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Four SDSU undergrads awarded Gilman scholarships to study abroad

Four South Dakota State University students are studying abroad this summer with the help of Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. 

The students, their destinations and programs are: 

  • Serena White, New Zealand, animal science program led by Julie Walker, professor in the Department of Animal Science and SDSU Extension beef specialist. 
  • Emilee Owen and Thomas LaFave, both in Vietnam and Cambodia, animal science program led by Bob Thaler, distinguished professor in the Department of Animal Science and SDSU Extension swine specialist. 
  • Shaye Gordon, Spain, Spanish language/internship program led by Jose Alvarez, associate professor in the School of American and Global Studies. 

Each student received a $3,000 award to use toward their study abroad expenses. Their trips range from two to six weeks.

Cassandra Stangeland, SDSU assistant director of Education Abroad, said Gilman scholarships are strictly for study abroad participants who receive the Pell Grant, and they’re awarded nationally.

“The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity,” according to the program’s website.

“To be eligible for the Gilman program, applicants must be receiving a federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof that they will receive a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship. The Institute of International Education has administered the program since its inception in 2001,” the website reports.

Stangeland said she hopes to see more students use the program and benefit from study abroad experiences.

“We’re very excited to have four recipients from SDSU in the summer 2023 term, and it’s nice to see them rewarded for their hard work in preparing their applications,” which included transcripts and three (one statement of purpose and two community impact) essays, Stangeland said.

“This really does help expand access for those who can benefit from studying abroad, and we hope seeing these students utilize this program encourages more South Dakota State University students to apply,” Stangeland added.

The Gilman program also has a network that students can access after returning from their travels to stay connected with fellow travelers, if they so choose.

Nearly 3,000 Gilman scholarships of up to $5,000 apiece will be awarded this academic year for U.S. citizen undergraduates to study or intern abroad, according to the program.



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