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Five additional scholars receive prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, increasing Appalachian’s number of Gilman Scholars to eight

By Mallory Sadler

BOONE—Five additional Appalachian State University students who are studying abroad during the fall 2016/academic year 2016-17 received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, bringing the total number of Appalachian students who received the Benjamin Gilman scholarship this academic year to eight.

The students are: Glen Watson, an international business major from Charlotte, Donald Blair, a studio art major from High Point, Catherine Hood, an international and comparative politics major from Charlotte, Guadalupe Rosales, an international business major from Hayes, and Robert Compton, a computer science major from Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Each student received $1,500 to $5,000 to support their educational experiences abroad. They are among more than 850 American undergraduate students from more than 300 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious scholarship. Watson and Compton will study at partner institutions in Japan, Blair and Hood will study in South Africa, and Rosales will study in Chile. The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

“This is wonderful news and a testament to the academic caliber of Appalachian and our students,” said Dr. Maria Anastasiou, executive director of Appalachian’s Office of International Education and Development (OIED), which helps secure funding for education abroad experiences for Appalachian students.

The prestige of the scholarship, Anastasiou hopes, will raise awareness about the opportunities for education abroad and funding sources for these experiences at Appalachian. “These successes should also be an encouragement to all those students who would like to study abroad but are concerned about funding,” she said. “There is ample funding for education abroad experiences and students can get the support to find and apply for scholarships from our office.”

The OIED also secures external education abroad scholarships for students, including from the Institute of International Education Generation Study Abroad Scholarships. OIED is currently accepting applications for international education study abroad programs for the 2017-18 academic year. Appalachian students are encouraged to apply by visiting the OIED website at https://international.appstate.edu.

About the Gilman International Scholarship program

The Gilman International Scholarship program aims to diversify the population of students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions they visit. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who plan to study abroad or participate in a career-oriented international internship abroad for academic credit are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, better preparing them to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

U.S. Rep. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving for 30 years in the House of Representatives and who chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee, said, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor rather than a spectator in the international community.”

The OIED assists Appalachian students with the Gilman Scholarship application process by offering workshops specific to this scholarship every semester and one-on-one assistance closer to the applications deadlines in November and March. For more information, visit https://international.appstate.edu

About the Office of International Education and Development

The OIED is responsible for spearheading the internationalization efforts at Appalachian. The internationalization mission of Appalachian is to develop awareness, knowledge, appreciation and respect of cultural differences in both domestic and international contexts in its students, faculty, staff and the surrounding communities. The university is also dedicated to creating a campus environment that builds the theoretical and practical skills needed to interact effectively in a global society.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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