MACON – Mercer University sophomore Alexus Evans was selected by the U.S. Department of State to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Thailand this fall.
Mercer, which was recognized in March as a Gilman Greatest Growth Institution, had a total of 15 Gilman Scholars selected during the 2018-2019 academic year. Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs, with additional funding available for the study of a critical language overseas.
“Alexus will have the transformative opportunity to spend an entire semester in Thailand, learning the language, experiencing the culture and building lifelong relationships,” said Dr. Davis A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships and associate professor of English. “We are thrilled that she will have this experience, and we encourage all eligible students to pursue international learning programs. This is one of the ways that Mercer students change the world.”
Evans, from Columbus, is a double-major in mathematics and computer science. She intends to pursue a career as an actuary.
“I am extremely grateful for receiving the Gilman Scholarship,” said Evans. “Without the scholarship, I would not have been able to afford this opportunity.”
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 late Congressman Gilman, for whom the scholarship is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he commented, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
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 Institute of International Education (IIE).