Graduate student earns Boren Fellowship to study Turkish language

Penn State graduate student Denzell Ivery earned a Boren Fellowship, which will provide him the opportunity to study the Turkish language and eventually travel to Baku, Azerbaijan.

Ivery, of Philadelphia, is a veteran Marine enrolled in the Master of Professional of Studies in Community and Economic Development offered online through Penn State World Campus.

“Earning this award means the world to me,” Ivery said. “As a recently separated Marine, I was eager to find opportunities that would best fit my future aspirations.”

As a Boren Fellow, Ivery will participate in the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative, first at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this summer before traveling to Baku in the fall to study at the Azerbaijan University of Languages. The Boren Awards support fellows with the costs of tuition, language partners, books and materials, excursions, housing, meals, and a stipend. Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowship Mentoring staff worked with Ivery throughout the Boren application process to provide feedback and support.

Ivery said that after he completes his current degree, he will pursue a master of arts in international relations, aiming for a career with the U.S. Department of State. His graduate thesis explores the efficacy of educational programs in foreign areas.

“I plan to use the language skills and cultural knowledge that I acquire through this Boren Award to foster positive research environments and gain insight into the individuals and programs that I will examine to support my work,” he said.

Ivery has been “chipping away” at his graduate program since 2018, he said, and lived in four different countries during that time. He said he received “incredible” and readily available support from Penn State when he needed it.

“I’m so glad to round out my Penn State experience with this Boren Award,” Ivery said. “This unique opportunity will surely teach me a great deal about myself and the world around me.”

Ivery earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Temple University.

About the Boren Awards

The Boren Awards program offers the Boren Scholarship to undergraduates and the Boren Fellowship to graduate students for the intensive study of language and culture abroad. Universities are asked to evaluate applicants for this national award, and Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring can help applicants develop their materials. The deadline for the undergraduate scholarship is typically in December, and January for the graduate fellowship.

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State.

Media Contact:
Mike Dawson