ESE doctoral student selected for Boren Fellowship

June 15, 2018

Elizabeth Christenson

Elizabeth Christenson (Photo by Will Owens)

Elizabeth Christenson, doctoral student in environmental sciences and engineering at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been awarded a Boren Fellowship to study critical languages abroad. She will be UNC-Chapel Hill’s 13th Boren fellow since 2000.

Christenson, from Charlotte, earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010. She currently is studying the impact of industrial hog farms on water quality in North Carolina. As a Boren fellow, she will study Arabic in Amman, Jordan, during the 2018-2019 academic year. She plans to use her scientific training for community-based public health and disease prevention initiatives in the Middle East.

“Elizabeth has excelled in academics at UNC while leading research projects and mentoring students,” said her adviser, Jill Stewart, PhD, associate professor in the Gillings School’s Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering. “She is well versed in water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) issues – and specifically, in public health microbiology, an area in which she wants to apply her knowledge and skills for humanitarian purposes. I am excited for her to carry these talents and values with her as a positive representative of UNC abroad.”

“We are delighted that Elizabeth was awarded this fellowship,” said Inger Brodey, PhD, director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “I’m confident that she will do important work for the security of our country as well as for global health quality.”

David L. Boren Scholarships and Fellowships are sponsored by the National Security Education Program. 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 United States. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients work in the federal government for at least one year.

This year, Boren scholars and fellows will live in 38 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East. Since 1994, more than 6,000 students have received Boren awards.


Contact the Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at

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