Critical Language Scholarship Program | Alumni Development Fund
U.S. Flag   State Department Seal   A Program of the U.S. Department of State

Alumni Development Fund

The CLS Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund (ADF) peri­od­i­cal­ly offers small grants to alum­ni of the CLS Pro­gram through a com­pet­i­tive appli­ca­tion process. The ADF has pro­vid­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties for alum­ni to con­tin­ue their lan­guage learn­ing, pur­sue career devel­op­ment goals, and par­tic­i­pate in com­mu­ni­ty out­reach relat­ed to CLS lan­guages and their cor­re­spond­ing world regions. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is placed on projects with an impact beyond the indi­vid­ual appli­cant, reach­ing stu­dents, CLS alum­ni, or oth­ers in their community. 

The ADF is not cur­rent­ly open for applications.

Exam­ples of pre­vi­ous Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund projects can be found below.

Mri­nali­ni Wat­son (Hin­di 2018), Nicholas Thoma­son (Hin­di 2018), Sophia Sei­den­berg (Hin­di 2018), and Ella Par­sons (Hin­di 2018), 2018 ADF recip­i­ents, com­plet­ed a project to sup­port teenage girls’ lit­er­a­cy in rur­al Rajasthan. They engaged 28 girls between the ages of 12 and 20 who had dropped out of school in their unique pro­gram, which includ­ed an inten­sive two-month onsite lit­er­a­cy camp fol­lowed by…
Mrilalini Watson
Hindi 2018
Ella Parsons
Hindi 2018
Nicholas Thomason
Hindi 2018
Sophia Seidenberg
Hindi 2018

Aman­da Yao (Chi­nese 2019), Ben­jamin Gert­sen (Chi­nese 2008, 2009), and Christo­pher Yao (Chi­nese 2015), with their glob­al health diplo­ma­cy orga­ni­za­tion, Kids Change the World, have worked in recent years to raise funds to pro­vide cor­rec­tive surg­eries for chil­dren born with cleft lip and/​or palate. To fur­ther their work, they applied for a 2020 Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund grant to devel­op their Stories…
Amanda Yao
Chinese 2019
Benjamin Gertsen
Chinese 2008
Chinese 2009
Christopher Yao
Chinese 2015

In 2017, CLS Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund recip­i­ent Troy Spi­er (Swahili 2017) and sev­er­al African col­leagues who sought a venue for advanced grad­u­ate stu­dents and junior schol­ars to share their work found­ed the Arusha Work­ing Papers in African Lin­guis­tics, an open-access jour­nal. In recent years, Troy and his col­leagues formed an edi­to­r­i­al board, reached out to uni­ver­si­ties across Africa, developed…
Troy Spier
Swahili 2017

Olivia Mof­fett (Chi­nese 2018) used her Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund grant to host a suc­cess­ful Chi­nese New Year cel­e­bra­tion for Wash­ing­ton D.C.-area CLS alum­ni in ear­ly Feb­ru­ary 2020. She offered a learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty by engag­ing a speak­er from the George Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty Con­fu­cius Insti­tute and shar­ing tra­di­tion­al games and snacks. Alum­ni from a vari­ety of lan­guages attend­ed and enjoyed the…
Olivia Moffett
Chinese 2018

Sup­port­ed by a 2020 CLS Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund grant Aubrey Menard (Russ­ian 2013) ran a Mon­go­lian short sto­ry and essay writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion as part of her com­mit­ment to help more Mon­go­lians, who are very under­rep­re­sent­ed in pub­li­ca­tion, share their own sto­ries with the world. She engaged nine promi­nent Mon­go­lian authors to serve as judges and received 248 sub­mis­sions, with entrants ranging…
Aubrey Menard
Russian 2013

Rawan Mandwee (Ara­bic 2018) received a CLS Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund award to host the first annu­al Chai & Chobi: Iraqi Cul­ture night with the Iraqi Stu­dent Asso­ci­a­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan-Ann Arbor in ear­ly March. The aim of the event was to pro­vide a space for stu­dents with Iraqi back­grounds to cel­e­brate their cul­tur­al her­itage and allow those unfa­mil­iar with it to learn about Iraqi…
Rawan Mandwee
Arabic 2018

Krizia Lopez (Chi­nese 2010) found­ed Puentes Com­mu­ni­ty Trans­la­tors in Queens, New York with the mis­sion of reduc­ing lan­guage and resource bar­ri­ers for immi­grants by train­ing local bilin­gual young adults in the com­mu­ni­ty as trans­la­tors. Sup­port­ed by a 2020 CLS Alum­ni Devel­op­ment Fund grant, Krizia had part­nered with a local high school to hold in-per­son train­ing for Span­ish and Chinese-speaking…
Krizia Lopez
Chinese 2010

Yasin Khan (Urdu 2014) formed an Urdu Club with her­itage Urdu speak­ers of vary­ing flu­en­cy in the San Fran­cis­co Bay Area. The club was formed when Yasin found that many Urdu her­itage speak­ers, although they may have old­er rel­a­tives who speak the lan­guage flu­ent­ly, were not com­fort­able hav­ing open con­ver­sa­tions due to their respect for their elders. The club met vir­tu­al­ly for the first few months…
Yasin Khan
Urdu 2014

Andi Kao (Indone­sian 2019) orga­nized an exhib­it of art­work pro­duced by Indone­sian migrant fish­er­men in Tai­wan, held in-per­son in Sep­tem­ber 2020. Andi’s goal was to pro­vide a show­case for items of self-expres­sion by peo­ple from a com­mu­ni­ty that is mar­gin­al­ized in the dom­i­nant cul­ture of Tai­wan, there­by con­tribut­ing to a more holis­tic pic­ture of the lives of South­east Asian migrant fishermen…
Andi Kao
Indonesian 2019

Dami­an Har­ris-Her­nan­dez (Turk­ish 2012) sought sup­port from the 2020 ADF to improve his oral and aur­al Turk­ish lan­guage skills with the pur­pose of assist­ing refugees seek­ing asy­lum in the U.S. In 2017, Dami­an found­ed the Refugee Trans­la­tion Project, a non-prof­it that pro­vides free trans­la­tion ser­vices to refugees. While he fre­quent­ly pro­vides trans­la­tion ser­vices, he found him­self unable to…
Damian Harris-Hernandez
Turkish 2012