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Middle East culture, language enthusiast nominated for nationally competitive research post

Mykala Ford has been nominated by Michigan State University for the Carnegie Junior Fellows Program after studying Arabic abroad in Morocco, Oman and Tunisia and completing two degrees at the university.

Each year, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace offers 10-12 fellowships from a pool of nominees from nearly 400 participating colleges. Carnegie junior fellows work as research assistants to the endowment’s senior associates. Michigan State has previously produced two Carnegie Junior Fellows.

Ford, an Honors College graduate with degrees in international relations from James Madison College and Arabic from the College of Arts and Letters, said earning the fellowship will deepen her knowledge of the Middle East and refine her research and writing skills.

“My passion for the Middle East has been fueled by my love for the Arabic language and the richness of Arab culture and history,” she said.

A 2014 Boren Scholar, Ford participated in the year-long Arabic Overseas Flagship Capstone Program in Meknes, Morocco. Additionally, she worked with Associate Professor Mark Axelrod on a research project focused on resolving the conflict of fishery management in Sri Lanka and India. That research has been accepted for presentation at this year’s International Studies Association conference.

The National and International Fellowships and Scholarships (NIFS) Office, administered by the Honors College, helps interested undergraduate and graduate students to pursue major national and international opportunities by providing information and direct support throughout the competitive application processes.

“Mykala’s immersion into the Middle East and the Arabic language has broadened her view of the world,” said Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “On behalf of the University, we are proud to nominate Mykala for the Carnegie Junior Fellows Program.”

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