Steven Hartman, a junior with double majors in religion and global studies, has won a national scholarship to spend the summer studying the Punjabi language and Sikh religion in India.
The Critical Language Scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. State Department, and provides fully-funded intensive training in one of 13 critically needed foreign languages, through both formal instruction and one-on-one meetings with native speakers for conversational practice and cultural activities. Scholarship winners can vary in their level of expertise, but need to show how they will use the language in their professional lives.
Hartman, from Bear, Delaware, will spend eight weeks this summer in the state of Punjab in northwest India, which marks his first trip outside the United States. Though not yet fluent in Punjabi, he is familiar with the history and religion of the region, and hopes to use the training to read religious texts in the original language.
After graduation in 2015, he plans to apply for a Fulbright scholarship or Peace Corps assignment in Asia before pursuing his PhD in religion. “Ultimately I seek to study how religion interacts with community development, specifically in regards to youth interaction,” said Hartman, who spent last summer working in a Somali refugee community in central Maine where he says he learned a lot about understanding and negotiating cultural differences.
An Honors College student, Hartman is also minoring in management and is a member of the Hofstra Crew Team.