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Seven A&S Students Awarded Scholarships to Study Abroad


By Sarah Geegan

Seven University of Kentucky students in the College of Arts & Sciences have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad. These students are among 2,300 U.S. undergraduates who will be participating in programs abroad during the summer, fall, or 2012-2013 academic year.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards to U.S. undergraduates who are receiving Federal Pell Grants at a two-year or four-year college or university to study abroad. Scholarships of up to $5,000 may be awarded and vary depending on the length of study and student need. The average award amount is approximately $4,000.

The Gilman Scholarship program supports a diverse group of students who have been traditionally under-represented in study abroad.

The UK students awarded Gilman scholarships for the summer or fall of 2012 are:

  • Hannah Allen, an international studies senior who will study in South Africa;
  • Maria Jennings, an international studies senior who will study in South Africa;
  • Carolyn McKenzie, an international studies junior in the Honors Program who will study in Chile;
  • Jonathan Riojas, a Japanese language and literature sophomore who will study in Japan;
  • Shayne Strickland, an international studies junior who will study in Japan;
  • Grant Weherley, an economics senior and Chellgren Fellow who will study in New Zealand; and
  • Shelby Williams an international studies junior who will study in Chile.

The Gilman Scholarship will allow each student to study abroad, although no two experiences will be alike.

Hannah Allen will be working with a nonprofit group in South Africa. "Beginning in high school, I became passionate about activism and advocacy," said Allen, who will be keeping a blog about her experience at "Participation in this program will broaden my work and life experience. I plan to continue studying policy making and human rights on an international and domestic level."

Shayne Strickland will be fulfilling a childhood dream by traveling to Japan. "(The Gilman Scholarship) will give me the chance to study Japanese and become fluent in a language not commonly known among Americans," Strickland said. "I want to understand the complex roles countries play in our increasingly interconnected world and how that impacts all of us, especially in our global culture. I am going to create a documentary exploring the impact and perceptions of African-American culture in Japan."

Students who are interested in the Gilman scholarship should speak with an Education Abroad adviser to select an Education Abroad Program. The next Education Abroad fair is scheduled for Sept. 12, in the UK Student Center Grand Ballroom.

Students who have selected a study abroad program and are ready to apply for the Gilman should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships. The Office of External Scholarships (OES), part of the Division of Undergraduate Education, assists current students and recent alumni in applying for scholarships and fellowships funded by sources outside the university. Specifically, OES helps students strengthen an application and develop a personal statement, among other preparation activities for the scholarship application process.

The deadline to apply for the Gilman Scholarship for spring 2013 is Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, and students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.