Critical Language Scholarship Program | Alumni Development Fund

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.

Anika Kabani (Arabic 2016), a 2018 ADF recipient, worked with a local language cooperative to host Arabic classes at Sanctuary for Families, the non-profit organization where she works in New York City, NY. The Arabic classes took place weekly on Thursdays from January 31, 2019 to March 14, 2019 for a total of seven two-hour sessions. The sessions were offered to colleagues at her org…
Anika Kabani
Arabic 2016

Clara Haizlett (Arabic 2017), a 2018 ADF recipient, utilized her Alumni Development Fund grant to begin a podcasting project to challenge common stereotypes of the Arab world. The Sandstone Podcast was geared toward an audience in her home state of West Virginia and aimed to provide an accessible educational source of information about the Middle East for her fellow West Virginians and explo…
Clara Haizlett
Arabic 2017

Wendy Gong (Chinese 2018), Taina Orellana (Chinese 2018), and Nicole Rojas (Chinese 2017), 2018 ADF recipients, organized an event at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in New York City with the aim of educating the public on resources for Asian Americans. The goals were to have a dialogue and educational programming on current issues pertinent to the Asian American community. Speakers from …
Wendy Gong
Chinese 2018
Taina Orellana
Chinese 2018
Nicole Rojas
Chinese 2017

Pooja Tilvawala (Hindi 2016), 2018 ADF recipient, hosted a 10-class lecture series on introductory Hindi for students at American University, which does not offer courses in Hindi. The series was supported by the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, and Research at AU and co-taught by Pooja and another teacher. This project grew out of a desire to demonstrate to AU that Hindi study was i…
Pooja Tilvawala
Hindi 2016

Kurt Ebsary (Swahili 2017), 2017 ADF recipient, recorded and produced a CD “Mwamba wa Imani Langu (Rock of my Peace)” which is a musical collaboration with Swahili speaking artists in Buffalo, NY. One of the musicians he met was Gabby Kaleja, a refugee of the Congo who arrived in the U.S in 2016 via Zambia. The recording sessions brought family and friends into the studio to record backing harmon…
Kurt Ebsary
Swahili 2017

Eric Young (Arabic 2015), Joshua Von Trapp (Arabic 2016), Henry Thompson (Arabic 2017) and Aaron Davis (Arabic 2015), 2017 ADF recipients, launched a series of 20 lectures delivered by thirteen different speakers in Arabic at Brigham Young University. Each lecture was preceded by a consultation with the speaker that served to help the speaker select a culturally interesting topic and tailor their…
Eric Young
Arabic 2015
Joshua Von Trapp
Arabic 2016
Henry Thompson
Arabic 2017
Aaron Davis
Arabic 2015

Paula Zhang (Korean 2017), a 2017 ADF receipient, carried out a virtual mentorship program from November 2017 to March 2018 pairing alumni of both NSLI-Y and CLS with alumni of NSLI-Y looking to apply for CLS, culminating in an event in New York City on March 13, 2018 featuring a Diplomat-in-Residence, a Peace Corps Recruiter, and a Fulbright alum. Her goal was for NSLI-Y alumni to have someone t…
Paula Zhang
Korean 2017

Tyler Prochazka (Chinese 2014), Elyse Mark (Chinese 2014) and James Davis (Chinese 2016), 2017 ADF recipients, held a series of multicultural and bilingual activities throughout Taiwan discussing the philosophical foundations of Universal Basic Income and the economic feasibility of such a policy. They were able to engage the Taiwanese public, from high school students, to university, to average …
Tyler Prochazka
Chinese 2014
Elyse Mark
Chinese 2014
James Davis
Chinese 2016

Troy Spier (Swahili 2017), a 2017 ADF recipient, used his grant to establish an academic journal, the Arusha Working Papers in African Linguistics (AWPAL) with his colleagues. AWPAL is a peer-reviewed, free-access, online-only academic journal whose goal is to provide a forum for discussions about applied and theoretical issues in African linguistics. AWPAL welcomes original contributions on all …
Troy Spier
Swahili 2017

Melody Poland (Japanese 2011), a 2017 ADF recipient, launched a series of workshops on traditional Japanese paper crafts. The workshops were designed to teach Japanese culture and language to attendees. In addition to Melody, three native Japanese speakers facilitated the workshops: an artist, an art assistant, and an assistant at Atkinson elementary school. They provided workshops for children w…
Melody Poland
Japanese 2011