Twenty students selected to study abroad as Gilman Scholars

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10 male and female college students standing smiling holding signs with country names printed on them
Some of the 2023-2024 Gilman Scholars are (front, from left) Lantian You, Bre Swain-Garland, Callie Lowery, Erin Williams; (middle, from left) Jayla Battle, Emma Kicklighter; (back, from left) Coy Eberhardt, Jorge Montoya, Cameron Hutchins, Abriana Nyante. Photo by Leah Yetter

MACON — Mercer University had 20 students chosen during the fall 2023 selection cycle to receive a total of $66,500 in funding to study abroad through the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program. 

  • Jayla Battle, a freshman mechanical engineering major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Bangladesh.
  • Jasmine Briola, a senior industrial engineering major, will participate in a spring faculty-led program in South Africa.
  • Luke Caldwell, a junior chemistry and psychology double major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Belize.
  • Coy Eberhardt, a junior philosophy and computer science double major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Greece.
  • Bre Swain-Garland, a junior English major, will participate in a summer exchange program in the United Kingdom.
  • Zoë Hardnett, a junior mechanical engineering major, will participate in a faculty-led spring program in South Africa.
  • Alesa Hill, a sophomore biology major, will participate in a spring exchange program in Morocco.
  • Cammie Hutchins, a junior global health studies and anthropology double major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in India.
  • Emma Kicklighter, a junior psychology major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Vietnam.
  • Callie Lowery, a sophomore neuroscience and Spanish major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Mexico.
  • Alex Loyevskiy, a junior management major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Rwanda.
  • Jorge Montoya, a sophomore biochemistry major, will participate in a faculty-led spring program in Belize.
  • Thomas Neely, a senior marketing and creative writing double major, will participate in a faculty-led spring program in Italy. 
  • Abriana Nyante, a sophomore civil engineering major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in the Dominican Republic.
  • Sita Patel, a sophomore secondary education major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in India.
  • Anyssa Smith, a junior computer science major, will participate in a faculty-led summer program in Taiwan.
  • Aly Tidwell, a junior psychology major, will participate in a faculty-led spring program in Italy. 
  • Emmett Tinsley, a sophomore environmental engineering major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Jordan.
  • Erin Williams, a sophomore who has not decided on a major, will participate in a faculty-led spring program in France.
  • Lantian You, a freshman biomedical engineering major, will participate in a Mercer On Mission summer program in Vietnam.

Emily Dunn, assistant director of Global Education, said being selected for the prestigious Gilman Scholarship is a testament to the students’ dedication, and the Office of Global Engagement is thrilled to offer guidance and support.

“Our commitment to assisting these scholars aligns with the Office of Global Engagement’s mission to foster diversity and inclusivity in the realm of international education, ensuring that a broad spectrum of students can access and benefit from transformative study abroad experiences,” Dunn said. “Our office is very excited to see the impact these programs have on our Gilman Scholars, and the lessons they bring back to the Mercer community.”

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

Mercer is one of the top producers of Gilman Scholars in the country. The University has been 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 fact that Mercer has been named a top producer of Gilman scholars for the past two years demonstrates our institutional commitment to making international study accessible,” said Dr. David A. Davis, director of fellowships and scholarships. “The Gilman Scholarship allows students with high financial need from across the University to participate in transformative international learning experiences through exchanges, faculty-led programs and Mercer On Mission. The Office of Fellowships and Scholarships is proud to partner with the Office of Global Education to support our students’ applications for these competitive awards.” 

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 36,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds have studied or interned in more than 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.