University News

University of New Haven Senior Awarded Prestigious Boren Scholarship

Kristy Santana ’19, a national security major, is one of less than 250 undergraduate students to receive the David L. Boren Scholarship, which enables students to enrich their education by studying internationally in regions critical to U.S. interests.

April 24, 2019

Photo of Kristy Santana ’19
Kristy Santana ’19 in Fes, Morocco.

As a national security major, Kristy Santana ’19 has immersed herself in opportunities that have taken her around the world.

While studying abroad at the University’s campus in Prato, Italy during her first year, she realized that she wanted to pursue a career focused on global issues. As a junior, she spent the year in Morocco, studying Arabic in an intensive language program. Most recently, she received a $20,000 Boren Scholarship that will enable her to return to Morocco this summer to continue her studies in Arabic.

Image of Kristy Santana ’19
Kristy Santana ’19 visited China for a MUN conference.

"The Boren Scholarship will allow me to pursue my dream of gaining a high level of proficiency in Arabic, and enable me to work toward my dream job with the U.S. government when I graduate," said Santana, who is one of less than 250 undergraduates nationwide to earn the scholarship. "One of the requirements of accepting this scholarship is that I work for the U.S. government in a national security position after I graduate, which is what I have always aspired to do."

Awarded by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the National Security Education Program, the scholarship provides students with the resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the security and stability of the United States. In exchange for funding, recipients agree to work for the federal government for at least one year.

"Kristy is a standout young scholar, and she embodies the kind of student the University attracts," said Matthew Schmidt, associate professor of political science and national security, and the University’s Boren Scholarship coordinator. "She's proven to be among the very best students in America, and this award will open up doors to elite graduate schools and employment opportunities. Her success also shows other students what they can achieve if they work hard, challenge themselves, study abroad, and get involved in extracurricular activities."

An active member of the University’s Model United Nations program since her first year, Santana has traveled to Xi’an, China. A previous MUN vice president, she also served as the director of the University’s recent Italy MUN Conference. She worked with faculty and staff to plan the event for nearly 40 Italian and American high school students.

"The Boren Scholarship will allow me to pursue my dream of gaining a high level of proficiency in Arabic, and enable me to work toward my dream job with the U.S. government when I graduate."Kristy Santana ’19

Santana, who is currently completing an internship in Washington, D.C., also interned at a law firm while studying abroad in Morocco. Additionally, she completed an internship in West Haven Mayor Nancy Rossi’s office during her sophomore year. She’s grateful for the opportunities she has had at the University, as well as those that the Boren Scholarship will present.

"The leadership experience that I have had while at the University, as well as my experience studying abroad, have helped me become a competitive applicant for my internship in Washington, D.C., and for the Boren Scholarship," said Santana.