MSSW student receives prestigious Boren award

Katie Casstevens

Katie Casstevens

MSSW student Katie Casstevens has been awarded a Boren Fellowship to study in Brazil during the 2014-15 academic year.

“The Boren Fellowship is extremely competitive and prestigious. Katie exemplifies the best of graduate education, and this award will enable her to extend her work and expand her impact as she studies abroad in Brazil. She will be an amazing ambassador for UT,” said Dr. David Springer, University Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work.

Casstevens is pursuing a dual degree with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She will study Portuguese at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo during the summer, and then will study at Fundacão Getúlio Vargas during fall 2014. In spring 2015, Casstevens will complete her final field placement for social work and pursue research for a professional report at Fundacão Getúlio Vargas’s Center for Public Administration and Government Studies. She will work with the center on a social policy research initiative that explores urban vulnerabilities and opportunities for public action in a lower socio-economic community near São Paulo.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to travel to Brazil to learn Portuguese while simultaneously pursuing my educational endeavors. I feel honored that Boren selected me to represent the National Security Education Program in Brazil, and am excited to apply my language, policy, and social work skills back toward federal service upon my return,” Casstevens said.

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 our nation. In exchange for funding, Boren award recipients agree to work in the federal government for a period of at least one year.

Since 1994, over 5,200 students have received Boren Awards. Boren Scholars and Fellows represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena, and program alumni are contributing to the critical missions of agencies throughout the federal government. Undergraduate and graduate students interested in applying for the Boren Awards should contact IIE at or visit