During his stay in Turkey, 2008 Boren Scholar Daniel McIntosh never expected his interests in Brazil, Turkey, and aerospace to coincide, deeming them all too distant from one another to have anything in common. However, while in Istanbul, Daniel, an aerospace engineering student from Pennsylvania State University, saw it all come together.
Before becoming a Boren Scholar, Daniel studied Portuguese and had even volunteered in Brazil. Still, he chose to spend the academic year in Turkey to advance his knowledge of Turkish language and culture. While there, Daniel reported for a national newspaper where he was assigned to cover a business conference promoting trade between Turkey and Brazil in fields including the aerospace industry. This is where he met the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
The occasion marked the first time a Brazilian president has visited Turkey, and Daniel, along with two other journalists, were able to interview Brazilian President da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim. For a few brief moments before the interview started, Daniel was even able to use the Portuguese he had studied. The rest of the interaction was in English because of the range of languages spoken in the room. Daniel’s involvement with the newspaper was one of the highlights of his experience in Turkey and, according to him, “researching stories and conducting interviews pushes the limits of my Turkish and is perhaps the best thing I have been doing for improving language outside of class.” Now back in the United States and completing his undergraduate degree, Daniel plans to continue writing, covering regional events in Washington, DC and New York that appeal to a Turkish audience.
Daniel’s experience as a Boren Scholar has helped him to progress toward his ultimate goal: to become a world-class engineer, one who is both technically and culturally competent. Upon completing his degree, Daniel looks forward to a position in the U.S. government that will allow him to use his cultural knowledge and gain engineering management experience.
Written: September 2009