UConn Produces An All-Time High 17 Gilman Scholars

Each Gilman Scholar is required to complete a service project upon their return from studying abroad in their campus or home community

UConn’s Gilman Scholars Samantha Valle ’24 (CLAS), Marissa White ’25 (CAHNR), Geraldine Uribe ’23 (CLAS), Guerlina Philogne ’24 (CLAS) (BUS), Rose Pacik-Nelson ’23 (CLAS), and Grace Coburn ’23 (CLAS) posing in the lobby at UConn Hartford.

From left, UConn’s Gilman Scholars Samantha Valle ’24 (CLAS), Marissa White ’25 (CAHNR), Geraldine Uribe ’23 (CLAS), Guerlina Philogne ’24 (CLAS) (BUS), Rose Pacik-Nelson ’23 (CLAS), and Grace Coburn ’23 (CLAS). May 21, 2022. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

UConn has produced  17 Gilman Scholars for the March 2022 application cycle, an all-time high for the University.

The Gilman Scholarship is congressionally funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The funding supports broadening student participation in study abroad programs and encourages travel to diverse locations around the globe, along with intensive language study and internship experiences.

“We are thrilled to see our campus outreach efforts and student advising for the Gilman scholarship result in this level of success,” says Valerie Jenkelunas, Experiential Global Learning (EGL) advisor and community liaison specialist. “We had a total of 21 students apply from UConn, and 17 were chosen for awards between $3,000 and $5,000. This surpasses the statistical average of applicants awarded nationally”

With more than 13,000 applicants from over 450 colleges each year, the Gilman Scholarship program is a highly competitive scholarship. Approximately one in four applicants are selected to receive the scholarship.

Each Gilman Scholar is also required to complete a service project upon their return from studying abroad in their campus or home community, with the goal of sharing the value of participation in study abroad and promoting the scholarship to prospective students. Applications are reviewed with consideration for the proposed follow-on service project.

Eligibility for the Gilman Scholarship requires undergraduate students to be Pell Grant-eligible, United States citizens who plan to study abroad for academic credit, through a program approved by their home institution. Supporting students with high financial need provides access to students who are historically under-represented in study abroad, including first-generation college students, STEM majors, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, and others who experience barriers to participation.

The following UConn students were selected as Gilman scholars and they are listed with their proposed follow-on service project:

Marissa White ’25 (NUR), a nursing major from Waterbury who will present to student clubs, and at campus events, including Bound Day.

Grace Coburn ’23 (CLAS), a Spanish major from West Hartford, she will collaborate with the Commuter Service office to educate students on the benefits of participating in a short-term program and strategy for financing room and board while studying abroad.

Suleymar Dominguez ’23 (CLAS), a human development and family sciences major from Waterbury, who will use her role in admissions giving tours at UConn Waterbury to bring awareness to Experiential Global Learning (EGL) programs as a regional campus student. She plans to host a Gilman student panel, present at open house events, and create a presentation for human development and family sciences majors.

Gail Boahen ’24 (CLAS), a psychology and anthropology major from Manchester, who will be creating a video blog for anthropology students documenting her program experience in Mauritius. She will also serve as an EGL Ambassador to the African American Cultural Center on campus.

Lizzette Irizarry ’23 (CLAS), a Latino and Latin American Studies major from Groton, who will write a thesis on her experience on the Collective Action for Social and Migrant Justice in the Borderlands program, to be shared with Latinx groups on campus.

Madeline Cortes-Gomez ’23 (BUS), a marketing management major from Norwalk, who will collaborate with EGL and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) on a student presentation.

Soribel Torres-Jimenez ’23 (ED), a bilingual elementary education major from Waterbury, who will present about English language learners and curriculum to pre-teaching majors at UConn. She will also partner with a professor to present to education students about bilingual education and to kindergarten students through the organization Jump Start.

Dylan Peters ’23 (BUS), a finance major from Somers, N.Y., who will use writing and video content from his experience abroad to present to First Year Experience students.

Guerlina Philogene ’24 (BUS & CLAS), a management information systems and German studies major from Stamford, who will create a video blog in German with English subtitles showcasing events and daily life in Germany to be incorporated into EGL and German Club presentations.

Valeria Rose Chavez ’23 (CLAS), a psychological sciences major from Norwalk, who will collaborate with her former high school to present to students in the Center for Youth Leadership, a social activism organization.

David Salazar ’25 (ACES), an exploratory business major from Norwalk, who will focus on presenting to first generation students through organizations and clubs on the Storrs campus.

Viaivannie Vargas-Negron ’24 (CAHNR), a natural resources and the environment major from Willimantic, who will present to the Pre-Vet Club, First Generation Society, and PRLACC.

Jerome Jacobs ’23 (CAHNR), a public health and health promotion major from Vernon, who will create a vlog for honors and Pell Grant eligible students.

Rose Pacik-Nelson ’23 (CLAS), a physiology and neurobiology and cognitive science major from the Bronx, N.Y., who will present to students at E.O. Smith High School and collaborate with EGL and the Office of Financial Aid to provide comprehensive information on funding participation.

Sydney Seldon ’25 (CAHNR), an environmental science major from Fort Hood, Texas, who will return to his high school and present to students from the Advancement Through Individual Determination program.

Geraldine Uribe ’23 (CLAS), a political science and urban studies major from Stamford, who will present to students at the First Generation Society and the First Generation Honors Society, as well as serving office hours to support students who want to apply to EGL programs in the Academic Achievement Center.

Samantha Valle ’23 (CLAS), a political science and women’s studies major from Waterbury, who will give presentations in her classes and who plans to collaborate with EGL to promote student outreach through social media platforms.