Thursday, June 20, 2013
Contact: Pat Dickson, University Communications (304) 696-7153

Recent MU grad headed back to Turkey to study the language

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A recent Marshall University graduate has been awarded a U.S.  Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for the second consecutive year. The scholarship will allow her to spend two months this summer in Turkey studying the Turkish language.

Mary Harper of South Charleston, W.Va., who received a B.A. degree in International Affairs from Marshall last month, left today (June 20) for Bursa, a city in northwestern Turkey, where she will engage  in intensive language institutes.

Harper is returning to Turkey after spending several weeks there last year studying in Ankara, Turkey’s capital city.

The Critical Language Scholarship program is part of a government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.

Harper, the daughter of Rich and Peggy Harper, also of South Charleston, was one of approximately 600 undergraduate and graduate students nationally who received a C.L.S. Scholarship to study abroad.

This trip actually marks Harper’s third visit to Turkey.  She credits her interest in the Turkish language to a friendship she developed with an international student with whom she was paired in Marshall’s Learning English for Academic Purposes (LEAP) program. The friendship led to an invitation to visit her friend’s home in Turkey where Harper said she developed a strong interest in the Turkish culture and its language.

Harper will be pursuing a master’s degree in English as a Second Language this fall at West Virginia University.  She hopes to return to Turkey as a teacher working primarily with refugees.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197