Pitzer Student Elizabeth Weinlein ’17 to Master Chinese with State Department Critical Language Scholarship

Elizabeth Heinlein '17
Elizabeth Weinlein ’17

Claremont, Calif. (March 30, 2016)—Pitzer College student Elizabeth Weinlein ’17 has been awarded a US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to undertake intensive language study in China in summer of 2016. The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is a fully funded summer language and cultural immersion program that aims to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages.

An environmental analysis and Asian studies major, Weinlein will travel to Dalian, a seaport city in northeastern China, where she plans to use her Chinese language skills to work with Chinese organizations and officials to find solutions to local and global environmental problems. The second largest city in Liaoning Province, Dalian’s environmental concerns range from controlling air pollution to protecting water quality following a large oil spill in Dalian Bay in 2010.

Weinlein is a fellow with EnviroLab Asia, an initiative of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges designed to train students, faculty and staff to help develop sustainable and socially just solutions to environmental challenges in Asia. In spring 2015, she studied abroad in China, where she interned at a nonprofit dedicated to supporting impoverished children who are undergoing heart surgery.

CLS Program participants spend seven to 10 weeks abroad studying one of 13 languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish or Urdu. CLS has sent more than 5,000 American undergraduate and graduate students overseas to learn critical languages all over the world. The program is sponsored by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and provides study opportunities to a diverse range of US students at every level of language learning.

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