Grace Faerber, graduating with a double major in East Asian Studies and Global Studies, has been awarded the prestigious Boren Fellowship to fund her graduate study in China.
Faerber, the College of Humanities Outstanding Senior recipient for Spring 2020, will attend the Johns Hopkins University – Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies beginning in September.
The Boren Fellowship supports U.S. graduate students seeking overseas research and language study in world regions critical to U.S. national security interests. As a Boren Fellow, Faerber will receive $24,000 for her graduate program in China, a Master of Arts in International Studies with a concentration in International Politics dually-awarded by Johns Hopkins and Nanjing University. After graduating, as a Boren Award alumna, Faerber will be committed to a career in public service, working in U.S. federal government positions critical to national security.
Faerber has been practicing Mandarin Chinese for more than 10 years, beginning her studies as an International Baccalaureate student at Mesa Academy and Westwood High in Mesa, Arizona. She chose to attend the University of Arizona because of the Chinese language concentration offered through the East Asian Studies major. Additional courses on Chinese history and politics inspired her to add a second major of Global Studies, focusing on international relations.
“The interdisciplinary aspect of my education – studying language, humanities topics like East Asian religion and culture, as well as global politics and law – has provided me with a comprehensive, wholistic understanding of East Asia and international affairs,” she said. “My undergraduate education will provide a great foundation for me to build on throughout the rest of my academic career as I focus on U.S.-China Relations.”
Faerber studied abroad in Hangzhou, China the summer after her freshman year, calling it the most influential experience in her language studies.
“It provided me with my first opportunity to visit and live in the country I had been studying for so long and the ability to sharpen my language skills and understanding of Chinese culture,” she said. “This study abroad experience solidified my interest in a career related to China and my commitment to becoming fluent in Mandarin.”
The following summer, she studied international affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. while completing two internships, first at the office of U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, then at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). During her time at the University of Arizona, Faerber was also a College of Humanities Student Ambassador and worked at the Campus Recreation Center.
“I am incredibly excited to advance my understanding of Mandarin, China, and U.S.-China relations at the distinguished Hopkins-Nanjing Center and will be always thankful for the University of Arizona and the College of Humanities for helping me get there,” she said.