Zachary Rybarczyk, a candidate for a master's degree in public policy, has been named a 2014 Boren Fellow.
Rybarczyk will study water access and government policies in Morocco, with the aim of better understanding the challenges of providing clean drinking water and sanitation services to rural communities.
“Although Morocco has significantly increased its population’s access to these critical needs,” he said, “the nation still struggles to provide over half of its 13.8 million rural citizens with improved sources of water and sanitation.”
Boren Fellowships provide up to $30,000 to U.S. graduate students to focus on specialized topics in the fields of area studies and foreign languages. Each fellowship, funded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), supports study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Fellowships also include a language component focusing on less commonly taught languages, including, but not limited to, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili. Rybarczyk plans to improve his Arabic by attending a full-time language course in Rabat while living with a host family.
Boren Fellows often focus on nontraditional security issues, such as sustainable development, environmental degradation, global disease and hunger, population growth and migration, and economic competitiveness.
“Morocco, as a key regional ally to the United States and a hub of international civil society and economic activity, provides me with a perfect opportunity to explore water access issues that I couldn’t learn from a classroom lecture,” he said. “My focus on environmental policy has helped me analyze the complicated political and legal structures behind many of the United States’ water management policies.
Boren Fellowships can range from 12 weeks to one year. Upon their return to the United States, award recipients will work in national security positions for a minimum of one year. The selection process for Boren Fellowships is highly competitive, and students competing for this prestigious award must demonstrate a strong commitment to public service in their proposed research projects and their future career goals.