UO ranks No. 10 in Gilman Scholars with highest number ever

First published in Around the O on July 27th. 

With 25 Ducks receiving the prestigious Gilman Scholarship this year, the University of Oregon is ranked 10th in the nation for the study abroad award and has the largest number of Gilman recipients in university history.

In addition, the UO has six alternates, and one of the scholarship recipients was chosen for the new Gilman-McCain Scholarship. With a total of 59 UO applicants, the university’s success rate this year was 42 percent.

“It's something we are really proud of since this is a huge accomplishment, and it shows the academic strength and international engagement of our students, said anthropology professor Josh Snodgrass, who directs the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “It also shows how we are supporting our students who are in most in need of support since this scholarship only goes to students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding.”

The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards up to $5,000 for undergraduate students to study abroad. The scholarship is available to students who are currently receiving the Pell Grant, while the new Gilman-McCain Scholarship is available to dependents of active-duty military.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all recipients are given the option of changing or deferring their program to a later date. Recipients can use the award for travel-based programs beginning January 2021. Recipients can also use the award in summer or fall 2020 to participate in virtual programs, such as the #NoPassportNeeded program at the UO. 

The UO Division of Global Engagement, which hosts the Global Education Oregon study abroad office, serves the UO community and 30 partner institutions. It offers more than 200 programs in 90 countries, with the option to study or intern while abroad. 

 “The UO is immensely proud of our 25 students who competed against top national talent to earn Gilman Scholarships,” said Dennis Galvan, dean and vice provost for global engagement. “These prestigious federal awards help defray the costs of enriching education abroad programs for students of color and from underrepresented groups. They earned UO a rank of 10th in the U.S. in Gilman awards, not factoring in university size.”

Gilman recipient and Portland native Anna Mills, who is studying public relations and ethnic studies with a minor in creative writing, had planned to participate in a service-oriented program, Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice in Bolivia. Her program was canceled due to COVID-19, but she will use her award when it returns next summer.

“Receiving this scholarship helps me achieve a lifelong goal and passion for going abroad and applying the knowledge I learn to my everyday life,” she said. “I believe UO was ranked as the No. 10 school in the nation for Gilman recipients because it has normalized that studying abroad is achievable and something everyone should experience if they can. The support and resources are amazing.”

Another Gilman Scholarship recipient, Yulissa Garcia, a senior majoring in international studies with a concentration in diplomacy and international relations and minoring in legal studies, said her success is due to the hard work and the motivation instilled in her through her family.

“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship means that I will be able to literally and figuratively afford to take a step forward in my studies,” she said. ”But for my family, it means that I am able to demonstrate that hard work does pay off. I come from a family of immigrants who have endured hard labor for most of their lives, and they are my motivation to continue working hard for all the opportunities I encounter.”

Galvan emphasizes the importance of accessible global education for all students, no matter their background, especially given the current focus on racial injustice in America. 

“At a time when the University of Oregon, the state of Oregon, the U.S. and the world are grappling, again, with issues of racial justice, Gilman Scholarships in this remarkable number are powerful,” he said. “The more students of every color who get to know the world and the younger that Americans learn to see the peculiarity and brutality of our own racial history, the clearer it will be to see the world with new eyes and a fresh perspective.”

Subject to UO travel approval, students can apply for travel-based study abroad programs leaving as early as fall 2020. The programs exceed the current standards for health and safety in education abroad. As early as January 2021, Gilman recipients can use their scholarship towards a UO study abroad program.

The UO Gilman Scholarship recipients are:

  • Kevin Aleman: Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey University Exchange, Mexico.
  • Jennifer Beltran: GlobalWorks Argentina.
  • Sierra Burke: Hanyang University Exchange.
  • Yacki Carrasco-Vivar: Dankook University Exchange.
  • Jeanie Chen: Nagoya University Exchange.
  • Celeste Concha: Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice in Bolivia.
  • Katee Early: global economics in London with internship.
  • Yulissa Garcia, human rights and peace studies in the Balkans.
  • Laila Golrangi: Curtin University Exchange.
  • Lily Hamilton: Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey University Exchange, Mexico.
  • Collin Hurley-Kemp: intensive Italian language in Lecce, Italy.
  • Tyra Judge: global health, development, and service learning in Accra, Ghana.
  • Lena Karam: Copenhagen Business School Exchange.
  • Cheyenne Klamath-Williamson: sustainable development and social change in Jaipur, India.
  • Mia LaRiccia: summer accelerated Chinese language in Tainan, Taiwan.
  • Mariella Mandujano: gender, race and class in London.
  • Angelica Mejia: GlobalWorks Ecuador.
  • Anna Mills, indigenous rights and environmental justice in Bolivia.
  • Ciera Nguyen: GlobalWorks in Vietnam.
  • Tay Sikruttamart: urban design in Barcelona, Spain.
  • idija Sovulj: refugees, health and humanitarian action in Amman, Jordan.
  • Edna Ventura: GlobalWorks South Korea.
  • Katey Williams: French immersion in Angers.
  • Luke Wu: Waseda University Exchange.
  • Madison Zbinden: Copenhagen.

 —By Kavita Battan, Division of Global Engagement