After earning a spot in Project Global Officer (GO), a national, fully funded scholarship program, Madison King, a cadet in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at St. John’s University, is spending the summer in Taiwan, honing her language skills in Mandarin while immersed in a culture that fascinates her.
“I want to travel the world and Project GO completely plunges you into another language and culture, which is very intriguing to me,” said Madison, who is expected to graduate in May 2024 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Sciences from the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “Also, as a pre-medical student, I am hoping to gain experiences that will help define who I am and allow me to experience other people and cultures in a new way.”
Project GO is a nationwide program funded by the Department of Defense and administered by the International Institute for Education (IEE), which also oversees the Fulbright US Student Program. It is open to all qualified ROTC students, offering opportunities in critical language education, overseas study, and cross-cultural experiences. Through Project GO, future military officers develop linguistic and cross-cultural communication skills that are required for effective leadership for all US military services in the 21st century. Since 2007, Project GO has provided approximately 6,500 students with opportunities to study culture and 19 languages, both domestically and abroad, in 33 countries.
Madison is spending her time with Project GO in Taipei and is studying Mandarin through National Chengchi University (NCCU). “While attending classes,” she said, “I will be able to put my knowledge to practical use by testing my language skills with the local population.”
“I love Asian culture and have always wanted an opportunity to explore the area in-person,” Madison added.
“Outside of the classroom,” she explained, “I am traveling throughout Taiwan to get a comprehensive view of their culture and lifestyle.”
Madison, a Student Ambassador who is on the Dean’s List, possesses the experience and skills needed for success in Project GO, according to Konrad Tuchscherer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Director of External Scholarships and Fellowships.
“Having had Madison as a student in my Global History course, I can attest to her first-rate writing ability, her confidence in classroom engagement, her ability to critically assess historical documents, and her commitment to doing her very best all the time,” Dr. Tuchscherer said. “In addition, she remains very committed to the ROTC program.”
Noting she joined St. John’s “fantastic” ROTC program during her freshman year, Madison said it remains a “transformative experience” for her. “I am ecstatic about the leadership positions that I am involved in and being able to teach incoming cadets. The ROTC program taught me so much about discipline, leadership, and excellence. I was able to acquire skills and knowledge that have set me apart.”
“It also gave me a wonderful new perspective on the way that I present and carry myself.”
Madison also voiced high praise for St. John’s University. “I chose to attend St. John’s because of my major, and the excellent connections and opportunities the University offers. St. John’s Biomedical Sciences program also provides some of the best resources and facilities for students.”
“This University,” she continued, “has an amazing community. You will be able to discover who you truly are, and to explore all of your passions and interests.”