CLS Turkish 2015
CLS Turkish 2017
CLS Chinese 2014
CLS Indonesian 2016
CLS Indonesian 2017
CLS Arabic 2017
CLS Persian 2014
CLS Chinese 2018
CLS Korean 2014
Community Outreach Coordinator
CLS Chinese 2012
CLS Azerbaijani 2013
CLS Azerbaijani 2014
CLS Azerbaijani 2018
Tucker Boyce is a graduate student in the University of Maryland's Public Policy Master's program. His research focus is on international security, specifically nonproliferation and arms control. After completing a Bachelor's degree in Economics at the University of Georgia in 2017, Tucker worked on a Post-Bachelor's appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory in New Mexico. At Los Alamos, he supported an international outreach program for nonproliferation and trade security.
After his senior year of high school, Tucker initially became interested in Turkey through a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) summer program. While studying at the University of Georgia, he participated in two CLS programs for Turkish (Ankara 2015 and Baku 2017). His country and regional focus continues to be on Turkey's relationships with NATO, Russia, and the United States. In his free time, he enjoys exploring new cities, meeting friends (many of whom are CLS and NSLI-Y alumni!), and traveling.
Naika graduated from Tufts University in May 2014 with a BA in International Relations and Chinese and went on to participate in the CLS program at Suzhou University in Suzhou, China that same year. Following CLS, Naika served as an AmeriCorps service member working with immigrants and refugees in the Boston community in the areas of employment, citizenship, and language education.
She left Boston to obtain her Masters of Arts in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University in February 2017, concentrating on development-induced displaced in China. While at Columbia, Naika worked also as an Administrative Associate at Asia Catalyst, an NGO working on strengthening civil society and advancing the rights of marginalized communities in Asia.
She currently works as a Human Rights Specialist at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, processing discrimination complaints and conducting complaint pre-interventions involving disability accommodation requests. Although Naika does not currently use her Mandarin professionally, she continues to meet with a tutor weekly and makes time to attend language meet-ups in the city.
A two-time participant in CLS Indonesian (2016, 2017), Jenny studies women’s labor migration in Southeast Asia. Under Princeton University’s Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Global Scholarship, Jenny is pursuing a master’s in Southeast Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore during the 2018-19 academic year and will be pursuing an MSc in Social Anthropology at Oxford during the 2019-20 academic year. She graduated from Princeton University in 2018 where she studied religion with a focus on Islam. Her interest in Southeast Asia began when she was awarded a Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to study in rural Malaysia for eleven months. She also studied Filipino at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute under a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship.
Tania Ramos is from Jasper, Indiana. She has studied Arabic through NSLI-Y in Rabat, Morocco (2015) and again with CLS in Amman, Jordan (2017)! She is a graduating this May with a B.S. in International Studies, a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies (Arabic), and a Certificate in Business Foundations from Indiana University Bloomington. This June, she will be starting a one year program to attain a Masters of Science in Finance. She hopes to work in international development for an intergovernmental organization such as the World Bank or United Nations Development Programme.
Tania also loves to travel and cook. She is a BIG fan of the classic grilled cheese.
Mark graduated from The Ohio State University in 2016, where he studied International Studies, Farsi, and Social Psychology. In 2014, Mark became a CLS alumni after he studied Persian-Farsi and Tajiki in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. When his CLS program ended, he continued to study Farsi through college and after graduating thanks to multiple Alumni Development Fund grants (which he highly encourages you to apply for!)
Mark currently works in digital forensics and narcotics intelligence for a private contractor and intends to have a positive impact on the opioid crisis currently plaguing the U.S. and countries around the world.
When he’s not updating or painstakingly combing the CLSAS website for bugs, you can find Mark getting lost in the wilderness, summiting snowcapped peaks, or tending to his garden.
Naimul Chowdhury is an alumnus of the 2018 CLS Chinese program in Xi'An, China. He graduated from New College of Florida that same year with a concentration in Pure Mathematics, and is currently pursuing a Masters of Data Science at his alma mater.
Naimul is interested in the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and language. In particular, he is interested in how machine learning and AI can be used to improve second language acquisition.
Anthony Ross is a FLAS and CLS alumnus (Wonju, 2014) who currently works in educational outreach through the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia site at Indiana University. His position entails organizing professional development opportunities for American educators, as well as co-leading study tours to Asia. He holds an MA in East Asian Studies from Indiana, and is currently working on a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. Anthony has held previous positions teaching English in Spain and South Korea, and is a former Virtual Student Federal Service intern for the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).
In his free-time, he enjoys translating Korean literature, foreign films, travel, and volunteering in the community.
Blaine Johnson is an alumna of the 2012 CLS Chinese program in Shanghai, China, and now serves as the CLSAS Community Outreach Coordinator. Blaine is a policy analyst on the national security team at the Center for American Progress, where she synthesizes primary source and field research on Chinese policies to develop recommendations for U.S. policymakers. Since her work during graduate school in China—where she did her masters thesis on the implementation challenges of waste-to-energy policy and developed recommendations for the local government—Blaine has been using her Chinese language skills to address misunderstandings about China. Blaine also runs Young Professionals in Foreign Policy's Chinese Language Discussion Group and volunteers as a Mandarin teacher for the non-profit Global Language Network.
Blaine has a masters degree from Fudan University's School of International Relations and Public Affairs and a bachelors degree from Dartmouth College. Blaine speaks Mandarin, Spanish, and almost enough French to read a menu.
Jack Anderson is a Senior Consultant at FTI Consulting and an alumnus of the Azerbaijani CLS program. He was previously based in Washington, DC, and is presently living in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jack’s work at FTI has largely been within the firm’s Strategic Communications practice, where he has led a number of public affairs efforts to advance the policy goals of FTI’s clients. His efforts to advance federal reforms, in areas such as energy production, financial services regulations and international trade, have created new opportunities for economic growth across the country. Jack has forged several coalitions of businesses, NGOs, and academic institutions to jointly advance commonsense solutions to challenging economic and foreign policy problems facing the U.S.
Jack looks forward to utilizing his professional skills to create powerful relationships between CLSAS and third parties that can help advance the interests of all Critical Language Scholars, such as by supporting further linguistic education and helping CLS alumni to reach their professional and academic goals. He also looks forward to raising the profile of the CLS program among federal stakeholders in Congress and the Executive branch, to ensure the many contributions made by CLS alumni to our nation are widely recognized and valued.
Jack graduated from Washington & Lee University in Geopolitics of Central Asia. He is currently pursuing a M.S. in Cybersecurity at the Georgia Institute of Technology, planning to graduate in December 2019. He speaks Azerbaijani and can stumble through some Turkish, thanks to his time with CLS. When he’s not working, hacking, or cooking, he’s definitely gone skiing.
Benjamin Sonnenberg has been professionally published over a dozen times. He previously served as Editor of Unbound, the University of Maryland's undergraduate literary magazine. During the 2018 CLS, he studied Azerbaijani in Baku. He currently works as an Operations Associate in Arlington, VA.
ADVISORS TO THE BOARD
Former Vice President
CLS Chinese 2014
CLS Persian 2012
CLS Persian 2014
CLS Chinese 2016
Former Database Coordinator
CLS Hindi 2015
CLS Hindi 2016