TU sophomore selected for U.S. State Department language training program - The University of Tulsa
Close Menu
Close Menu

TU sophomore selected for U.S. State Department language training program

Lilah Jacobs

University of Tulsa sophomore Lilah Jacobs has been selected to take part in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. This initiative provides instruction in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and others that are essential to the country’s security, prosperity, and engagement with the world.

For approximately eight weeks this summer, Jacobs – who is triple majoring in political science, economics, and Spanish – will begin Chinese (Mandarin) classes through CLS Spark, the program’s virtual arm.

“On behalf of the Kendall College of Arts & Sciences, I congratulate Lilah on her acceptance into this competitive program,” said Interim Dean Kirsten Olds. “With her pursuit of three majors and embrace of language study, I am certain great things are in store for her. Lilah is also an inspiring example of the wealth of opportunities that are available to all students at TU as they chart their individualized personal, educational, and professional paths.”

Born in Chongqing, China, Jacobs was adopted by a Tulsa family in 2005 and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 2022. “Despite my origins, I resisted taking Chinese classes as a kid – even when my parents wanted me to – because I didn’t wish to be perceived as different,” Jacobs remarked. “Now, however, I have a greater appreciation for my heritage, and I am eager to connect with it by learning Mandarin.

“My recent study abroad experience in Dublin also reinforced for me how important language and international communication are for a career in public service, which is what I hope to pursue after graduation.”

As she prepared her application, Jacobs received valuable assistance from Terrie Shipley, the director of TU’s Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. Jacobs also noted that she benefited from working with Christy Caves, the executive director of CaneCareers, who helped her find internships and experiences relevant to her studies and career goals.