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Five Loyola University New Orleans Students Receive National Gilman Scholarships

Loyola press release - November 27, 2017

Five Loyola University New Orleans undergraduate students were selected from a national pool of more than 1,000 applicants from 386 colleges and universities across the United States to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad during spring 2017-2018. The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, which is designed to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations. Loyola University New Orleans students are among the four Louisiana natives and the only students from Louisiana universities to receive the honor this year.

Loyola University New Orleans who received the prestigious award include:
• Dea Devlin, a New York native who received a $5,000 scholarship to study in Ecuador
• Leslie Galvez, a South Carolina native who received a $3,000 scholarship to study in Ecuador
• Marjunique Louis, a Louisiana native who received $3,500 to study in China
• Shavon Fletcher, a Louisiana native who received $4,500 to study in Ecuador
• Oanh Nguyen, a Louisiana native who received $2,500 to study in the Netherlands

The students, who are all juniors, will use the Gilman Scholarships to study abroad this spring. Nearly 30 percent of Loyola students study abroad before they graduate.

“Academic rigor and service are two hallmarks of a Jesuit education, and Loyola University New Orleans students who have received the prestigious Gilman Scholarship will serve this spring as ambassadors of our university, as well as our nation, as they study abroad and bring back knowledge and understanding that helps to strengthen our campus community,” said David B. Borofsky, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs. “As they travel and complete their service projects, they will also exemplify key Jesuit ideals, namely a ‘commitment to service,’ a ‘global and international perspective,’ and ‘respect for the world around us.’”

Administered by the State Department’s Institute of International Education, the Gilman Scholarship program, broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who may not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs, and a limited number of critical need language scholarships are given each year for a total award of $8,000. The scholarship requires that each student design an original “follow on” service project to help promote study abroad.

The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages, or those deemed important to national security. The Gilman Scholarship Program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs or other minority-serving institutions, students attending community colleges, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process that demands they write a project proposal and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, international airfare, passport and visa fees.

“The Gilman Scholarships provide opportunities to students who may not otherwise be able to study abroad and helps diversify not only the kind of students who are studying abroad, but also the locations where they study,” said Debbie Danna, director of the Center for International Education at Loyola. “This year, 100 percent of the Loyola University New Orleans students who applied received this important honor, which demands both academic strength and commitment to a follow-on service project either during their travel or upon their return.”