Advertising and Public Relations alumna Stephanie Richey received a 2021 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State. The CLS Program provides U.S. undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to spend eight to ten weeks studying one of 15 critical languages. Richey will use her scholarship to study Urdu, the official national language of Pakistan and a recognized regional language in India. “I am lucky enough to be receiving instruction through the American Institute of Indian Studies and will be learning Urdu from instructors based in Lucknow, India,” said Richey.
Richey explained how her learning of Urdu supplements what she took away from her time studying in the AD+PR department, and what she ultimately wants to do in the advertising field. “There is so much to understand about how culture and language influences both the creation and perception of advertisements,” said Richey. “So, learning another language while studying this field sometimes feels like finding the last missing puzzle piece and seeing the bigger picture from a whole new perspective.”
CLS is a part of the Department of State’s effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical for the 21st century American workforce. Scholarship recipients receive intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The CLS Program partners with local institutions in countries where these languages are commonly spoken.
Nearly 700 competitively selected American students at U.S. colleges and universities received a CLS award in 2021. There were 24 student applications from Michigan State University this past year. In addition to ComArtSci's Richey, three other Spartans are taking part in the CLS program: Emma Young studying Arabic, Steven Gagnon studying Korean, and Hannah Fischer studying Hindi.
By Joe Strother