Six Mercer Students Selected to Study Abroad as Gilman Scholars

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Gilman Scholars Fall 2020

MACON – Mercer University had six students chosen during the fall selection cycle to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad, adding to the institution’s reputation as one of the top producers of Gilman Scholars in the country.

Mercer was recently recognized as both a Gilman Top Producing Institution and a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution for the University’s 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 900 recipients – representing 307 colleges and universities across the U.S. – who will study or intern in 87 countries through the end of 2021.

  • Lea Dulcio, a sophomore majoring in Spanish and global health studies with minors in chemistry and biology, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to the Dominican Republic in the summer
  • Hailey Ferrel, a junior majoring in environmental engineering with a minor in mathematics, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to the Dominican Republic in the summer
  • Brianna Gonsahn, a sophomore majoring in psychology and religion with a minor in military studies, who plans to participate in the AIFS Study Abroad in Greece program in the summer
  • Savannah Granito, a sophomore majoring in art history with minors in biology and chemistry, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Greece in the summer
  • Obehi Onabanjo, a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering, who plans to participate in the CIS Abroad Biotechnical Internship in Barcelona program in the summer
  • Tran Vo, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology, who plans to participate in a Mercer On Mission trip to Vietnam in the summer

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.

“In light of the numerous challenges students experienced during this application cycle, I would like to commend our entire applicant pool for remaining steadfast in pursuit of this prestigious scholarship opportunity,” said August Armbrister, study abroad adviser in the Office of International Programs.

“Congratulations to the six new Gilman Scholarship recipients, as well as our three students selected as alternates for this award. I would like to highlight the tremendous support and care the Office of National Fellowships and Scholarships displayed in helping our applicants express their voices and experiences amidst great uncertainty in the field of education abroad,” Armbrister said. “Despite these challenges, this application cycle has produced the highest recipient success rate to date. It is a genuine pleasure to work with such a brilliant campus community that is dedicated to engaging in global citizenship opportunities. Thank you for sharing your stories and experiences with us, and we look forward to supporting you throughout the next phases of your international journeys.”

Given the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gilman Program will support students who are unable to start their programs abroad in their original destination or in the original timeframe by helping to identify alternative program options, by permitting students to defer to a program through the end of 2021, or by supporting participation in a virtual study abroad or international internship program.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 1,300 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.