ORONO — University of Maine graduate student Tiffany Tanner of Brunswick will study Russian in Belarus after earning a Boren Fellowship.

The Institute of International Education, on behalf of the National Security Education Program, grants Boren Fellowships to graduate students pursuing public service careers so they can study a language abroad. Each fellowship provides up to $25,000 for up to 52 weeks of study, according to the Boren Awards website. Tanner is one of 124 fellowship recipients from a pool of 334 applicants, according to the institute. 

Tanner, a global policy student enrolled in the 4+1 program from the School of Policy and International Affairs, says she plans to participate in the Russian language program at Minsk State Linguistic University for 10 months. 

After studying Russian at UMaine since her first year, Tanner says further training in the language abroad will help her become more proficient in it and earn a career in the fields of public service and international affairs. Studying in Belarus will provide a unique experience for Tanner “because I believe it will be a way to experience remnants of Soviet culture (in the) modern day,” she says. 

“I feel honored to have been awarded the fellowship, and really thankful to everyone who helped me throughout the long application processes,” Tanner says. ”I’m confident that I’ll be able to make the most of the opportunity.”  

Tanner’s application was supported by the UMaine Office of Major Scholarships, the Office of International Programs and SPIA Executive Director Capt. James Settele. Several UMaine faculty members contributed to the success of her application by writing recommendation letters and by sharing their expertise in world politics. 

“Tiffany’s outstanding intellect, passion for cultural exchange and intense work ethic make her an ideal candidate for the Boren Fellowship,” Settele says. “She has distinguished herself as an intelligent, inquisitive, mature and motivated student equipped both intellectually and temperamentally to handle the rigors of an immersion program in Belarus.”

A full Q&A with Tanner can be found online at https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2021/06/09/tiffany-tanner-boren-fellowship-recipient-to-study-russian-in-belarus/.