ATU’s Babst chosen for State Department program

Lucas Babst

Lucas Babst, a student at Arkansas Tech University, is among the first cohort of American students selected by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State to participate in the Spark scholarship program in critical languages ​​(CLS).

According to information provided by the US State Department, the program is “part of a US government initiative to increase the number of Americans learning and proficiency in foreign languages ​​critical to national security and economic prosperity.”

Babst, a second-year international studies student at Monticello, will be studying Arabic through the CLS Spark program. He hopes that by learning the language and cultures of the Middle East, he will be prepared to travel to one or more Arabic-speaking countries in the future.

“CLS Spark is a virtual initiative designed to leverage online language learning best practices developed by the CLS program during the pandemic, CLS Spark provides US students with access and opportunity to begin their language learning journeys. languages ​​even when these critical languages ​​may not be offered on their campuses or when they may have responsibilities that limit their ability to go abroad,” reads the curriculum text provided by the Department of State. “Participants will spend an academic year learning Arabic, Chinese or Russian through online lessons and activities led by native speakers at a host institution overseas.”

Learn more about similar opportunities for Arkansas Tech students by visiting the ATU Distinguished Scholarship Office online at

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