Eleven Berea College Students Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad
Berea College has 11 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipients to study or intern abroad. They are among other American undergraduate students at 467 U.S. colleges from all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This cohort of Gilman Scholars will study or intern in 96 countries through the end of 2022.
Berea College’s Gilman scholarship recipients include Bertrina Iransi, junior computer science major from Jefferson County, Ky.; Cora Allison, junior peace and social justice major from Washington County, Tenn.; Hannah Rapien, junior communications and Asian studies major from Blount County, Tenn.; Isabella Ray, junior communications major from Carroll County, Ky.; Kshitiz Dhungyel, sophomore business administration major from Jefferson County, Ky.; Lona Cobb, senior history and anthropological archaeology major from Bell County, Ky.; Maria Martinez, junior biology and child and family studies major from Whitfield County, Ga.; Megan McEahern, junior art history major from Roane County, Tenn.; Victoria Jackson, junior communications major from Pulaski County, Ky.; Yennifer Coca Izquierdo, junior political science major from Jefferson County, Ky.; and Zoe Medeiros, junior English major from Sumner County, Tenn.
Berea’s Gilman recipients will study abroad in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Japan, the United Kingdom and Tanzania—enhancing their college degree. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 50 percent of Berea’s students engaged in an education-abroad activity before graduating.
The Congressionally funded Gilman program broadens the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduate Pell Grant recipients who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise study abroad. Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent more than 33,000 Gilman scholars who represent 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,” said Heidi Manley, the chief of USA Study Abroad at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. “These diverse American students gain critical skills overseas that expand their career options and ability to make an impact in their home communities.”
She notes that the program particularly focuses on supporting first-generation college students, students in the 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.
The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.