The Gilman Scholarship, a prestigious academic award congressionally funded through the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the State Department, has been awarded to 11 UConn students for the current application cycle. 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 26 students apply from UConn, and 11 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 and racial minority students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ+ students, and others who experience barriers to participation.
Students from underrepresented areas of the U.S. are also considered during the application process and this year there are recipients from all 50 states.
UConn students are from an area of the nation that is highly represented in study abroad, making their award status even more impressive, considering the many colleges and universities in New England, including the ivy leagues.
The following UConn students were selected as Gilman scholars and they are listed with their proposed follow-on service project:
Rebekah Bacon ’25 (CLAS), a psychology major from Stamford, who will study in the summer of 2023 in the Interdisciplinary Ethnography Field School program in Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius. She will provide outreach to underrepresented students at UConn Stamford.
Zarria Bethea ’24 (CAHNR), an allied health science major, who will take part in the Summer Mediterranean Diet and Tuscan Cuisine program, in Florence, Italy, in the summer of 2023. She will provide outreach to students from the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Leadership and Academic Enhancement Program.
Kayla Dubbs ’24 (CAHNR), an environmental science major from Fairfield, who will study at the Umbra Institute, in Perugia, Italy, in the fall of 2023. She will provide outreach to environmental sciences majors.
Valerie Duque ’24 (CLAS) a psychological sciences major from Stratford, who will participate in the Neuroscience in Salamanca program in Spain, during the summer of 2023. She will provide outreach to students in UConn’s Community Outreach programs.
Victoria Amy Eweka ’24 (CLAS), a psychology major with a minor in information technology, who will study during the 2023-24 academic year at the University of Konstanz in Germany. She will provide outreach to German language classes and demonstrate the value of studying abroad through art.
Sarah Khouja ’25 (ED), an elementary education major from Stratford, who will study at the Umbra Institute, in Perugia, Italy, in the summer of 2023. She will provide outreach to Stratford-area high school students.
Alexandra Luhrs ’24 (NUR), a nursing major from Bethel, who is participating in the End of Life Palliative Care program in in the spring of 2023 in Ghent, Belgium. She will provide outreach to students in the School of Nursing.
Yelena Muralles ’25 (CLAS), an international relations and French major from New Haven, who will study at Lund University in Sweden for the 2023-24 academic year. She will provide outreach to students in the Academic Center for Exploratory Students.
Patrick Murphy ’24 (CLAS), an individualized major from Manchester, who will participate in the Summer Field Ecology in South Africa program, in the Limpopo province of South Africa in the summer of 2024. He will outreach to students in the individualized majors program.
Kasidy Quiles ’23 (CAHNR), a global studies and allied health major from Shelton, who will participate in the Summer Neuroscience in Salamanca program the summer of 2023 in Salamanca, Spain. She will outreach to students in Bridgeport community participating in the Bridgeport Caribe Youth Leaders program.
Julio Tozetto ’25 (CAHNR), a natural resources major from Branford, who will participate in the Organization for Tropical Studies African Ecology and Conservation program in fall 2023 at Kruger National Park in South Africa. He will outreach to Branford High School students enrolled in STEM courses.