13 Mercer students selected to study abroad as Gilman Scholars

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college student holds out mercer flag
Photo by Bekah Howard

MACON — Mercer University had 13 students chosen during the spring 2023 selection cycle to receive a total of $39,000 in funding to study abroad through the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. 

  • Lakeeya Brockington, a senior marketing and management double-major, will participate in an affiliate summer program in the United Kingdom. 
  • Cindy Cao, a freshman biochemistry and molecular biology major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Vietnam.
  • Nigeria Harkless, a sophomore elementary/special education major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Tanzania. 
  • Genevieve Haskins, a senior holistic child major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in South Africa. 
  • Fatoumata Keita, a senior civil engineering major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in the Dominican Republic. 
  • Savannah Lackey, a senior global health studies major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Mongolia. 
  • Makiwen McGarrah, a junior health informatics major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in South Africa.
  • Hayley Moise, a sophomore marketing major, will participate in a fall exchange program in France. 
  • Kayla Nguyen, a sophomore biology major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Vietnam. 
  • Abigail O’Donnell, a freshman biology major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program inVietnam. 
  • Samuel Patton, a sophomore neuroscience major, will participate in an affiliate summer program in India. 
  • Deborah Roh, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Vietnam.
  • Kaley Woods, a junior chemistry and Spanish double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain. 

“I am simply ecstatic with the results from this cycle of applications and would like to extend my congratulations to each of the 13 Mercerians awarded,” said Johna Wright, global education programs coordinator. “The Gilman Scholarship provides unparalleled access to life-changing international education experiences for so many undergraduates, myself included. I am beyond grateful for the generosity of the Gilman program and the investment they make in our students, as I have witnessed firsthand how many doors can be opened through intercultural exchange. 

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with this group of exceptional, high-achieving students over the past semester, and I am confident they will each serve as an exemplary cultural ambassador of both Mercer University and the United States.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 — or up to $8,000 if they are also a recipient of the Gilman Critical Need Language Award — to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. 

Mercer is one of the top producers of Gilman Scholars in the country. The University has been recognized as both a Gilman Top Producing Institution and a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution for its role in broadening the student population that studies abroad overall, as well as in areas of priority achievement. 

The next cycle for the Gilman Scholarship will open in mid-August for applicants whose in-person programs or internships start between Dec. 1, 2023, and Oct. 31, 2024. The application deadline is Oct. 5. Those interested in applying for the scholarship should make an appointment with Emily Dunn, assistant director of global education at calendly.com/dunn_ea.  

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 36,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds have studied or interned in more than 155 countries around the globe. 

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. 

About Mercer University 

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer Medicine, the clinical faculty practice of the School of Medicine, is based in Macon and operates additional clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay, Putnam and Harris counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit mercer.edu