WALLA WALLA, Wash.— Alex Potter ’10, of Seattle, has received a National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarship to study in Egypt for the 2008-2009 academic year.
The NSEP focuses on geographical areas, languages and fields of study deemed critical to U.S. national security. The Boren scholarships provide support to U.S. undergraduates who plan to study languages and cultures now underrepresented in study abroad and critical to U.S. security.
Potter, who is double majoring in politics and Asian studies, is proficient in Chinese and has taken a year of Arabic, which he hopes to further study this summer. In his application for the Boren, Potter states that his research leads him to believe that the question at the heart of America’s foreign policy mission in the 21st century is “how to craft a foreign policy that re-establishes America not only as the most prominent actor in international politics but also as the most just actor.” He is convinced that these two attributes, prominence and justice, will either exist together or not at all.
This policy will come about, he states, only with communication of an unprecedented level between Western and Islamic cultures. He plans to facilitate this kind of communication with the Boren Scholarship, studying abroad to “immerse myself in the culture and language of Egypt to begin a lifelong dialogue between my American culture and the Islamic/Egyptian culture.” He will study at the American University in Cairo, focusing on political Islam and Arabic.
Potter served as a student academic adviser at Whitman last fall and worked as an intern at Lifestyle Centre Ltd., a real estate development firm in Shanghai, China last summer. His college activities have included serving as politics section editor at “The Pioneer” and as a sophomore senator and a member of the finance committee for the Associated Students of Whitman College. He is also the vice president of the Whitman College Campus Conservatives.
CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156