Project GO Grant Awarded to Fund Language Programming and ROTC Training at Georgia Tech

Posted July 22, 2021

When you think of military training, you might envision soldiers running obstacle courses or jumping out of planes. However, Lt. Col. David Cumings explained that the language training opportunities offered by the School of Modern Languages through a recently renewed Project Global Officer (Project GO) grant are also crucial to tomorrow’s military leaders.

The U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO) awarded Georgia Tech a Project GO grant to provide training to cadets across the nation and fund proposed language programming in Korean, Japanese, and Russian.

“Project GO is an immensely valuable program that all of our future military members can benefit from,” said Cumings, commander of Georgia Tech’s Air Force ROTC detachment. “The cadets who are selected for participation in Project GO build confidence, improve adaptability, maintain calm under pressure, and develop new stress management techniques, all of which tremendously benefit young officers.”

Project GO is a collaborative initiative that promotes critical language education, study abroad, and intercultural dialogue opportunities for ROTC cadets. Project GO programs focus on the languages and countries of the Middle East, Asia, Central Asia, Africa, and South America.

Vivek Poluru, Project GO scholarship recipient and second-year industrial engineering student, stated: “Project GO provides a unique set of courses that go far beyond the path to fluency. In courses such as Business Korean and Contemporary Korean, students learn how to apply skills to the real world, essential for cadets hoping to master a foreign language.” 

Project GO also strengthens the School of Modern Languages’ signature faculty-led study abroad program in Languages for Business and Technology (LBAT), according to Natalie Khazaal, assistant professor of Arabic and co-director of the Project GO program.

“The LBAT professional-language orientation integrates language proficiency with an understanding of business structures and government institutions. It also includes a serious orientation to issues of globalization and sustainable development through culturally lensed and context-informed critical analysis,” Khaazal said.

Georgia Tech Project GO Scholarships

Since its initial funding in 2008, Project GO has awarded scholarships to students to study the languages of China, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, and South Korea. Since then, themes that bind the sciences and humanities have been added, including sustainable development, globalization and migration, science and ethics, and commerce and community.

Georgia Tech’s recruiting efforts have resulted in 236 ROTC students receiving Project GO scholarships to participate in overseas immersion programs. An average of 24 scholarships are granted annually. Among these, 63% were awarded to non-GT students, and 56% were from outside Georgia.

“The Project GO scholarship exemplifies the dedication of our military in providing cadets with incredible pathways toward language mastery.” Poluru, who is from Chantilly, Va., also added: “I can think of no better program that can equip students with the tools for foreign language mastery as well as Project GO.”

Expansion of Project GO

The maximum award amount for the Project GO grant is $486,925, which is renewable for three years.

“With this grant, we look forward to further enhancing and deepening the successful and innovative Project GO programs at Georgia Tech that Prof. Vicki Galloway launched in 2008,” stated Sebnem Ozkan, associate director of the Atlanta Global Studies Center and Project GO co-director.

Khazaal and Ozkan are dedicated to expanding the Project GO program by enhancing recruiting infrastructures to focus on ROTC units in the Southeast. Not only will the grant allow them to expand the program to include additional languages deemed critical for national security—such as Arabic—but it will also allow them to make Project GO available to more ROTC cadets in the future.

Georgia Tech’s ROTC cadets are encouraged to take part in the growing and innovative programming offered through the Project GO grant. For more information, please contact the Project GO Coordinator, Neta Kanny, (


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