UA Student Receives Boren Scholarship for Study in Brazil

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — University of Alabama student Rachel Ramey has received a Boren Scholarship from the National Security Education Program to study in Brazil during the spring and fall semesters of 2016.

In addition, UA student Dana Sweeney received an alternative designation.

Rachel Ramey
Rachel Ramey

Ramey will study Portuguese and natural resource management at Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina before graduating and returning to UA to complete the MBA program through the Manderson Graduate School of Business.

Boren Scholarships, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, provide funding opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests, and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Ramey is a senior studying civil engineering with minors in environmental engineering and Spanish. She is also part of the STEM Path to the MBA Program and the Honors College.

She is from Dayton, Ohio, and she is the daughter of Kyle and Phyllis Ramey. She became interested in her focus of water-resource engineering through two trips with Engineers Without Borders to Peru during her freshman and sophomore years.

Working with the native communities to conduct water testing and design composting toilets, she learned about the magnitude of the problem of clean water access in developing countries and saw the role she could play in providing a solution.

She has completed an internship in the Amazon with an environmental conservation non-governmental organization and studied abroad in Colombia during her junior year.

She has also spent the last year working with a team of STEM Path students to design an innovation course in rural India where they will travel in July. Outside of languages, engineering and traveling, Rachel enjoys dancing, hiking and volunteering with Al’s Pals Mentoring Program.

The Boren Scholarships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program, a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.


Richard LeComte, media relations,, 205/348-3782


Nancy O'Brien, director of intercultural experiences, University Honors Program, 205/348-5534,