Penn State Intercom......March 20, 2003

9 students win Gilman
International Scholarships

Nine Penn State students will be studying abroad, thanks to a federally funded program that promotes international education for those who might otherwise not have the opportunity. The Office of Education Abroad announced that a record nine undergraduates have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships.

On a national level, Penn State has the most Gilman scholarships for a single campus in one semester (all of the awardees are from University Park), and the most awards overall since the inception of the Gilman program. The program, named for U.S. Rep. Ben Gilman (R-N.Y.), sets aside
$1.5 million annually in support of study abroad for undergraduate students limited by financial considerations. Funded through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education, the program awards winning students scholarships of up to $5,000 each for study abroad.

The awards, in addition to expanding international possibilities for students whose financial need might preclude them from such an experience, are designed to encourage diverse ethnic groups, people with physical challenges, non-traditional students and other underrepresented populations to take part.

The scholarship winners are: Karynne Manson, a senior in marketing and international business who will study in Budapest, Hungary; Eric Chambers, a junior in marketing and international business, who will participate in an exchange program at the National University of Singapore; Bryn Jackson, a senior in anthropology, who will study in Cape Town, South Africa; Theresa West, a junior in political science and women's studies, also going to Cape Town, South Africa; Stefanie Sassano, a senior in elementary education who will do her student teaching in Bognor Regis, England; Kajal Patel, a junior in international politics, taking part in a program in Beijing, China; Samira Kassir, a senior in international politics, attending a program in Alicante, Spain; Michelle Nguyen, a senior in advertising and English, who will study in Tokyo; and Amanda McCarthy, a senior in Health and Human Development, taking a program in Galway, Ireland.

Interest in studying abroad as part of the undergraduate experience remains high. Penn State sent more than 1,000 students abroad last year. According to statistics from the Institute of International Education, the number of U.S. students participating in study-abroad in 2000-01 increased 7.4 percent from the previous year, reaching a record total of 154,168 students.