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Melodee Baines, an Old Dominion University doctoral student majoring in international studies, recently was awarded a U.S. State Department Critical Language Fellowship. She will study Arabic at the American Center of Oriental Research, in collaboration with the Language Center of the University of Jordan in Amman, from June 13 to Aug. 21.

The State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will sponsor 150 students out of more than 3,000 applicants who sought fellowships this year. The winners will be stationed at centers across the globe.

Baines will receive classroom instruction and attend tutoring sessions, and one day a week will go on a cultural excursion to explore the historical, social, archaeological and ecological diversity of Jordan.

A native of Frederick, Md., she received her undergraduate degree in linguistics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

"Languages are my passion," said Baines, who lived abroad after receiving her bachelor's degree. She speaks French and German fluently and is excited about adding Arabic to her repertoire.

"There are a million ways in which language can tell us about a culture," she said.

After completing her doctoral degree, Baines plans to pursue a career in the prevention of international drug trafficking.

This article was posted on: May 9, 2007

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