NYU Abu Dhabi student wins prominent Boren Award

The award promotes linguistic and cultural immersion in critical languages across the world and student Cameron John Wehr – the first NYUAD student to receive the award –  will study Mandarin in Beijing for one year.

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Class of 2022 student Cameron John Wehr has been named as a recipient of the prestigious Boren Award, which promotes linguistic and cultural immersion within critical language groups, including Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, and Swahili. Wehr is the first student from NYUAD to receive this award and will study Mandarin for one year in Beijing, gaining a deep understanding of both Chinese culture and the nation’s environmental policy.

The Boren Awards provide scholarships and fellowships for students committed to entering the civil service of the United States. They provide funding to enable students to intensively study a diverse range of languages, alongside being fully immersed in cultures from regions that are underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Wehr, from the United States, is majoring in Social Research and Public Policy with a minor in Environmental Studies. He studied in Shanghai for his most recent January Term (J-Term), NYUAD’s experiential and immersive learning term, which drove him to seek to learn more about Chinese culture and the country’s environmental policy.

Wehr is passionate about understanding sustainability challenges. He has worked with the Plastics Recycling Research Lab at NYUAD to study the changing role of plastics, interned with a California regulatory organization to research nuclear energy regulation and malpractice, and taken part in NYUAD student interest groups with an environmental focus.

Speaking on the award, Wehr commented: “I chose to attend NYUAD because I truly admire the mission of the University – to cut across national boundaries to create a hub of intercultural exchange and exploration.  Although I had been cognizant of China’s increasingly important role as a world leader, my J-Term in Shanghai allowed me to realize a new fascination with the Mandarin language and Chinese culture. Through this experience, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of Mandarin, Chinese culture, and the role of China as a global environmental leader.”

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