The students, Grace Hooper, who is in her 3rd year, and 4th-year students Melissa Lozano Lykes, Kari Propes and Mary Margaret Williams, will use the study abroad funding to expand their international experiences.
A congressionally funded program named after the late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, the Gilman Scholarship enables outstanding undergraduate students to explore the world through studying and interning abroad and gain an understanding of diverse languages and cultures. Recipients are chosen through a competitive selection process.
Hooper plans to use this scholarship to study abroad in Finland. She says, “This scholarship has given me an opportunity to enter my career with a more global sense of the practice. The value of studying in another country will carry importance throughout my life and career.”
Lozano Lykes will use the scholarship to study abroad in Krakow, Poland. She offers advice for others applying for the scholarship. “Asking for help on your application, working with the strengths you have and allowing the vulnerability of sharing a first draft are critical to building strong applications that win,” she said.
Williams plans to use the scholarship to pay for a summer abroad experience in Copenhagen. Williams encourages other students to apply next year. “Education is the most powerful tool we have to catalyze change for the better, and we as students are stewards of the future,” she said. “Scholarship and leadership are two avenues to take in order to set the path for change.”
Since 2001, more than 31,000 Gilman Scholars have studied around the world in 145 countries. This year, more than 2,500 students across the country were offered awards out of a total of 7,000 applicants.
Due to travel restrictions and health and safety concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, many Gilman recipients will postpone their study abroad plans to spring 2021 or later. Scholarship recipients can also use their funding to participate in a virtual international internship or an online international program.
According to its website, the Gilman program focuses on supporting “first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic and racial minority students, students with disabilities, students who are veterans, students attending minority-serving institutions and other populations underrepresented in study abroad.”