Purdue Student Named Boren Scholar, Will Study In Hong Kong

(WEST LAFAYETTE) – Josiah Gottfried, a junior in Purdue University’s College of Science with a major in applied statistics, has been named a 2020 Boren Scholar. 

Josiah Goftfried

The Boren Scholarship program provides international experiences to students from the United States who are interested in enhancing their skills in a foreign language. Purdue students apply for the scholarship through the National and International Scholarships Office (NISO), which is housed in the Honors College.

The program is especially well-suited for students like Gottfried, of Lafayette, who wants to use his language skills to contribute to overseas engagement between the United States and other countries. He intends to use the scholarship’s resources to study Cantonese and Mandarin in Hong Kong during the 2021 spring semester.

“The Boren Scholarship will be a boost toward my dream career of international public service. By studying in Hong Kong, I’ll be able to connect with another people and culture at a new level,” he said. 

Gottfried’s intrigue in international affairs has a family connection. From a young age, he experienced diverse cultures at home, which were enhanced by his educational experiences as he grew older.

“My mother, an immigrant from China, exposed me daily to Chinese culture, while my father’s vocation as a pastor for international students brought multicultural visitors frequently to our home. These experiences generated a curiosity in me about anything international,” he said. “In high school, I became obsessed with competitive debate. One year the debate topic was the Middle East, which sparked a personal fascination with the meeting ground of the international and the political – international politics.”

In addition to pursuing international affairs as a field of study, Gottfried has attracted the attention of his instructors and mentors with his dedication and commitment to both academics and public service.

“In a class of nearly 200 students, Josiah stood out as exceptional,” said Melissa Will, assistant professor of practice in the Department of Political Science. “Josiah is dedicated, thoughtful, and equipped with an inquisitive mind. He will be a valuable addition to the Boren program and has the potential to be a dedicated civil servant who will be a real asset to the United States.”

Lee Hargitt, campus pastor at Salt and Light Christian Fellowship International, said, “I have observed Josiah in several roles, including family interaction, public service, work, debate competition, small group activities and as an advisor. He has impressed me with his dedication, willing spirit, cooperation with others, decision-making, and his humble demeanor.”

The National and International Scholarships Office, which is housed in the Honors College, supports all Purdue students in applying for prestigious scholarships.  Students interested in such awards are encouraged to reach out to the NISO office by email at niso@purdue.edu, or to visit the NISO website at www.purdue.edu/niso.