Nazanin Kaussari, MA student in the Interpreting and Translations Studies Program (ITS) at Wake Forest, has been awarded the prestigious Boren Fellowship. Ms. Kaussari was chosen from a very select group of graduate students to pursue her studies in Farsi. In July she will be traveling to Georgetown University to complete 5 weeks of advanced study at the Persian Language Institute and then will move on to the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, to continue her intensive language and cultural immersion studies for nine more months.
“The knowledge of Farsi and a complete understanding of the people and culture of Iran are critical to U.S. national security in these times of political tension between the United States and Iran.” observes Ms. Kaussari. “Given these tensions, professionals with full competency and understanding of Farsi and Iranian culture can serve as valuable liaisons or cultural brokers between the United States and Iran.” She intends on applying the strong foundations in multi-cultural competency, linguistics, localization software and interpreting and translation theory and practice that she acquired during her year in the
ITS Program towards achieving her goal of becoming a “qualified professional interpreter, translator and cultural broker for the United States as it confronts and manages its unstable relationship with Iran.”
The ITS Program at Wake Forest is entering its 4th year and was designed by its Co-Directors Dr. Ola Furmanek and Dr. Sally Barbour to prepare professionals to work in the growing language industry and meet communication challenges in a variety of fields – foreign affairs, media, business, law and healthcare delivery – as well as the demands of today’s corporations, governments and organizations who need to operate in a globalized, ethnically diverse world. The program offers three MA tracks: Interpreting and Translation Studies, Intercultural Services in Healthcare and the Teaching of Interpreting. These are one year, 35 credit hour Master of the Arts degrees.
The Boren Awards provide grants to graduate students to add an important international and language component to their graduate education through specialization in area study, language study, or increased language proficiency. The fellowships promote long term linguistic and cultural immersion and support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests. It is funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP). The NSEP was created to develop a strategic partnership between the national security community and higher education, addressing the national need for experts in critical languages and regions. “The National Security Education Program,” according to Dr. Michael A. Nugent, NSEP Director, “is helping change the U.S. higher education system and the way Americans approach the study of foreign languages and cultures.”
Former U.S. Senator David Boren, now University of Oklahoma President says “To continue to play a leadership role in the world, it is vital that America’s future leaders have a deep understanding of the rest of the world.” As a U.S. Senator Boren was the principal author of the legislation that created the National Security Education Program and the scholarships and fellowships that bear his name. “As we seek to lead through partnerships, understanding of other cultures and languages is absolutely essential.”