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Boren Fellow returns to campus to encourage students

October 15, 2019

David Losinski graduated from The College of Idaho in 2017 with a degree in Political Economy. But that didn’t mark the end of his time at the College.

Recently, the Boren Fellowship award-winner was back on campus and his goal was pretty simple.

“People helped me when I was applying for the fellowship,” Losinski said. “I think it’s important to try to pass that along to others.”

In this case, Losinski was a guest speaker in a class for professor Jasper LiCalzi to talk about his upcoming fellowship trip to Indonesia. Losinski is just the fourth Boren Fellow from the College, joining Ali Rabe ’10, Matt Fouts ’14, and Ryan Gibson ’15. The Idaho Falls native will be spending most of the next year in Indonesia studying and doing research in preparation for a career in renewable energy.

“It was really overwhelming at first, it’s about as far as you can get from eastern Idaho,” Losinski said of heading to Indonesia. “It is pretty surreal to think about the opportunities students have to go and engage in their studies like that.”

Losinski was first introduced to Indonesia almost by accident. He was a member of the College’s Model United Nations team with professor Rob Dayley that was originally slated to go to South Korea.

“There was some issue and we weren’t able to compete there,” he recalled. “So we ended up going to Indonesia.”

After the competition, Losinski stayed in southeast Asia, traveling around Indonesia and Thailand before returning to the United States, but the affinity for the region has stuck with him. He completed his degree at the College and then finished his first year of graduate school at Boise State University. Now, he’ll spend this academic year studying abroad for the Boren Fellowship before returning to Boise State to finish his graduate degree next year. As part of the fellowship, he is required to work for the government once he has completed his graduate degree.

The Boren Fellowship is specific to foreign languages. Losinski says he was drawn to the diverse culture and driven people of the region, pointing out that Indonesia is the fourth-largest country on the planet, based on population. And when it comes to studying the languages of the region, he says that there are 170 distinct languages – not dialects – in Indonesia alone.

The roots of his education and goals were shaped at The College of Idaho.

“By the time I graduated, I had the personal contact information of every professor in the (Political Economy) department. I was able to talk to them, sometimes multiple times a week,” he noted. “At a college that isn’t a small, liberal arts college, you may not have that luxury.”

Losinski’s older brother, Ben ’12, is also a graduate of the College, also with a degree in Political Economy. In speaking to LiCalzi’s class, Losinski stressed the importance of taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves during the college years. Along with Model U.N., he participated in internships in Washington, D.C. and traveled to conferences as part of his membership with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at the College.

“Attending school is just the baseline of college,” he reasoned. “There are other ways to use your experience at the College to get ahead.”

The College of Idaho has a 128-year-old legacy of excellence. The College is known for its outstanding academic programs, winning athletics tradition and history of producing successful graduates, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three governors, and countless business leaders and innovators. Its distinctive PEAK Curriculum challenges students to attain competency in the four knowledge peaks of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field—empowering them to earn a major and three minors in four years. The College’s close-knit, residential campus is located in Caldwell, where its proximity both to Boise and to the world-class outdoor activities of southwest Idaho’s mountains and rivers offers unique opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.  For more information, visit