Senior lands U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship
Dalanda Diallo, who has both a Political Science major with a specialization in International Studies and a student-designed major in French Studies, was awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Swahili this summer. Only 10 percent of applicants for the CLS are accepted for the scholarship.
McDaniel College senior Dalanda Diallo has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Swahili this summer.
Diallo of Montgomery Village, Maryland, who has both a Political Science major with a specialization in International Studies and a student-designed major in French Studies, was selected from a diverse pool of over 4,500 applicants from 583 different higher education institutions across the nation.
CLS, a U.S. Department of State program, is a summer study abroad opportunity for American college and university students aimed at expanding the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. Only 10 percent of applicants are accepted for the scholarship.
Diallo plans to spend eight weeks as part of the Swahili program, held virtually this summer. The MS Training Centre will host the Swahili Program for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC), a development management training institution located in Arusha, Tanzania.
Diallo is interested in becoming an American diplomat and working for the United Nations in the future. She is interested in working for the African Union and aims to broaden her experience with different languages, already knowing the French and Fula languages. With Swahili, Diallo aims to be able to travel and work with a broader range of other countries that speak Swahili as a primary or secondary language.
Diallo transferred to McDaniel after earning her associate degree from Montgomery College. At McDaniel, Diallo is a member of McDaniel's Honors program, Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, Pi Gamma Mu international social sciences honor society, Phi Sigma Iota foreign language national honor society, a Global Fellow, and in the National Security Fellows Program and the college's Pre-Law Society. She has also participated as a Muslim Student Association and Africa's Legacy member.
She has served as the pantry manager for Home on the Hill, which provides food items, toiletries, and other necessities for students in need. She was also the director of the French language house on campus, a tutor for Student Accessibility & Support Services (SASS), and a mentor at Westminster's Boys and Girls Club.
Diallo spent the summer after her junior year working as a congressional intern for U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen after being awarded a Summer Intern Fellowship from the Center for Experience and Opportunity (CEO).
"Dalanda is a very driven student with extraordinary dedication to her education and communities around her and far away in the world. This is an exciting opportunity for her to learn Swahili in a full immersion program which will bring her closer to her goal of becoming a foreign service officer with the U.S. State Department," said French professor Martine Motard-Noar, who serves as the campus advisor at McDaniel for the CLS Program.
The CLS scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its administration by American Councils for International Education.