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Trojans Awarded Gilman International Scholarship

Published date: December 10, 2016


Two Virginia State University Students Awarded U.S. Department of State's Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad.

Virginia State University (VSU) students Majhanae Thomas and Talisha Walker are two of more than 850 American undergraduate students from 359 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the spring 2017 term. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies -- making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Thomas, a junior sociology major, will study abroad at the University of Ghana and volunteer at a local school or women's clinic. By studying abroad, she hopes to gain international perspectives about sociology that will be valuable as a VSU graduate. Her career goals are to pursue a doctoral degree in her field as well as open a group home for battered women.

Walker, a junior biology major, will study abroad at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, where she looks forward to a cultural immersion experience that enhances her current study of Arabic language at VSU. She plans to pursue a career in anesthesiology and sees a need for health care professionals to be familiar with other cultures and languages.

The Gilman Scholarship Program, administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE), is named after former Congressman Benjamin A. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. Gilman believed that studying abroad "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."

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