Critical Language Scholarship Program | CLS Alumni Selected as 2024…

CLS Alumni Selected as 2024 Rhodes and Marshall Scholars

The CLS Program is delighted to recognize two alumni, Grant GianGrasso and Xavier Blackwell Lipkind, who will be continuing their studies in the U.K. next year through the Rhodes Scholarship and Marshall Scholarship, respectively. 

Grant GianGrasso (Bangla 2023) was one of only 32 students chosen from a diverse pool of over 800 nominees recommended by their college or university to receive the Rhodes Scholarship. Through Rhodes, Grant will begin his graduate studies at Oxford University, one of the top institutions in the United Kingdom and the world.

Grant (left) with his CLS language partner Susovan while on CLS in Kolkota, India.

“I hope to become a physician-scientist who focuses on infectious diseases worldwide, especially emerging and neglected illnesses. In these global contexts, I think language learning is paramount to scientific discovery,” said Grant. Grant sees multilingualism as paramount in enhancing the accuracy of fieldwork and the quality of qualitative data. “In a post-colonial world where many former colonies now experience the highest disease burdens, study of indigenous languages like Bangla becomes all the more important.” 

When asked how the CLS Program connected with his desire for continuing his studies, Grant shared, “CLS helped me better understand how my language interests aren’t just tangent to my public health aspirations but rather are vital to them.”

Congratulations to Xavier Blackwell Lipkind (Portuguese 2022) who has received the Marshall Scholarship, an award that allows 50 American students from across the United States to receive a graduate education in the United Kingdom at a British institution of their choice. Similar to Rhodes, the Marshall Scholarship is a competitive opportunity with an only 4% selection rate. 

Xavier participated in the CLS Portuguese Program hosted by Unisul in Florianópolis, Brazil. Brazil.

For Xavier his CLS experience confirmed his love of literature and language. “My time in Florianópolis confirmed that I care deeply about words — using them, listening to them, thinking about them. I'll be heading to the UK with confidence in my chosen course of study and in my ability to navigate life in a new country,” said Xavier. During his time in the United Kingdom, Xavier will study comparative literature and creative writing with hopes to pursue doctoral work in the future on French and Brazilian fiction. Xavier also plans to return to Brazil to pursue research on 20th-century music and literature and, in the meantime, is keeping his Portuguese language skills sharp by assisting immigration lawyers with translation work.

 Stay tuned as we celebrate more CLS alumni and their accomplishments throughout the next month. Also, the CLS Program team wants to hear about your accomplishments (whether specific to your career or your life in general). Share with us the good news at