Athens, Ga. - Thirteen University of Georgia students have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in the summer of 2014. This is the highest number of scholarships UGA has received for summer programs.
The Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is a nationally competitive needs-based scholarship that aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs. Students are encouraged to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America.
Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies-making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
"UGA has a long history of students successfully winning this prestigious award, and this group of students is a great addition to that tradition," said Kasee Laster, director of education abroad at the UGA Office of International Education. "We are particularly proud of the range of subjects students will be studying."
The university worked to promote the Gilman Scholarship on campus and to help UGA students make their applications competitive, said William Smith, education abroad adviser. "This was a joint effort between the Office of International Education, Multicultural Services and Programs, the Office of Institutional Diversity and other units around campus to make this opportunity known to our underrepresented populations in study abroad," he said. "This is just the beginning and we look forward to doubling our numbers next year."
The UGA's summer 2014 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winners and their hometowns, areas of study and destination countries are:
• Kaylyn Bell of Riverdale, biochemistry, Peru
• Zulaikhah Bilal of Columbus, sociology, Ghana
• Anthony Chiu of Lawrenceville, dietetics and consumer foods, Ghana
• Madison Finley of Dalton, history and Spanish, Spain
• Derek Freed of Roswell, computer science, South Korea
• Kimberly Guzman of Lawrenceville, journalism and art, South Korea
• Lana Harris of Stockbridge, digital and broadcast journalism, South Korea
• Jamelia Jones of Jersey City, New Jersey, psychology and criminal justice, Morocco
• Jonathan Moss of Athens, agricultural and applied economics and Spanish, Spain
• Sefali Patel of Winchester, Virginia, biology, Ghana
• Francisco Sanchez of Guanajuato, Mexico and Marietta, international business and finance and Arabic, United Arab Emirates
• Conner Smith of Athens, environmental engineering, Spain
• Selina Zhu of Lawrenceville, management information systems, South Korea
Sefali Patel, a biology major from Winchester, Virginia, will study in Ghana with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences' service-learning program this summer. She will serve in health clinics and hospitals both in rural and developed areas throughout the country. "Learning about and administering health screenings while observing doctors in action will increase my knowledge in the realm of medicine, which will help in achieving my long-term goal of becoming a physician," she said.
Madison Paige Finley, a history and Spanish major who will study at UGA en España's program in Seville, Spain this summer. She hopes the experience will help improve her language fluency and cultural understanding. "This will be crucial in helping me reach my goal of becoming a bilingual attorney," she said.
Upon their return to the U.S., Gilman Scholars work on outreach projects as part of the scholarship service requirements.
"We look forward to learning how these students various experiences abroad impacted their academic and career growth," said Colleen Larson, education abroad adviser. "Our office hopes they will inspire other students to follow their example."
Applications for spring 2015 Gilman Scholarships will be available online in August and due Oct. 1. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two-and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are encouraged to apply.
About the Office of International Education
The Office of International Education supports the University of Georgia's academic, research and outreach missions and strategic directions through the promotion of global learning experiences for our students, the sponsorship and support of international students, scholars, faculty and staff, and the development of international research and instructional partnerships and collaborations. For more information, see http://international.uga.edu/.