C of I alumna awarded Boren Fellowship

Middleton native and College of Idaho alumna Alison Rabe never has been afraid to aim high. Rabe was elected student body president at the C of I and, after graduating in 2010, was accepted into the College of William and Mary, one of the nation’s top law schools.

Today, Rabe continues to set a high bar for her personal and career goals. Most recently, she won the highly competitive Boren Fellowship, an award that provides American graduate students with up to $30,000 to support study and research in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests. Rabe will spend the next 10 months in Cambodia as the Boren Fellowship supports research, language development and exposure to international law that will help Rabe pursue her goal of one day working for the U.S. government in Southeast Asia.

“I first fell in love with Cambodia at The College of Idaho,” said Rabe, who took a study abroad course at the College with Professor Rob Dayley, the 2011 Carnegie Foundation Idaho Professor of the Year. “It was an eye-opening experience for me. Rob inspired me to harness a passion for the region. If I hadn't gone on that trip, I definitely would not be where I am now.”

Last year, Rabe returned to Cambodia thanks to an internship with International Bridges for Justice and grant money from one of her William and Mary law professor’s comparative studies programs. She went back again this year as an intern for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime prior to beginning her Boren Fellowship. Now, she will extend her stay for another 10 months while working to improve her knowledge of the language as well as Cambodian culture and law.

“There is something about the intense energy in (Cambodia) that always draws me back,” Rabe said. “It's a challenging yet always exciting place to live. During my internship with IBJ, I began to learn about Cambodia's land problems. I left the country with countless burning questions. This fellowship will give me the opportunity to answer those questions, an opportunity that I am extremely grateful for.”

Rabe is chronicling her experiences via two blogs – she has a student blog on the William and Mary website as well as her own personal blog, Khmer Year. She remains on track to receive her law degree in December of 2013. The Boren Fellowship requires that Rabe works for the federal government for at least one year, and she aspires to work for the U.S. Department of State, either in the capacity of a Foreign Service Officer or in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs after graduation.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit