Building Global Stability One International Scholar at a Time

Tuesday, June 12 2012


By Donna Emert

MOSCOW, Idaho – Effective international relations require a distinct skill set, including mastery of a foreign language, enough cultural experience to foster insight, and strong diplomacy skills.

University of Idaho International Studies student Ana Reed is already cultivating those skills. With the recent award of an up to $20,000 David L. Boren Scholarship, the National Security Education Program and the Institute of International Education have formally invested in strengthening that skill set, providing a year-long opportunity for Reed to study language and culture at Peking University in Beijing, China.

The NSEP is a federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills, with the ultimate goal of bolstering national and global security.

“The National Security Education Program represents an essential component of a comprehensive national security strategy to address serious and long-time deficiencies in critical language expertise,” explains Michael A. Nugent, director of NSEP.

As a Boren Scholar, Reed hopes to help the United States meet its need for culturally astute, bilingual diplomats. Following her year of study in Beijing, she will fulfill a one-year service requirement with the U.S. government.

Reed completed two years of Chinese language study while at U-Idaho and will continue to study Mandarin language and culture in Beijing.

“I think the significance of this kind of immersive study of Asia and China will help me prepare in my career areas that contribute toward fostering gateways to U.S.-China relations and the many avenues necessary in areas of diplomatic associations, issues of co-existence and economic cooperation,” said Reed. “My goals while studying in China are to develop a greater understanding of the Chinese people and their government and to grasp their values and their perspective toward the Western world.”

As a U-Idaho student, Reed’s diplomatic training has been ongoing. She has researched several facets of Chinese culture and government, including China’s economic policies. She was recently selected to participate in an International Studies research program in which she elected to study the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, compiling national positions on APEC initiatives.

“Ana was looking for programs and ideas related to such diverse topics as enhancement of regional efforts to respond to natural disasters, and global health epidemics,” said Bill Smith, director of the Martin Institute and Program in International Studies. “That work has led to interesting reflections upon U.S. sovereignty as it is balanced with cooperation across the region.

“It was not an easy research project; I judged Ana’s work to be tops amongst the 54 people in the class,” said Smith. “Ana is among the very first people I would turn to in a situation where I wanted to put forth the best of who we are at the university.”
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The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to more than 70 additional research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.