Critical Language Scholarship Finalists and Alternates Named

L to R: Victoria Lopez Rangel, Brendan Morrison, Navkiran Chima. Not picured: Liam Martin

(Updated March 18)

In January, four Miami students were named as semi-finalists for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. We are excited to announce that Victoria Lopez Rangel and Brendan Morrison have been offered the CLS as finalists, with Navkiran Chima and Liam Martin selected as alternates.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by American Councils for International Education. Part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity, CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

Lopez Rangel, who plans to study Portuguese, is a junior speech pathology major with a combined degree major in Spanish and three minors: French, Lusophone Studies, and Latin American Studies. At Miami, she has been able to study abroad in Spain and was awarded the Internship Grant from the Center for Career Exploration & Success, to complete a 3-week internship in Columbus, Ohio at a bilingual speech clinic. Lopez Rangel is interested in becoming a bilingual speech pathologist and working at a private practice to serve underrepresented communities. 

Morrison, who plans to study Punjabi, is a junior studying Integrated Language Arts for grades 7-12. His primary interest is teaching English as a second or additional language. At Miami, he facilitates the Arabic Table and received the Jeannie Ducher TESOL Scholar award in fall of 2021. He hopes to use his knowledge of foreign languages as well as second language acquisition to teach English internationally.

According to director of global partnerships Karla Guinigundo, few opportunities provide a language immersion experience as challenging and demanding as the Critical Language Scholarship. "Students who pursue CLS demonstrate a serious commitment to language learning. We are very proud of these four students and their dedication to their languages of study," she said.