DCCC Graduate Receives Scholarship to Study Arabic in Morocco

Mitchell Cleary 1

May 20, 2015 – An exciting summer is in store for Davidson County Community College graduate Mitchell Cleary, the recipient of a federal Critical Language Scholarship that allows him to travel to Tangier, Morocco, for Arabic language study and cultural immersion.

“I’m ecstatic about receiving this scholarship,” Cleary says. “I know that it will be a life-changing experience that will help mold me into a better person. This opportunity will affect my educational and career goals in many ways.”

Cleary begins his two months of study at the Arab American Language Institute in Morocco mid-June and returns Aug. 15. The opportunity was made possible by his year of Arabic study at DCCC. Program costs, including travel, room and board are covered by the scholarship.

The Critical Language Scholarship, awarded by the U.S. Department of State, is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Mitchell Cleary 2“Without this international travel opportunity, I would not have decided to major in Arabic,” says Cleary, who continues study toward a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall. “It’s solely because of this amazing chance that I’ve been offered that I’ve decided to change my educational path. As far as career goes, I fully expect to make important connections during this trip that will help improve my job marketability in the future.”

Cleary received his Associate in Arts degree during the May 16 commencement exercise at DCCC, graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. He is the college’s 2014-2015 Academic Excellence Award winner, an honor recognized by the North Carolina Community College System.

In his two years as a college student, Cleary has studied five different languages and plans to use his linguistic training to pursue a career in international affairs. He is a DCCC Scholar of Global Distinction, and he traveled to Peru in the summer of 2014 as part of a study abroad service-learning experience sponsored by the college.

“Mitch has a real passion and affinity for languages and a desire to work hard to achieve some impressive goals on a global level,” says Suzanne LaVenture, director of international education and Spanish faculty member at DCCC. “He has a great story so far in his young life, and I know he’ll continue to make his DCCC family proud in the future.”

*Editor’s Note: In the attached photos, Mitchell Cleary is shown receiving the Academic Excellence Award during DCCC’s Commencement on May 16. He is the recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College is noted for its quality educational programs and services. As one of 58 institutions within the North Carolina Community College System, DCCC offers studies in more than 50 degree programs. A fully accredited, multi-campus college, DCCC celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 and is looking forward to serving students in Davidson and Davie counties for many years to come. The college is committed to developing minds, inspiring imaginations and preparing students for enhanced career and educational opportunities within a changing global environment. Visit Davidson County Community College at davidsonccc.edu.