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Six W&L Students Awarded Critical Language Scholarships Six undergraduate students received Critical Language Scholarships, which will provide them the opportunity to study language intensively during summer 2022.

Six Washington and Lee University students have received Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) for summer 2022: Ana Estrada Hamm ’22 for Arabic, Nick Mosher ’22 for Russian, Eli Bradley ’22 for Japanese, Janae Darby ’25 for Arabic, Frances McDonough ’22 for Arabic and Ava Wilkes ’25 for Chinese.

DJ Johnston ’22 was selected as an alternate for Arabic language studies.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and is a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students. Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the military conflict in Ukraine, many of the CLS institutes for summer 2022 will be offered as virtual programs.

“Earning this award speaks to the quality of education I have been fortunate to receive at W&L and the meaningful relationships I have formed with my professors and mentors,” said Bradley. “Without their encouragement and support, I could never have gotten this far.”

This is the second year in a row Estrada Hamm has received the award. Her mentor, W&L Arabic professor Anthony Edwards, cites her dedication as a critical factor behind her success.

“Words cannot express my utmost happiness for Ana,” said Edwards. “For four straight years and two intensive summers, she has dedicated herself to studying Arabic but has never been able to go abroad because of the global pandemic. I’m thrilled that this summer, Ana will finally travel to Morocco on the competitive CLS. She is a hardworking and distinguished learner of Arabic who represents the best of this country.”

Wilkes, a second-year student, says the Office of Fellowships on campus was an invaluable resource throughout the application process for her CLS application. She credits Matthew Loar, director of fellowships at W&L, for guiding her through the process.

“Professor Loar not only met with me multiple times to help me revise my essays and perfect my application, but also checked in at every stage of the application process,” Wilkes said. “It was extremely gratifying to know that my counselors and professors were as invested in my success as I was.”

The CLS Program runs every summer and is open to American students at colleges and universities. The competition for summer 2023 scholarships will open in fall 2022. The goals of the highly selective program are to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and to build relationships between citizens of the U.S. and other countries.