Senior Maggie Callahan Receives Boren Scholarship to Study in the Republic of Georgia


MACON – Mercer University senior Maggie Callahan was recently awarded a Boren Scholarship to learn Georgian and study the political culture of the southern Caucasus region in Tblisi, Georgia, during the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Maggie went to Georgia as part of a Mercer On Mission program, which inspired a passion in her for the people of the Caucasus region. The Boren Scholarship will allow her to develop fluency in Georgian and prepare for a career promoting stability and development in the region,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English.

In exchange for funding, Callahan, a political science and economics double-major from Social Circle, will work for the federal government in national security for at least one year following her study overseas.

“Receiving this opportunity is testament to Mercer University's outstanding liberal arts education and the immense support of its faculty and staff. Both have worked to prepare and inspire me for a career in international service,” said Callahan. “This award will equip me with the skills necessary to make manifest Mercer's slogan, 'At Mercer, everyone majors in changing the world.' Through the Boren Scholarship, I will balance my academic studies with cultural and linguistic immersion. The combination of these will ensure that my career in international service is meaningful and impactful.”

Callahan, who also has a minor in communication studies, has traveled internationally on a number of occasions as an undergraduate, including a Mercer On Mission trip to the Republic of Georgia, study abroad at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco, and service as an English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at the Azrou Center for Community Development in Morocco.

She also was the recipient of research grants from Mercer's BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism as well as the University's Research that Reaches Out Office for her work related to civil society development in the Republic of Georgia based on interviews and case studies of 15 non-governmental organizations and an economic analysis of Georgian wine integration into European markets. She presented these projects at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research, Mercer's BEAR (Breakthroughs in Engagement, Arts and Research) Day, the Georgia Political Science Association Conference and the Society of Business, Industry and Economics conference.

Callahan has served as an intern in the U.S. House of Representatives, legislative aide in the Georgia House of Representatives, supplemental instructor in Mercer's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, writing preceptor for the Great Books Program and member of the Admissions Department's special events team.

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), a major federal initiative designed to build a broader and more qualified pool of U.S. citizens with foreign language and international skills.

Boren Awards provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students with resources and encouragement to acquire language skills and experience in countries critical to the future security and stability of the nation. In exchange for funding, recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year. For more information, visit