JP Paul, a biological sciences major in the Clemson University Honors College, is headed to Alicante, Spain this fall through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. He’s the recipient of one of a record 27 scholarships awarded to Clemson University students traveling to 11 different countries this year.
The Gilman Scholarship provides up to $5,000 to students who might not otherwise be able to afford international study or internships, allowing them to gain the skills that the program believes critical to our national security and economic prosperity. The University’s recipients were chosen from thousands of applications from throughout the country.
Paul specifically chose Alicante because of his interest in becoming even more proficient in Spanish while immersing himself in the health care system of a new culture. He plans to do this through both study in the classroom and shadowing a local physician. His long-term goal is to use what he learns to further his career.
By knowing more about healthcare in a completely different language, I will be better able to take care of my own community at home in South Carolina. Many of the locals in my area are strictly Spanish speakers, so to be able to provide for them would be amazing.JP Paul, biological sciences major
This year’s scholarship recipients represent 18 different majors from Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business; College of Science; College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and Honors College.
Clemson’s outstanding Gilman Scholarship recipients include:
|Gilman Scholarship recipient||Major||Country of study/work|
|Alleyia Bailey||Biological Sciences||Hungary|
|Myra V. Bowling||Language and International Health||France|
|Matthew Corbett||Language and International Business||Japan|
|Victoria Critchley||Biological Sciences||Italy|
|Rachel Faulkenberry||Language and International Health||Spain|
|Olivia S. Hueble||Visual Arts||Italy|
|Anjel Iriaghomo||Animal and Veterinary Sciences||South Korea|
|Samantha Jones||Health Science||Italy|
|Chandler Keaton||Mechanical Engineering||Germany|
|Michael Kramer||Electrical Engineering||Cyprus|
|Jordan M Lewis||Language and International Health||Spain|
|Alijahwan Tavis Maragh||Industrial Engineering||France|
|Vittoria Lauren Mazzone||Nursing||Cyprus|
|Gabrielle A. McCarthy||Animal and Veterinary Sciences||Cyprus|
|JP Paul||Biological Sciences||Spain|
|Anastasia G. Seawell||Marketing||Ireland|
|Hannah Skinner||Biological Sciences||Spain|
|Saleigh Smalls||Pre-Business||South Korea|
|Pan Tankersley||Forest Resource Management||Costa Rica|
|Ty’Celia Marie Young||Environmental and Natural Resources||United Kingdom|
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program was created by the U.S. Department of State to promote a wider understanding through international work and study experiences.
According to the late congressman Benjamin Gilman, for whom the scholarship was named, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
So much more than spectators
Pan Tankersley, a forest resource management major and Honors student who recently spent a semester in San Ramon, Costa Rica, has seen the effect of the experience firsthand.
“My world view is different since being abroad,” Tankersley explained. “Meeting people in very different lifestyles than me made me more empathetic to those around me as well.”
While living in the home of a Spanish-only speaker, Tankersley (who in their words “had a loose grasp of the Spanish language”) studied biology courses that supplemented their Clemson studies and took advantage of weekends to explore the country. They credit the funding provided by the Gilman Scholarship for “one of the most incredible experiences of my life.”
For animal and veterinary science major, Anjel Iriaghomo, determination was key. When COVID-19 forced Iriaghomo to take a more arduous route to her international experience, the extra effort just made for what she called, “a fun challenge!”
Iriaghomo went through the application process and was awarded the Gilman Scholarship three times before COVID-19 travel protocol finally allowed her to spend three months at Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea, a country she knew very little about. She’s fully immersed in the culture, sharing an on-campus apartment with three other students and making her way around the city by bus. “The worldly skills learned abroad cannot be learned anywhere else and are invaluable no matter what field you choose to pursue,” said Iriaghomo.
I will forever be grateful to the Gilman scholarship for making my study abroad dream finally come true.Anjel Iriaghomo, animal and veterinary science major
When asked if she would recommend others apply for the Gilman Scholarship, her answer is quick and definitive: “1,000 percent apply!! This scholarship was specifically made for people in need to have the opportunity very few will ever get to experience. I will forever be grateful to the Gilman scholarship for making my study abroad dream finally come true.”
Since the Gilman Scholarship’s inception in 2001, more than 34,000 students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have received the award. In just the past decade, 142 of those recipients have been from Clemson University.
These Gilman scholars are a part of the approximately 1,500 Clemson students every year who study and intern around the world in programs spanning from two weeks to a full year. According to Meredith Wilson, director of education abroad in the Pam Hendrix Center for Education Abroad, the Gilman scholarship, “helps to make education abroad experiences an opportunity for all students. We are incredibly proud of our Gilman recipients and know that their experiences abroad will make an impact on their future endeavors.”
Applicants to the Gilman Scholarship program must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant or will be receiving one during the term of their study abroad or internship. The program places special emphasis on opening access to students who have traditionally been underrepresented in education abroad, actively selecting students who meet the mission and will pay that forward by encouraging other underrepresented students to participate through follow on service projects.
Robyn Curtis, director of the Office of Major Fellowships, and her staff work with scholarship applicants to develop and submit applications. “Gilman Scholarships are a way for students who dream about study abroad to make that dream a reality,” said Curtis. “Our office partners with the Pam Hendrix Center for Education Abroad to support our students at every step of the application.”
The success rate of the University’s Gilman applicants is impressive — and encouraging. Wilson says, “Generally speaking, students have a 1-in-3 chance of winning a [Gilman] scholarship, so it is well worth the effort to apply.” Some study abroad partners offer additional program-specific scholarships or grants to Gilman scholarship winners, making their study abroad even more affordable.
It truly is an opportunity for them to broaden their horizons.Meredith wilson, director, pam hendrix center for education abroad
Students interested in applying for the Gilman International Scholarship and other nationally competitive awards should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on study-abroad options can be found at clemson.edu/studyabroad.
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