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5 WKU students recognized by Gilman Scholarship Program

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Four WKU students were awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to support their participation in fall semester study abroad programs. One student was selected as an alternate.

Kalyn Edwards of Bowling Green, Kaitlyn Hurt of Mousie, Brandi Lemay of Bowling Green and Kristen Robertson of Belton were awarded scholarships of up to $5,000 to study abroad. Sawyer Smith of Louisville was chosen as an alternate.

Edwards, a third-year Film major and a student in the Honors College at WKU, is the daughter of Kahli Claywell and Patrick Edwards. She will spend the Fall semester studying in South Korea and plans to complete an Honors Capstone Experience/Thesis related to the video blog she will publish during her time abroad.

Hurt, a second-year Dental Hygiene major, is the daughter of Samantha Coots and Shane Hurt. She initially planned to spend the Fall semester studying education in South Korea but has since changed her area of study and has declined the scholarship.

Lemay, a fourth-year Elementary Education major, is the daughter of John and Lisa Thompson of Greenville. She is married to Raymond Lemay, and they have three daughters: Alexis, Emma and Addie Ray. She will student teach in Ireland this Fall and plans to facilitate a book exchange between her school in Ireland and Alvaton Elementary School.

Robertson, a fourth-year Elementary Education major, is the daughter of John and Linda Robertson. She will spend four weeks student teaching in Italy as part of her Teacher Certification program at WKU. After graduation, she plans to seek a job as an elementary school teacher and pursue a master’s degree.

Smith, a fourth-year Photojournalism major, is the daughter of Todd and Dana Smith. She is currently interning with Krochet Kids International in Lima, Peru. After graduation she hopes to create documentary films with a philanthropic objective.

“Study abroad is a life-changing opportunity. It promotes flexibility and changes how students understand other cultures,” said Audra Jennings, Director of the Office of Scholar Development. “The Gilman Scholarship makes this transformative experience possible for students who might not otherwise have these opportunities.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, more than 2,800 Gilman Scholarships have been awarded this academic year for undergraduate Pell Grant recipients to study or intern abroad. The program is intended to increase diversity in study abroad by funding students of underrepresented groups including student with diverse ethnic backgrounds; students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and students with disabilities. The strongest applications are written by students who are pursuing programs that will contribute to their academic and career goals and who aim to study in non-traditional destinations.

Each of the students worked with the Office of Scholar Development at WKU in preparing their Gilman Scholarship application and with the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning to find the best academic program abroad to fit their goals.

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.

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 phone at (270) 745-5334.

Contact: Dr. Melinda Grimsley-Smith, (270) 745-3170

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