Brian Denny, a UC Irvine doctoral student in political science, has received a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study in China this summer. Only about 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students are awarded the funding annually. Denny studies Chinese domestic politics and is interested in political participation and the relationship between the Chinese government and its citizens. “For my particular academic interests, fluency in Chinese is more than just helpful or advantageous,” Denny said. “Success in this field requires it.” He will study in Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. The CLS program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. “Thoughtful participation in our global society requires the willingness and ability engage with others in a mutual dialogue,” Denny said. His travels to Beijing, Suzhou and Shanghai during the summer of 2012 solidified his desire to pursue an academic career focusing on China. The scholarship covers group-based language instruction and  cultural enrichment experiences. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their language skills in their future careers.