-competitive National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarships for immersive, critical language study this summer. This marks the 12th consecutive year for Gatton Academy students to receive the scholarship.

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NSLI-Y scholarships from the U.S. Department of State fund students for six to eight weeks of summer intensive study and immersion in a critical language. The programs are typically carried out through immersive study abroad, with participants taking intensive language courses, living with a host family, and visiting sites of cultural significance in their host nation. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some summer 2022 programs are occurring virtually through online summer intensives. Exceptions are programs in Taiwan and those for Russian studies, which will include the traditional study abroad immersion this summer. The following students received NSLI-Y Scholarships for summer language study.

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The Gatton Academy is home to special language tracks in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, and Russian called STEM + Critical Languages. These programs have been nationally recognized by the America’s Languages Guide and are carried out in partnership with the WKU Department of Modern Languages and the Chinese Language Flagship Program at WKU. Through these optional curricular tracks, students pair progressively rigorous critical language study each semester alongside the classic STEM curriculum offered to all Gatton Academy students.

This summer’s recipients are noted below with their sending schools:

Krishna Angal (’23, North Oldham HS) will continue Arabic study this summer in Rabat, Morocco.

Anna Crimmins (’23, Beechwood HS) will continue Arabic study this summer in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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Gabriel Fortier (’23, LaRue County HS) will continue Russian study in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Emma Harris (’22, Hickman County HS) will continue Chinese study by spending an academic year in Taiwan.

Hank Helmers (’23, Danville HS) will continue Chinese study this summer through NSLI-Y’s virtual program.

Kole Ingram (’22, Knott County Central HS) will continue Arabic study in Amman, Jordan.

Holly McClure (’23, Russell County HS) will continue Chinese study this summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Elizabeth Mikeworth (’22, Rockcastle County HS) will continue Chinese study this summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Quinn Miller (’23, Hopkinsville HS) will continue Chinese study this summer through NSLI-Y’s virtual program.

Neel Patel (’23, LaRue County HS) was accepted for Chinese study this summer through NSLI-Y’s virtual program.

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Reagan Phelps (’23, Bardstown HS) will continue Russian study in Narva, Estonia.

Samirah Salifu (’22, Greenwood HS) will continue Arabic study this summer in Rabat, Morocco.

Nathaniel Turlington (’22, Central Hardin HS) will continue Russian study in Kazakhstan.

Sophie Wielawski (’23, Allen County Scottsville HS) will continue Russian study in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented juniors and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students for eleven consecutive appearances and received the National Consortium for Secondary STEM School’s Innovation Partnership Award.

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