Congratulations to Tara McCoy ’20, the 2018 Boren Scholarship Recipient!

Boren Scholars represent a pool of U.S. undergraduate students and motivated individuals who seek to study less commonly taught languages or work in federal security. The Boren Scholarship is an initiative of the Institute of International Education (IIE), which provides unique funding opportunities for undergraduate students to travel abroad to regions critical to U.S. interest. The goal of IIE is to strengthen the international competence of U.S. citizens, and it has done so by enabling more than 18,000 exceptional men and women each year to research, train and study outside their own counties.

Boren Scholarships promote long-term linguistic and cultural immersion. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars must commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

 About Tara McCoy ‘20

Tara McCoy ’20, from Rockwall, Texas, was selected as the Texas A&M 2018 Boren Scholarship recipient and will travel this summer to Malang in East Java, Indonesia.

Tara McCoy '20 posing for a portrait
Tara McCoy ’20, Public Health

Tara McCoy ’20 grew up in Rockwall, Texas, with her older brother and younger sister. She now plans to study Bahasa Indonesian in Boren’s Indonesian Flagship Language Initiative (IFLI) during the summer and fall of 2018.

McCoy, a public health major and anthropology minor, has cultivated many experiences during her time at Texas A&M. She is a peer sexual health educator with the Sex Project, a volunteer student researcher with the Program on Disability Research and Community Based Care, a Peace Corps Campus Ambassador, and volunteer ESL instructor. She is also a member of the University Honors Program, as well as the Broad Street Society, a program within the School of Public Health. In addition, she was awarded the 2018 Gathright Award as the Outstanding Junior in the School of Public Health.

After her Boren experience, McCoy hopes to have the ability to speak and write Bahasa Indonesian well. While the program offers rigorous language instruction, it also stresses cultural immersion, an aspect she is particularly excited about being a part of. McCoy admits, “The IFLI will be one of the most rigorous and challenging experiences of my life, but I know it will be incredibly rewarding: not only will I learn a new language and test my mental fortitude, but I will make new friends, participate in another culture, and experience life from a different perspective.”

After graduation, McCoy intends to join the Peace Corps and anticipates working for the federal government following her service. She says “the language knowledge and international experience I receive from participating in the IFLI will prepare me for my Peace Corps service and my future career.”

To read more about how LAUNCH: National Fellowships helps prepare outstanding students to compete for nationally-competitive awards such as the Boren Scholarship with the generous support of the Association of Former Students, please visit

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