Blake Wood
Publish Date

Jessie Misico, an online computer science major at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) offered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She will be studying Russian in Tbilisi, Georgia during the summer of 2023.

The CLS program is a highly competitive scholarship that provides funding for U.S. students to learn critical foreign languages in countries where they are spoken. The program is designed to promote cross-cultural understanding and facilitate diplomatic relationships between the United States and other countries.

“I’m grateful for the mentorship and support I’ve had along the way, and I couldn’t have done it without their insight,” Misico said. “I look forward to bringing back what I learn to UIS and my community, and to pay it forward by becoming a mentor myself, encouraging future students to pursue their passions and make a positive impact on the world.”

Misico is one of nearly 500 students nationwide who have been awarded the CLS scholarship this year. In addition to studying the Russian language, Misico will be participating in cultural activities and excursions organized by the program.

She was assisted in her application process by UIS Associate Professor of History Kristi Barnwell, who serves as a regional advisor for the CLS program, and Lan Dong, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

 “I was honored to work with Jessie on her application and am thrilled to see her reach this goal,” Barnwell said. “She should be incredibly proud of herself.”

Misico is the first UIS student to be accepted into the program.

For more information about the Critical Language Scholarship program, please visit their website.