MACON – Mercer University had an unprecedented 21 students chosen during the fall 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 Gilman Scholarship allows students with high financial need to participate in transformational international learning experiences, including faculty-led programs and Mercer On Mission,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and professor of English. “As an institution, we are committed to making these experiences available to as many students as possible so that all Mercer students can learn to change the world regardless of their need.”

The following students – a record number for the University during a single selection cycle – received a total of $97,500 to participate in programs between Dec. 1, 2021, and Oct. 31, 2022:

  • Derrick Buie, a junior biology and theatre double-major, will participate in a faculty-led spring break program in Ecuador.
  • Chrishawn Chappelle, a freshman international affairs and political science double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Greece.
  • Lea Dulcio, a junior global health studies and Spanish double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Lily Dwyer, a junior biology and Spanish double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Ariana Flores, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB) major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Greece.
  • Ryanne Franklin, a junior psychology major, will participate in a faculty-led spring break program in Mexico.
  • Victoria Glazier, a sophomore BMB major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Savannah Granito, a junior art history major, will participate in a summer affiliate program in the United Kingdom.
  • Jordan Griffin, a freshman art major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Justin Henry, a junior public health and Spanish double-major, will participate in a spring affiliate program in Costa Rica.
  • Charys Hogeland, a sophomore accounting and finance double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Corbin Jones, a junior computer engineering and electrical engineering double-major, is participating in a fall exchange program in Hong Kong.
  • Kennia Kirksey, a sophomore neuroscience major, will participate in a faculty-led spring break program in Israel.
  • Kimberly Lopez, a junior mechanical engineering and Spanish double-major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Marlo Mecredy, a junior civil engineering major, will participate in a summer Mercer On Mission program in the Dominican Republic.
  • Savannah Richie, a freshman biomedical engineering major, will participate in a summer Mercer On Mission program in South Korea.
  • Kendall Ross, a freshman journalism major, will participate in a summer exchange program in South Korea.
  • Jendai Sealey, a junior public health major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Spain.
  • Lawson Smith, a freshman finance major, will participate in a faculty-led spring break program in Italy.
  • Samantha Vaquero-Covarrubias, a sophomore creative writing, journalism and Spanish triple-major, will participate in a summer Mercer On Mission program in Mexico.
  • Tran Vo, a junior BMB major, will participate in a summer Mercer On Mission program to Vietnam.

“We are absolutely thrilled with how many students were awarded the Gilman Scholarship this cycle,” said Emily Dunn, study abroad coordinator in Mercer’s Office of International Programs. “It’s a true testament to how special these students are. This scholarship increases access to study abroad for so many and allows them to have an experience they would not have thought previously possible. It’s wonderful that these opportunities are available nationally and that we have such a strong system here at Mercer to help support students through their essays and applications.”

The Gilman Scholarship was expanded just prior to this selection cycle to include study abroad programs of all lengths. Students may receive as much as $5,000 plus an additional $3,000 if they are studying a critical language.

“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship is an honor that I am more than grateful for,” said Henry, who will be traveling to Costa Rica for the upcoming spring semester. “I have been pursuing study abroad since my freshman year, but unfortunately due to COVID-19, I was unable to proceed with all of my plans. However, with the help of the Gilman Scholarship plus the amazing leadership of the study abroad office, my dreams are finally coming to fruition.”

The scholarship’s next selection cycle includes programs starting between May 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023. The application deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2022, and more information can be obtained by emailing studyabroad@mercer.edu.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, a total of 1,350 U.S. institutions have sent more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 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.

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.​