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Western Kentucky University

Chinese Flagship Program 中文领航

Photograph: JP Stovall


Student Profile--J.P. Stovall


Stovall, an International Affairs, Spanish, and Asian Religions & Cultures triple major with a minor in Latin American Studies, begins his Capstone Year at Nanjing in August 2013. A two-time winner of the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship for summer intensive language study in China, Stovall has been awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship for his Capstone Year in China. Stovall says the Flagship is a means by which he can broaden his knowledge of the world and its people which he feels will serve him greatly in a government career, specifically in Foreign Services within the U.S. Department of State or other governmental departments dealing with foreign interest.


As a student in the Flagship program, you learn, study, or use Chinese daily. What motivates you to participate in an intensive program such as this one?

Through previous language study, I have somewhat of an idea of what it takes to master a language, and I also realize that to be culturally competent, it is essential to be linguistically competent as well. Therefore, I realize the importance of being well versed in the language and that an intensive program is my best option for becoming so.


What has been your greatest linguistic success since you joined the Flagship program?

My greatest linguistic success since joining the program is, in my opinion, simply the progress I’ve made overall. I went from complete zero knowledge of Chinese to being able to hold my own during our adventures in China over the winter; that with only one semester of study under my belt. I continued on this past summer and, because of the skills I've attained through the Flagship, was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship that has advanced my Chinese ability farther than I ever could have expected. I now consider it a great linguistic success to have gone, in one year, from 101 level to this semester taking the 420 level class.


You visited 9 cities in China during the Winter 2011 Honors Colloquium, "The Road to Modern China." Which city was your favorite, and why?

My favorite city was Nanjing. The combination of the history, the friendly people, the city life, the general clean and beautiful atmosphere, not to mention the fact that Nanjing University, the location of our future capstone year studies, is there--all of those aspects made Nanjing stand out to me.


To those who are considering joining the flagship:

It’s a wonderful opportunity but keep in mind that it is an intensive course and that you will have to work hard for all the benefits of the program.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14