Sara Hyman, a University of Richmond senior from Stamford, Connecticut, has been selected to study abroad next year in Jordan as part of the Boren Scholarship program. 

An initiative of the National Security Education Program, Boren scholars study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Recipients commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Hyman is pursuing a dual degree with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in global studies with a concentration on world politics and diplomacy. She will study intensive Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Jordan's capital city, Amman, and also volunteer with a public health nonprofit.

“Many people forget that biological security, equitable access to healthcare, and global health security are just as important as intelligence, or other more traditional views of international security,” said Hyman.

Hyman aspires to become a public health scientist, specifically an epidemiologist that works on global health issues like refugee health or maternal/fetal health. 

“Scientists and public health officials need to be fluent in critical languages because it allows us not only to collaborate and share vital knowledge with scientists all over the world, but also interact with, remain culturally sensitive to, and learn from the at-risk people we aim to serve,” said Hyman.

During her time at UR, Hyman has studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Rabat, Morocco, which is where she began learning Arabic. She also speaks French.

Hyman hopes to complete her required year of federal service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USAID, or Department of Defense in the STEM or public health fields. She then plans to pursue a Master of Public Health and doctorate degree. 

Hyman is UR’s ninth Boren Scholar.

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