Powell '18 Awarded U.S. Department of Defense Boren Fellowship

Cierra Powell graphic

HELENA – Carroll College alumna Cierra Powell, class of 2018, has been awarded a David L. Boren Fellowship, providing her with the opportunity to intern and study in Argentina beginning this fall as a 2022 Boren Fellow.

During her time in Argentina, Powell will study at a local university as well as intern in Buenos Aires in order to meaningfully prepare her for what she envisions will be a lifelong Foreign Service career. In strengthening her advanced Spanish proficiency with the support of the Boren Fellowship, Powell will also enhance her awareness of bilateral and multilateral efforts between the U.S. and Argentina as well as secure the professional preparedness to address hemispheric issues and encourage dialogue with Latin American partners as a diplomat.

Powell, originally from Miles City, Montana, graduated cum laude in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies. During her time at Carroll, she studied abroad in Spain and interned abroad in Ecuador as the only summer Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholar from Montana in 2017. Following graduation, she served as a 2019 Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in the Canary Islands (Las Canarias) of Spain, where she served as a cultural ambassador of the U.S. and engaged young students to support English language acquisition in early childhood and elementary education. Most recently, she was awarded a Charles B. Rangel International Fellowship in 2021 which will prepare Powell for a career as a Political Officer for the U.S. Department of State upon completion of a Master of International Affairs at the Pennsylvania State University School of International Affairs. Currently, Powell is completing her summer internship as a Political-Economic Fellow at the U.S. Embassy Stockholm. In explaining her application for the Boren Fellowship, Powell said, “Prior to enrolling at Penn State, I spoke with staff and faculty of my interest to apply for the Boren and incorporate global education in my (Penn State) program because it was so transformational for my academic experience at Carroll.”

In sharing this most recent accomplishment of being appointed a Boren Fellow, Powell said, “It would not have been possible without Carroll. I stay closely connected to some professors in our Carroll community and Dr. Street (associate professor of political science) and Dr. Hallows (associate professor of Spanish) supported me in this rigorous application process while I was all the way on the other side of the country. I cannot thank them enough and I’m so thankful for our Carroll community that helped me get this far.”

David L. Boren Fellowships and Scholarships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. Fellowships are awarded to motivated U.S. graduate students who develop independent projects that combine the study of language and culture in areas critical to national security. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. In 2022, the national nominating panel selected 121 Boren Fellows and 208 Boren Scholars from 246 graduate and 458 undergraduate applications.

Powell is the second Carroll alumni in recent years to receive a Boren award. Robert "Alex" Cochell, a class of 2019 triple major in International Relations, Political Science, and French, was selected as a Boren Scholar and studied Hindi at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Jaipur, India, during the 2019-20 academic year.