Two Seahawks receive State Department Gilman International Fellowship

Friday, September 09, 2022

Two Seahawks have received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Fellowship from the U.S. Department of State. The scholarship provides financial support for students who wish to study abroad or participate in international internships.

The scholarships enable students who demonstrate financial need to take advantage of opportunities to study or work as interns in other countries. The program offers up to $5,000 to help students offset costs.

Daniel Cortazar, a chemistry student with minors in neuroscience and Spanish, studied at the University of Valencia in Spain this summer, taking courses in Spanish language, Catalan culture and history, as well as STEM courses in Spanish . Jaylen Peacox, an English major with a minor in environmental science, studied this summer under the AIFS Sustainable City program in London. She has taken courses in sustainability, urban liveability and community impacts, and the history of diversity in the UK.

According to the program’s website, the Gilman Scholarship enables students to gain fluency in various languages, cultures, and skills. The program encourages students to study and do an internship in various countries and regions of the world and to study languages, especially critical-needs languages.

“The Gilman Awards are important because they challenge and inspire students to think about the overseas education experience before it happens and put those thoughts on paper as part of the application,” said Dr. Michael Wilhelm, Associate Vice-Rector for Global Partnerships and International Education. at UNCW. “Students are motivated to articulate goals and outcomes. Pushing the boundaries in terms of location or language is rewarded.”

Wilhelm added that the significance of the award has not been hugely impacted by COVID, as the US State Department and the Gilman program quickly recognized the eligibility of virtual programming and recently eliminated the duration requirement of the program to qualify.

“This benefits UNCW applicants on short-term programs during college semesters and participants in faculty-led programs during the summer as well,” Dr. Wilhelm said. “I would also like to thank Dr. Brian Chandler, Associate Professor in the Department of World Languages ​​and Cultures, who advises students on their Gilman essays.”

Venita Jenkins

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