Junior Marissa Murriel Receives Gilman-McCain Scholarship to Study in Ecuador

Marissa Murriel

MACON – Mercer University junior Marissa Murriel recently received the Gilman-McCain Scholarship to participate in the Mercer On Mission program in Ecuador.

A congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, the scholarship is named for the late Sen. John S. McCain from Arizona and provides awards of $5,000 for child dependents of active duty service members to study or intern abroad.

Murriel, from Columbus, is a global development major with a minor in Spanish.

During her study abroad experience in Ecuador, she will serve as a translator while improving her fluency in Spanish and learning more about social entrepreneurship.

“I am very grateful to have received the Gilman-McCain scholarship. I was hesitant about applying, but received a lot of guidance from the study abroad/scholarship advisors here at Mercer. I am so happy that I decided to apply, because now I am able to use what I’ve learned in the classrooms in person while helping others. I highly encourage any student who wishes to study abroad to apply and take the chance. No one should be limited by their financial constraints.”

At Mercer, Murriel is a primer for the Endowment Committee of the Student Government Association.

Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy to further pursue her passion for helping people affected by discriminatory policies such as red-lining and housing discrimination.

“Marissa has demonstrated not only academic achievements, but also Hispanic cultural awareness and competence. Reaching out to the community where the target language is spoken is another evidence of her social engagement, and her interest to use the Spanish language beyond the classroom,” said Dr. José Pino, associate professor of Spanish. “I know she will do a great job there in the same way she did in my service learning program in Puerto Rico during spring break 2020. She will definitely rise to this challenge as well.”

Developed under the framework of the State Department’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, the Gilman-McCain Scholarship will provide 100 awards for the current academic year to eligible students enrolled at accredited U.S. colleges and universities who receive any type of Title IV federal financial aid.

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.

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialog and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit liberalarts.mercer.edu.