McConnell alumna Yelena Bagdasaryan receives prestigious Boren Scholarship

By Madelin Shelton
McConnell alumna Yelena Bagdasaryan receives prestigious Boren Scholarship

McConnell Scholar alumna Yelena Bagdasaryan ('24)

Louisville, Ky. (May 28, 2024) – McConnell Scholar alumna Yelena Bagdasaryan (’24) will spend a year in the Czech Republic as a Boren Scholar.

The Boren Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, funds study abroad opportunities for U.S. students in world regions critical to U.S. national security interests. Recipients spend up to one academic year in intensive cultural and language immersion.

Bagdasaryan will study at Charles University in Prague and complete an international communications internship at Caritas Czech Republic, a non-governmental organization (NGO).

“I am incredibly honored to have received the Boren Scholarship to the Czech Republic,” said Bagdasaryan. “The opportunity to learn Czech, work at an NGO, and immerse myself in Czech culture for a year is indescribably beneficial for my career interests in the federal government, education in global public health, understanding U.S. national security interests, and my personal development.”

The award includes funding of up to $25,000 and a one-year work requirement with the federal government after returning to the U.S.

“We are so proud of Yelena and all that she has accomplished,” said McConnell Center Director Dr. Gary Gregg. “She joins a long legacy of McConnell Scholars winning coveted national scholarships and we can’t wait to see where she goes from here.”

She also received a Fulbright Scholarship to serve as an English teaching assistant in Armenia in the coming year, but ultimately chose the Boren Scholarship. 

After returning from the Czech Republic, Bagdasaryan will attend Johns Hopkins University for a master’s in public health.