UMKC Student Receives Nationally Competitive Boren Awards Scholarship

Liberty Gladden heads to South Korea, thanks to her award

UMKC student Liberty Gladden has been selected as a winner of a 2024 Boren Scholarship. Gladden, a junior studying computer and information sciences with a minor in business, will receive funding to pursue intensive Korean language study at a university in South Korea in Fall 2024.

Gladden is currently studying abroad at Hanyang University in South Korea, and this opportunity will allow her to return to the country for another semester and further cultural immersion. Gladden’s future goals involve pursuing her Master in Business Administration at UMKC and eventually working as a leader within the U.S. government.

The Boren Awards is a highly competitive national award program, which provides up to $25,000 in funding for students to study language and culture abroad.

The program aims to provide students with the resources and encouragement necessary to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to U.S. national security. In exchange, recipients accept a service requirement to work for the federal government for at least one year after the completion of their program.

Recipients are chosen based on the relevance of their country and language to U.S. national security, their commitment to long-term government service, demonstrated academic preparation and cultural adaptability.

Liberty Gladden stands infront of a South Korea attraction.

“I’m excited for this award to help impact my future by allowing me to carry out my career goals on a global scale passionately,” Gladden said. “This opportunity will help me achieve mastery in Korean, which will enable me to further be of service to the Korean people and aid in U.S.-South Korea relations. It is a blessing to be given this opportunity and I credit it to the hard work put in by not only myself, but also so many others who have helped me along this journey such as my UMKC Competitive Awards Advisor McLain Hymer and even professor Alex Matlack.”

Gladden discovered the Boren Awards thanks to Hymer.

"When Liberty and I first met, she had never heard of the Boren Awards before, but it quickly became apparent that this program would be a great fit based on her interest in the Korean language and a future career path within the federal government,” said McLain Hymer, manager of nationally competitive awards at the UMKC Career Services. “I am excited to hear about how this opportunity for cultural immersion will help Liberty continue to enhance her Korean language skills and further her personal and professional development.”

UMKC Career Services offers career development and resources for UMKC students and graduates, such as help with applying for competitive awards to further academic and professional interests. They also offer opportunities for employers to connect with talented students and alumni.

“I am excited to continue working with UMKC students of all academic disciplines as they pursue nationally competitive award opportunities,” Hymer said. “The experiential learning opportunities offered through programs like Boren are amazing ways for our students to deepen their understanding of the world around them and reflect on their goals for the future.”

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