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5 Chinese Flagship students accepted for Capstone Year Program

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A record-matching five WKU Chinese Flagship Program students have been accepted for the 2016-2017 Chinese Flagship Overseas Capstone Year Program.

“Achieving acceptance into the Capstone Year program is a testament to the countless hours of hard work students commit to both in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Ching-Hsuan Wu, Academic Director for the Chinese Flagship Program. “We are confident their passion for Chinese language and culture will continue to serve them well.”

The students selected for the Fall 2016 cohort are Sarah Cook of Louisville; Mackenzie Donoghue of Southern Pines, North Carolina; Alex Hezik of Campbellsville; Megan Laffoon of Louisville; and Kelly Tursic of Springfield, Ohio.  All five are members of the Honors College at WKU.

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Cook, a double major in Asian religions and cultures and international affairs, is the daughter of Julie and Tom Cook. She will be participating in capstone year as a recipient of the Boren Scholarship for International Study.

Mackenzie Donoghue

Mackenzie Donoghue

Donoghue, a double major in Asian religions and cultures and Chinese, is the daughter of Jamie and Andrea Donoghue. She is a former recipient of the State Department-funded Critical Language Scholarship and will be attending capstone year as a Boren Scholarship for International Study recipient.

Alex Hezik

Alex Hezik

Hezik, a self-designed major in sustainable agriculture, is the daughter of Bernard and Judy Hezik. She is a former recipient of an Environmental Protection Agency Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship, a State-Department funded Critical Language Scholarship, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and is a 2016 finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Megan Laffoon

Megan Laffoon

Laffoon, a biology major, is the daughter of Jeannie and Glen Laffoon. She was selected as a 2014 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation and will be attending capstone year as a Boren Scholarship for International Study recipient.

Kelly Tursic

Kelly Tursic

Tursic, a triple major in international affairs, Spanish and Asian religions and cultures, is the daughter of Richard and Katherine Tursic. She is a former recipient of the State Department-funded Critical Language Scholarship and will be participating in capstone year through the support of a Boren Scholarship for International Study.

The Capstone Year Program provides senior-level students an opportunity to study in their academic field side-by-side with local university students at either Nanjing University or Beijing Union University. They are also paired with a local student as their roommate.

In addition to their coursework at the host university, students undertake an internship in China, where they get to hone their Chinese language skills and gain valuable professional experience in their field. Through the internship, students are able to experience the Chinese work culture first-hand and to explore career opportunities with a global perspective.

Upon completion of the capstone year and demonstrated Superior (ACTFL scale) level Chinese language proficiency, students are awarded Flagship Certification from the National Security Education Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense.

About the Chinese Flagship Program at WKU: CFP is a federally-funded grant program for undergraduate students. Students begin the program with little to no exposure to Chinese language or culture with the goal of reaching a superior level of language proficiency by graduation. Students spend an intensive amount of time in language immersion courses during the semester and enroll in study abroad and study away programs during breaks. Their final capstone year is spent studying and completing an internship in China.

Contact: Jennifer Markin, (270) 745-2764

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