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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, announced that 16 students have been selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad in upcoming terms. Four additional students were selected as alternates for the award.

The congressionally funded scholarship aims to broaden the US student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding Pell Grant recipients who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study aboard. More than 2,500 students nationally were offered awards out of 7,000 total applicants.

In an earlier cycle, UT had four students awarded the Gilman and four alternates, bringing the total for the 2019–2020 academic year to 20 recipients and eight alternates—topping the university’s previous record of 18 recipients.

“Being selected as a Gilman Scholar is an incredible honor, and we are extremely proud of our recent award recipients. The scholarship opens up so many possibilities for students who want to engage globally, and we know our newest Gilman Scholars will feel the impact academically, professionally, and personally,” said Annastasia Williams, coordinator with UT’s Center for Global Engagement. “Our office, as well as the Gilman Scholarship, strives to improve access to students who wish to participate in education abroad programs.”

The following students received the Gilman Scholarship in the second cycle:

Alexia Angelos of Lenoir City, Tennessee, a sophomore majoring in microbiology with a minor in Hispanic studies, who plans to study in Spain

Abegale Costilla of Memphis, Tennessee, a sophomore majoring in child and family studies, who plans to study in Sweden

TeAyra Dillard of Memphis, Tennessee, a senior majoring in food science with a minor in biology, who plans to study in Spain

Kiara Finch of Memphis, Tennessee, a junior majoring in finance, who plans to study in Spain

Ryker Hill of Gallatin, Tennessee, a junior majoring in chemistry, who studied this past summer with an online international Japanese language program

Grace Hooper of Knoxville, a junior majoring in architecture, who plans to study in Finland

Taylor Jefferson of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a sophomore majoring in communication studies, who plans to study in China, the United Kingdom, and Brazil

Angela Jo of Memphis, Tennessee, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, who plans to study in Australia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom

Ruth Lamptey of Antioch, Tennessee, a senior majoring in hospitality and tourism management, who plans to complete a virtual internship in Ghana

Melissa Lozano Lykes of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a senior majoring in architecture with a minor in English, who plans to study in Poland

Isabelle Marshall of Spring City, Tennessee, a junior majoring in public administration with a minor in political science and public policy analytics, who plans to study in the Czech Republic

Cade Murry of Chattanooga, Tennessee, a junior majoring in psychology, who plans to study in the United Kingdom

Sarah Parsons of Cookeville, Tennessee, a sophomore majoring in therapeutic recreation, who plans to study in Germany and the United Kingdom

Stephanie Sauceda of Antioch, Tennessee, a junior majoring in human resource management with a minor in public health, who plans to study in Japan

Sam Turley of Long Beach, California, a sophomore majoring in political science, who plans to study in the United Kingdom

Jessica Wunder of Maryville, Tennessee, a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in Hispanic studies, who plans to study in Colombia

The following students were selected as alternates for the Gilman Scholarship in the second cycle:

Nesma Abdelnabi of Knoxville, a junior majoring in nursing, who plans to study in Greece

Kari Propes of Knoxville, a senior majoring in architecture, who plans to study in Italy

Ashleigh Roberson of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a sophomore majoring in medical laboratory science with a minor in Italian studies, who plans to study in Italy, Australia, and Morocco

Mary Margaret Williams of Memphis, Tennessee, a senior majoring in architecture, who plans to study in Denmark

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 1,300 US institutions have sent more than 31,000 Gilman Scholars, representing the rich diversity of the United States, to 145 countries around the globe.

“The Gilman program aims to make study abroad, and its career advantages, more accessible and inclusive for American students. These diverse American students gain critical skills overseas that expand their career options and ability to make an impact in their home communities,” said Heidi Manley, the chief of USA Study Abroad in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The program particularly focuses on supporting first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic and racial minority students, students with disabilities, students who are veterans, students attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions, and other populations underrepresented in study abroad, as well as broadening the destinations where scholars study or intern.

Because of travel restrictions and health and safety concerns arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, UT canceled summer 2020 and fall 2020 study abroad programs. Many Gilman recipients will postpone study abroad plans to spring 2021 or later. The Gilman program is maintaining flexibility and continuing financial support to students who must shift their study abroad plans to later terms. Awardees can also use their funding to participate in a virtual international internship or an online international program.

Students interested in applying for the Gilman Scholarship can participate in workshops and essay advising sessions offered by UT’s Programs Abroad Office. Email volsabroad@utk.edu for more information. Learn more about studying abroad by visiting the Programs Abroad Office website.

CONTACT

Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993, msteph44@utk.edu)

Annastasia Williams (865-974-3177, awill293@utk.edu)