MACON – Mercer University had nine students chosen during the spring selection cycle to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad.

Mercer is one of the top producers of Gilman Scholars in the country. The University was 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 following Mercer students are among more than 1,500 recipients – representing 467 colleges and universities across the U.S. – who will study or intern in 96 countries through the end of 2021.

  • Lidya Dereje, a rising senior double-majoring in global development studies and media studies, who plans to study abroad in Spain
  • Genevieve Haskins, a rising sophomore majoring in elementary/special education – The Holistic Child, who plans to study abroad in the United Kingdom
  • Samantha Johnson, a rising senior majoring in global health studies, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to South Korea
  • Nyiah Kelley, a rising sophomore double-majoring in biology and women’s and gender studies, who plans to study abroad in Morocco
  • Junho Kim, a rising senior majoring in global health studies, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to South Korea
  • Phillip Middleton, a rising senior majoring in international business, who plans to study abroad in Japan
  • Krupa Patel, a rising senior majoring in biology, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Vietnam
  • Allison Ruiz, a rising senior majoring in political science, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Georgia
  • Julia Tra, a rising junior majoring in business management on the pre-nursing track, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Vietnam

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

“This spring, nine students applied for the Gilman scholarship, and all nine were awarded. We are extremely excited about their success,” said Dr. Cameron Kunzelman, coordinator of fellowships and scholarships.

In total, 29 Mercer students will travel abroad as Gilman Scholars over the next year. The University had a total of 15 students selected during the 2020-2021 academic year, while an additional 14 students were selected in 2019-2020 but had their travel abroad postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, a total of 1,335 U.S. institutions have sent more than 33,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 151 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.

Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​