Lance Gibson

2018 Critical Language Scholar

Lance Gibson

Lance Gibson

Lance Gibson earned a 2018 Critical Language Scholarship. Gibson will travel to Morocco to study Arabic at the Arab American Language Institute at that institution’s Meknes location.

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 initially planned to decline the CLS award. I had intended to work directly for the Department of State; however, after seeing how much this award means to the Arabic Program and the university as a whole, I am delighted to represent them in Meknes this summer. I hope to use my knowledge of Arabic as I go on to pursue studies in law.”

Collegiate experience

  • Areas of Study:

    • Expects to graduate May, 2019, from the College of Arts and Sciences with degrees in English, French and Humanities (disciplinary studies).
  • Additional Awards:

    • Etscorn International Summer Research Award (2016)
    • U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Summer Internship (declined internship to accept the CLS award)

Inspired By

First, I would like to thank Professors Khaldoun Almousily and Shereen Abdelhalim of the Arabic Program for their kindness and expertise, as I have worked to acquire the language over the course of the last year and a half.

Next, I would like to thank Dr. Bronwyn Williams, University Writing Center director and professor of English, who has been a wonderful mentor and friend to me throughout my undergraduate career. He and I both know that writing of any language or nature is a powerful force; time and time again, he has helped me hone my own writing as my thesis director and has facilitated a place where I, like so many others, have developed my voice as a scholar.

However, one person deserves my unending thanks: Caitlin Ray, Ph.D. candidate in rhetoric and composition and University Writing Center assistant director for graduate student writing. She worked with me through countless drafts, lending an invaluable perspective that keeps my writing grounded and focused. Caitlin is an inspiration to me; her perseverance in difficult circumstances helped me keep going in the face of numerous scholarship rejections. Without her support, I might have never found the confidence to apply.

Hometown information

  • Hometown:

    Henderson, Kentucky
  • High school:

    Henderson County High School (2015)
  • Parents:

    Christa and Bruce Gibson, both of Henderson, Ky.