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Mercer Sees 15 Students Selected for Gilman Scholarship to Study Abroad

MACON – Mercer University had 15 students among more than 2,500 recipients from nearly 520 colleges and universities across the U.S. chosen during the spring selection cycle to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad.

These recipients bring the University’s total number of Gilman award recipients to 34 during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“The recent cohort of Gilman recipients deserve special acclamation for not only being awarded this prestigious scholarship opportunity at a rate over 20% higher than the national average, but also in receiving the Gilman to participate in study abroad programming to 12 different countries – the most diverse array of outbound destinations compared with any previous cycle at Mercer,” said August Armbrister, study abroad advisor in the Office of International Programs.

“Commendations to the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships for its continued dedication and support in removing financial barriers to study abroad for Mercer students. We are extremely proud of the entire applicant pool and its enthusiasm for engaging in global citizenship education. The Office of International Programs is committed to addressing changes in study abroad programming and availability for our Gilman Scholars as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mercer was recognized this year as both a Gilman Top Producing Institution and a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution for the University’s role in broadening the student population that studies abroad overall, as well as in areas of priority achievement.

This University’s latest recipients include:

  • Teni Aina, a junior majoring in international business, who planned to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program in France over the summer
  • Joyell Bailey, a senior majoring in nursing, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to India over the summer
  • Camryn Bierria, a junior majoring in media studies, who planned to participate in a study abroad program to Thailand in the fall
  • Hailey Christian, senior majoring in public health, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Guyana over the summer
  • Savannah Duringer, a junior majoring in graphic design, who plans to participate in an exchange program with the University of the West of Scotland in the spring
  • Evelyn Johnson, a sophomore majoring in history, who planned to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program to Greece over the summer
  • Annie Lam, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Vietnam over the summer
  • Stephany Leal, a senior majoring in neuroscience, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Guyana over the summer
  • Walter Lopez-Chavez, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering, who planned to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program to Ireland over the summer
  • Kallie McDaniel, a senior double-majoring in English and history, who planned to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program to France over the summer
  • Alexandra Norori, a senior majoring in psychology, who planned to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program to France over the summer
  • Ayomide Odeboh, a senior double-majoring in chemical commerce and computer science, who planned to participate in an exchange program with the University of Essex in the fall
  • Omar Peralta Rios, a senior double-majoring in chemical commerce and Spanish, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Guyana over the summer
  • Ja’Diyah Shamsiddin, a junior double-majoring in criminal justice and sociology, who planned to participate in a study abroad program to Thailand in the fall
  • Alexandria Swinson, a majoring in political science, who planned to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to South Africa over the summer

Because of the current Global Level 4 Travel Advisory issued by the State Department, the Gilman Program is requiring all recipients defer awards to programs starting between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2021.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, the Gilman Program has awarded more than 31,000 scholarships to students from 1,335 institutions to participate in study abroad programs and internships in 151 countries.

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 Institution of International Education.