Jeanelle Sears

2017 Critical Language Scholar

Jeanelle Sears

UofL graduate student Jeanelle Sears has been awarded a 2017 Critical Language Scholarship. Sears will travel to the American Institute of Indian Studies in Kolkata, India, to study Bengali (also called Bangla), a language from the Indian subcontinent spoken by 250 million people.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students fully funded by the State Department. The program aims to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and build relationships between the people of the United States and other countries.

“I hope studying Bangla in Kolkata serves as a springboard for my professional interests in the impacts of climate change on displacement. I also have intentions to build relationships with other social workers in the region and to facilitate academic and professional exchanges in the future.”

Collegiate experience

  • Areas of Study:

    • Currently earning a PhD in social work, Kent School of Social Work. Expected graduation date is May, 2018.
    • Holds the following degrees:
      • Bachelor’s degree in anthropology and psychology (UofL College of Arts and Sciences, 2005)
      • Graduate degree in forced migration and refugee studies (American University in Cairo, Egypt)
      • Master’s degree in cross cultural studies of childhood (Brunel University, London, England)
      • Master’s degree in social work (University of Vermont)
  • Other Honors and Recognition:

    • 2005 Fulbright Student Award (Egypt)
    • 2008 Mary Churchill Humphrey Centenary Memorial Scholarship

Hometown information

  • Hometown:

    Corbin, Kentucky
  • High school:

    Corbin High School
  • Parents:

    Paula A. Ballou of Whitley, Kentucky and the late Michael E. Sears