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3 WKU students awarded Gilman International Scholarships

Three WKU students have been awarded funding through the U.S. Department of State Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to participate in study abroad programs around the globe in Spring 2014.

Paige Hughart, a sophomore majoring in Biology and Cultural Anthropology from Roseville, Mich., will be studying Biology at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey from early February until mid May.

Hughart was especially interested in studying abroad in Turkey.

“I plan to become an osteopathic physician,” Hughart said. “I am excited about this study abroad program because the Turkish lifestyle relates to many of the beliefs in osteopathy.”

Andrew Miller, a junior majoring in Arabic, History and Middle Eastern and North Africa Studies from Georgetown, will be participating in an Arabic immersion program at the Center for International Learning in Oman. The scholarship will cover his cost of living, tuition and will put him closer to his undergraduate degree in Arabic.

Miller is interested in the Arabic culture, language and history of the Middle East.

“I will be involved in an intensive Arabic program,” he said. “The program has a rigorous schedule. I’ll also be studying the history of Oman. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to go into the city each day to implement the Arabic skills I have learned and will learn while there.”

Andre Williams, a senior majoring in Public Health from Owensboro, will be participating in the Spanish immersion Sol for Education Abroad program in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Williams plans to become a public health educator, working specifically with the Latino community. This Spanish language immersion program will prepare him for his career.

“I am interested in the Spanish Immersion program because not only is it a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience another culture, but learning Spanish in today’s society is a must especially in the healthcare field,” Williams said.

He credits the Office of Scholar Development with his success in the Gilman Scholarship application process.

“The Office of Scholar Development has helped me tremendously with the Gilman Scholarship process from helping me find the scholarship to coaching me through the essay writing process,” said Williams.

Students who are interested in the Gilman Scholarship work with Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, coordinator of nationally competitive opportunities for the Office of Scholar Development. With OSD, students are offered one-on-one advising sessions to craft their applications. Additionally, the Office of Study Abroad and Global Leadership (SAGL) worked with the students to find the right academic program abroad, helping them to have life changing international experiences.

“It was a pleasure working with each of these students, and I look forward to hearing about their successes while abroad,” Kirby-Stokes said. “Helping students find ways to achieve their big dreams is something I love to do.”

The deadline for Gilman scholarship applications for Summer and Fall 2014 programs is March 1. Kirby-Stokes said it is essential to begin the application process early, choosing a program and writing application essays. Contact Study Abroad and Global Learning at (270) 745-5334 and Kirby-Stokes at (270) 745-4191 for advising appointments.

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development (OSD) works with students and their mentors to build research and creative agendas, helps students identify appropriate national and international scholarship opportunities, and provides intensive writing support throughout the application process. For information, follow OSD on Twitter: @WKU_OSD and on Facebook. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship or other similar opportunities.

About the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL): SAGL serves the WKU community by engaging students, faculty and staff in diverse, educational, and cultural experiences through faculty-led, exchange, consortia and other study abroad opportunities. For information about the Office of Study Abroad, visit www.wku.edu/studyabroad. The office can be contacted via e-mail at study.abroad@wku.edu or by telephone at (270) 745-5334.

Contact: Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, (270) 745-4191.

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