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Nicole S. Rowe
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Wilmington University Student Selected for U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Bahar Jett is Studying Azerbaijani in Azerbaijan

Bahar Jett, a student in Wilmington University’s Master of Business Administration program, is among 630 students from around the nation selected for the 2012 U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program. The program is part of the government’s effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critically needed foreign languages. Jett will travel to Azerbaijan this summer to study Azerbaijani.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” says Jett, who is an MBA major with a concentration in Health Administration. “The CLS program accepts more than six thousand applicants annually with 10% acceptance rate, so it is quite an honor.”

Jett is currently in Baku, Azerbaijan, where she will be studying Azeri language and culture at Azerbaijani University. As part of the 10-week program Jett will immerse herself in culture, language and customs. “I chose to study Azeri because I wanted to learn a critical language that was not widely spoken, and has a critical shortage both in the U.S and abroad,” she says.

The CLS Program provides fully funded, group-based language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences designed to increase language fluency and cultural competency. Each participant is expected to continue language study beyond the scholarship, and apply critical language skills in future professional careers.

Jett works as a health care administrator and part-time international health specialist for the U.S. Air Force Surgeon General. “As an active duty Air Force member, I am interested in aiding U.S. foreign relations with my linguistic, medical and cultural abilities,” she says. “After this opportunity, I will be the only qualified, designated Azeri interpreter for 30,000 Air Force medical service members.”

Jett is excited to see what comes of this training. “I’m planning to use my studies in a global health capacity because I believe this relationship will open up more intercultural dialogue between the United States and the Caucasus region,” she says.

Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - New Castle, DE