Mercer Recognized Among Gilman Greatest Growth Institutions

Gilman Greatest Growth

MACON – Mercer was recently named a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution for the 2017-2018 academic year for the University’s role in broadening the student population that studies abroad overall, as well as in areas of priority achievement.

Mercer was recognized in three categories: Small Colleges and Universities (less than 5,000 undergraduate students), STEM Students, and Racial and Ethnic Minority Students.

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to national security and economic prosperity. The Institute of International Education (IIE) has administered the program since its inception in 2001.

“This recognition represents an important strategic alliance among the Office of International Programs, Mercer On Mission, the Office of Financial Planning and the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to make transformative international study experiences available to all students,” said Dr. David A. Davis, associate professor of English and director of fellowships and scholarships. “This scholarship makes it possible for students with high financial need to participate in programs such as Mercer On Mission in Vietnam, summer abroad in Greece or a semester studying in Hong Kong. These experiences have a powerful impact on the students, and Mercer wants as many students as possible to be involved.”

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Mercer had 10 Gilman Scholars, including Shakti Biswas (Spain), Sa’Haara-Jade Bryant (South Africa), Ariel Daniels (Morocco), Alyssa Fortner (South Africa), Timothy Hood (Dominican Republic), Simran Khoja (Hong Kong), Danielle Loving (Peru), Brittany Tran (Vietnam), Alicia Williams (Dominican Republic) and Donald Williams (Spain).

Gilman Greatest Growth Institutions are measured by the increase in total award recipients from one academic year to the next. This recognition is given to the top three institutions of each size or type (Small, Medium, Large and Associate’s) and the top institution in each priority achievement category (First-Generation College Students, Racial and Ethnic Minority Students, Students with Disabilities, STEM Students, and Most Unique Destinations).

The Gilman Scholarship has enabled more than 25,000 outstanding Americans of diverse backgrounds to engage in a meaningful educational experience abroad. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study.

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 IIE.

About the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

The mission of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States. ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities. Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges. For more information about ECA programs, initiatives and achievements, visit

About the Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education (IIE) works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide and more than 1,300 member institutions.