Five WKU students have been recognized by the U.S. Department of State through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. Four students won a combined total of $14,500 to fund study and internship programs abroad and one was designated an alternate.
Bethany Banker, the daughter of Tim and Melanie Banker of Hanson, is majoring in international business and international affairs and will graduate in 2016. She is a member of the Chinese Language Flagship Program and Honors College at WKU. Banker will study business, international affairs, and Korean language in South Korea. “My professional goal is to be a trade policy analyst with a focus on the automobile industry in Asia. While I am studying in South Korea I will meet students who will become future business connections. I can also visit automotive companies such as Hyundai and Kia which will also help with networking,” Banker said.
Keevin Foree, the son of Louresa Henley and Damon Handley of Louisville, will intern at a major fashion house in Florence, Italy, while taking courses this fall. Foree, who is majoring in interior design and fashion merchandising and marketing, will graduate in 2018. The Honors College student is excited to connect with industry professionals. “Interning abroad in Italy is going to have a profound impact on my career in the fashion industry,” he said.
Brittany Greeson, the daughter of Bonita Irvin of Owensboro, will study photojournalism in Denmark this fall. The photojournalism and sociology major, who will graduate in 2016, said: “For developing photojournalists, the Danish School of Media and Journalism is an icon for innovation, creativity and journalistic excellence. The courses I will be taking extend past the art of documentary photography. I will learn about grant writing, project proposals, and how to market to broad audiences.”
Shannon Jolicoeur, a senior from Auburn majoring in English for secondary teachers, will spend four weeks student teaching in Belize.
“Because I am a non-traditional student, I will be able to bring a different perspective to the study abroad experience,” she said. “While teaching in Belize I will consider ways to bring an international perspective back to the classroom in the United States. Through this experience I will have a broadened view of education as a whole and an expanded knowledge base for developing my own methodology to educating students in the U.S.”
Drew Couch of Louisville has been named an alternate in the Gilman Scholarship competition. The English for secondary teachers and English literature senior from Louisville plans to complete her student teaching in Sweden this fall.
Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, Coordinator of Nationally Competitive Opportunities for the Office of Scholar Development, said the best part of her job is working with highly motivated students who are pursuing their studies in a different context.
“The Gilman Scholarship allows students to not only fulfill academic and professional goals, but also gives the them the advantage of an experience that will make them more marketable once they graduate,” she said. “It is exciting sending them off to study abroad and hearing their stories when they return.”
About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in nationally competitive scholarships.
Contact: Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, (270) 745-4191.