Two Gusties Get Critical Language Scholarship

Gustavus Adolphus College students Caroline Southworth ’24 and Dalton Dahle ’22 have both been awarded the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is a rigorous language and cultural immersion program where students spend eight to ten weeks abroad to master a language and discover new cultural experiences. CLS is part of a larger government initiative to increase student participation in the study of foreign languages ​​essential to national security and economic prosperity, in addition to preparing students for the modern global workforce. .

“Dalton and Caroline are dedicated global citizens,” said Pamela Kittelson, Counselor and Director of the Fellowships Office. “This scholarship honors their future professional contributions to the promotion of diplomatic and cultural understanding.”

Southworth, pursuing an individualized major combining political science, economics, and psychology, chose to study Russian because she enjoys learning languages ​​and finds Russian culture and history fascinating. Russian being a critical language, she also hopes to stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs related to international relations or national security.

After completing the CLS program, she will be eligible for 12 months of non-competitive hiring status for federal government jobs, and the competitiveness of the scholarship and the skills she develops through the program could help her in her search. future employment. The program will also help her apply for summer internships and graduate school. “I see CLS as a good springboard to other opportunities,” she said.

Southworth is a Collegiate Fellow Residence Counselor, student worker in the Dining Service and Provost’s Office, German Academic Assistant, and German Club President. She is also a member of Model UN and the Russian Club. These positions have allowed her to demonstrate skills that will prepare her for the CLS program. She is waiting to find out if her program will take place virtually or in person.

A nursing graduate and member of the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society, Dahle has a holistic perspective on the needs of his patients. He hopes learning the Arabic language and culture will make him “culturally competent”, enabling him to connect with a wider range of patients he may treat in the future.

Dahle applied for CLS because he is keen to study abroad. In his own words, “study abroad helps students better understand cultures different from their own”. Participating in the CLS program will provide valuable insight into the cultural diversity of the world while strengthening one’s Arabic skills.

Dahle earned 15 college credits in the Arabic language, providing an important foundation to prepare him for the rigorous program. Additionally, he participated in Project GO, an Arabic language immersion program for future military officers, but due to COVID-19 the program was moved online. Dahle is looking forward to the immersive experience he missed with Project GO, helping him achieve true fluency in Arabic.

As vice president of the Habitat for Humanity volunteer group at Gustavus, Dahle practiced the value of collaborating with new people to achieve a common goal. His position as a medical laboratory specialist in the Army Reserve and an ROTC cadet with Minnesota State University’s Maverick Battalion taught him the value of leadership and the ability to adapt. to stressful and unfamiliar environments.


Students interested in applying for a scholarship are encouraged to complete the Scholarship Office First Meeting Form to schedule an appointment. For more information on the Gustavus Scholarship Office and the support it provides to students, please visit the scholarship website.

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Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communications JJ Akin
[email protected]
507-933-7510

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