Danyale Kellogg ’19 was recently selected as a 2023–2024 Boren Fellowship recipient and will spend an entire year studying Mandarin in Taipei, Taiwan, at the National Taiwan Normal University. The Boren Fellowship is a prestigious government-funded fellowship that financially supports graduate students interested in studying languages and cultures critical to U.S. national security.

Kellogg has long been interested in international affairs, national security, foreign languages, and studying abroad. While at Southwestern, Kellogg majored in history and minored in German and international studies. She spent a semester in South Korea at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, where she studied Korean, international law and relations, nuclear policy, and security studies. In her final year at Southwestern, she took a Mandarin course because of her desire to better master the use of Hanja in Korean and her broader interest in the Sinosphere. Kellogg furthered her interest in international affairs and interned in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Texas Legislature, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a small security and defense contracting and consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

“I became really interested in foreign affairs, specifically in Asia, when I interned on Capitol Hill,” Kellogg recalls. “This internship sparked my interest in national security and, given that it happened during the 2015-16 Zika fever epidemic, it also fostered my interest in biodefense and global health security.”

After graduating from Southwestern, Kellogg attended Texas A&M University, earning a Master of International Affairs (MIA) on the National Security track, specializing in China Studies and Pandemics and Biosecurity. Kellogg studied abroad again during her master’s program, returning to Seoul to study at Korea University. She also conducted research alongside several faculty members, even co-authoring a white paper on U.S.-Mexico binational health security for the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Her interdisciplinary interests in global health security, East Asia, and international affairs were further validated by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which piqued her interest in pursuing doctoral-level training and research.

Kellogg is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Biodefense with a focus on International Security at George Mason University, where her research focuses on the Chinese Communist Party and its understanding of emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Her research aims to understand how concerns like Party legitimacy and domestic political goals impact infectious disease outbreak responses and the health and international security consequences. She recently completed a research associateship at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center for Global Security Research and will begin a summer associateship at the RAND Corporation soon. After completing her Ph.D., she plans to pursue a career in the national security community and would one day like to teach on the side.

The primary goal of the Boren Fellowship is to encourage individuals to develop language proficiency and gain an understanding of the cultures, societies, and political systems of countries that are of strategic importance to the U.S. Fellows receive financial support to cover their overseas study and living expenses and commit to a service requirement, which requires working in a national security-related position for a period after completing their degree.

While in Taipei, Kellogg will be in intensive language classes for about 15 hours a week. She will also take supplementary cultural courses like Chinese calligraphy, cooking classes, and Taiwanese Hokkien. Kellogg said she looks forward to developing her conversational and listening skills in Mandarin because, one day, she would like to use them in interpretation work. Outside of her coursework, Kellogg looks forward to further developing her photography and cooking skills and reconnecting with her roommate from Korea, a Taiwanese citizen.

Kellogg is a shining example of what an interdisciplinary, Southwestern education can prepare a student for after graduation. She credits her time at Southwestern with allowing her to expand her interests. Her love of travel and language led her to study abroad in Chile and South Korea, while her interest in foreign affairs led her to two separate research projects with Professor of German Erika Berroth. These experiences have led to a pursuit of learning for the greater good.

If you have questions about supporting the initiatives mentioned in the article, please call the Development Office at 512-863-1211. For more information about other priority initiatives at Southwestern, visit thrive.southwestern.edu.