MSU’s Phillips receives Boren Scholarship, broadening study abroad opportunities

Joshua Phillips (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Joshua Phillips, a Mississippi State student and a G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Presidential Endowed Scholar, continues to build an impressive list of achievements.

Being awarded the Boren Scholarship makes Phillips the university’s sixth recipient in the last seven years, highlighting his success among a collection of prestigious honors. The junior double major in political science and economics, originally from Australia and now residing in Birmingham, Alabama, will embark on a study abroad program in Oman during the upcoming spring as a Boren Scholar.

“Joshua’s dedication to his studies, academic excellence, and dedication to public service are commendable. He has actively pursued opportunities for learning, exploration, and growth both on our campus and beyond,” stated MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “As a Boren Scholar, he now has the chance to enhance his language skills and broaden his understanding of this region. I am confident that he will represent Mississippi State admirably.”

Phillips, a student at the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College, developed a keen interest in international relations and global development following his family’s relocation to the U.S. This interest ignited his passion for foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, aligning with his current studies at MSU. Furthermore, he has engaged in academic pursuits at the University of Oxford in England and the International University of Rabat in Morocco with scholarship support from the Turner Wingo Honors Excellence Endowment.

Studio portrait of Joshua Phillips
Josh Phillips (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Phillips has expanded his global experiences. He received two Phi Kappa Phi National Study Abroad grants during his time at MSU, supporting his studies in Rabat, Morocco, in 2023, and a visit to the Noor Majan Arabic Institute in Muscat, Oman, this year. He was also a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a prestigious graduate fellowship for individuals aspiring to public service careers with aspirations to work for the U.S. Department of State.

Furthermore, Phillips has been awarded three U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships during his MSU tenure, including the CLS Spark Award for online language study via Egypt’s University of Alexandria, the CLS Refresh Award for an online language intensive through Morocco’s Arab American Language Institute, and this year’s CLS Award to study abroad at the Jordanian Language Institute. Additionally, he currently serves as a CLS alumni ambassador.

Phillips acknowledged the support of various university faculty, staff, and departments in achieving his accolades and ambitions.

“Alongside the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, the Shackouls Honors College has been instrumental. Notably, the Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, led by David Hoffman, has provided invaluable guidance,” Phillips expressed. “David, one of my closest mentors, has played a crucial role in my success with various applications, including the Boren Scholarship, three Critical Language Scholarships, a Public Policy and International Affairs Public Service Weekend Fellowship, and my finalist status for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.”

Currently, Phillips serves as a researcher for the U.S. Department of State’s Mission to Yemen, an English tutor at the Collateral Repair Project’s Hashemi Shamali refugee center in Amman, and a research assistant in MSU’s political science and public administration department. He has also gained experience working with esteemed institutions such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security.

Reflecting on his time away from MSU due to study abroad and work commitments, Phillips expressed his appreciation for the university.

“Representing MSU at other universities and observing its standing compared to international institutions has instilled a deep sense of pride in me for my university,” he remarked. “I can genuinely say that I have cherished my MSU journey.”

Through his professional and research roles, Phillips has authored nine published reports, presentations, and publications.

Phillips’ involvement at MSU extends to memberships in the PKP Honor Society, Kappa Sigma fraternity, Men of Excellence, Montgomery Leadership Program, and serving as an honors college ambassador. Most recently, he was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

The Boren Scholarship, sponsored by the National Security Education Program, is named in honor of former U.S. Sen. David Boren, the legislative architect of the NSEP. The Institute of International Education, based in New York City, oversees the award selection for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students committed to improving their language skills and cultural awareness across diverse fields of study. For more details on the Boren Scholarship program, visit https://www.borenawards.org or reach out to Hoffman, MSU’s Boren representative at dhoffman@anthro.msstate.edu.

Crawford, Green named Boren Fellowship and Scholarship alternates

Portrait of Sakira Crawford
Sakira Crawford (Photo by Megan Bean)
Portrait of Madelynn Green
Madelynn Green (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

Sakira Crawford, a senior majoring in secondary education from Ocean Springs, and Madelynn Green, a sophomore anthropology major from Russellville, Alabama, have been designated as alternates for the Boren Fellowship and Scholarship, respectively. The Boren Fellowship program supports graduate students pursuing study and research opportunities abroad. Crawford and Green stand as alternates who could be chosen if additional fellowship or scholarship opportunities arise.

For further information about MSU’s Shackouls Honors College and Office of Prestigious External Scholarships, visit https://www.honors.msstate.edu and https://www.honors.msstate.edu/prestigious-external-scholarships/.

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