News and Stories

Jessica Garross

Jessica Garross is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Urdu program in Lucknow, India. Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in international business economics with minors in Arabic and international development. In her free time, Jessica likes to run, read, and be outdoors. In the future, Jessica plans to use her Urdu skills to work in refugee res...


Leisha Guzman Torres

Leisha Guzman Torres is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Chinese program in Suzhou, China. She is currently working on a master’s degree in linguistics at the University of Puerto Rico. Leisha is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and loves reading, playing with her dog, going to the beach with friends, and baking. Leisha aspires to become a professor of language arts or second language acquisition. ...


Baltazar Hernandez

Baltazar Hernandez is an alumnus of the 2017 CLS Russian program in Vladimir, Russia. Baltazar grew up in Chandler, Arizona and completed a bachelor’s degree program in public policy and business at Arizona State University. In 2017, Baltazar interned at the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. He now works as a center coordinator at School of Politics & Global Studies at his alma ma...


Ethan McHugh

Ethan McHugh is an alumnus of the 2017 CLS Arabic program in Ibri, Oman. He recently graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious Studies. He is currently interning at the Nashville International Center for Empowerment where he assists refugees and immigrants through an adult education program. In the fall, he will begin a master’s degree pr...


Halcyon Ruskin

Halcyon Ruskin is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Azerbaijani program in Baku, Azerbaijan. In addition to Azerbaijani, Halcyon also speaks French and Russian. She recently graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in French and international policy studies. Halcyon now works as a research associate at a company that provides research services in 23 languages. She is excited ...


Adam Matvya

Adam Matvya is an alumnus of the 2017 CLS Punjabi program in Chandigarh, India. In 2018, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University. He loves 19th Century Russian and American literature, as well as postcolonial and contemporary South Asian works. Adam will start a master’s degree program in Middle Eastern Studies this fall at University of Chicago. Ada...


Kyla Harrison

Kyla Harrison is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Arabic program in Ibri, Oman. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, double majoring in the Plan II Honors Program and Middle Eastern languages and cultures. She is involved with UT Austin’s outreach for the Plan II Honors Program and works as a language partner with the Arabic Flagship Program. Kyla plans to take a gap year after ...


Paula Zhang

Paula Zhang is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Korean program in Gwangju, South Korea. She recently graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She is currently interning for the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program at American Councils for International Education in Washington, D.C. She is excited continue pursuing her passion for langua...


Kerry Burgott

Kerry Burgott is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Bangla program in Kolkata, India. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2017 with a Master of Public Policy and has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Management Fellows Program. In her spare time, she and her husband enjoy having friends over for brunch and playing board games like Settlers of Catan. She also enj...


Sarah Whipple

Sarah Whipple is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Arabic program in Meknes, Morocco. She is a rising junior at the University of Texas at Dallas studying International Political Economy. Sarah is also an alumna of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Arabic program. On a day off, you can find her cooking, making espresso drinks, filming and editing videos, or going to a museum. Af...