Wheeling Park High School Grad Awarded Language Scholarship

Photo Provided Adam Craig, left, of Wheeling, and Brandon Brown, of South Charleston, are this year’s recipients of the highly-competitive U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship.

West Virginia University student and Wheeling resident Adam Craig is one of two students who will study abroad this summer as a recipient of the highly competitive U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship.

With the selection of Craig and Brandon Brown — of South Charleston — WVU will have 30 students who have received this award since 2008. The Critical Language Scholarship is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity, according to a statement from the university.

Craig, a first-year international studies major, will spend two months in Ibri, Oman, this summer. He returned recently from his first trip to the Middle East on a WVU-sponsored spring break trip to Jordan.

“I became fascinated with the language while visiting an Arabic calligraphy gallery in New York City,” said Craig. “The works were so strikingly beautiful that I decided I had to learn what they all meant.”

A student in the Honors College, Craig said he is excited about the opportunity to immerse himself in a culture different from his own.

“The Omani people are known for their traditional, conservative lifestyles, so I hope to better understand a perspective that most Americans never get to experience,” he said.

Craig, a freshman, is exploring options on building a career in international relations. He would like to serve in the Peace Corps and possibly go to law school to study human rights or immigration.

All costs, including travel and orientation, are covered by the Critical Language Scholarship program sponsors for this seven- to 10-week summer experience.