International flags hanging in the WVU Mountainlair bring to mind the many destinations a record number of Gilman Scholarships recipients will visit this year. (WVU Photo/Jennifer Shephard)

Record number of WVU students receive Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

A record number of West Virginia University students have earned Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to participate in transformative study abroad programs.

Twenty undergraduate students received the competitive national award funded by the U.S. State Department to travel abroad without financial constraints.

“We are thrilled to have a record number of Gilman Scholars this year, breaking our previous record of 14 winners in 2018,” Cate Johnson, assistant director of the ASPIRE Office, said. “International travel is one of the most impactful learning experiences that an undergraduate student can engage in and it’s exciting that so many WVU students are taking advantage of the Gilman Scholarship to fund these important experiences abroad.”

The 2023-24 Gilman Scholarship recipients include:

    ·  Virginia Affemann, an anthropology major from Shepherdstown, will study in Italy.

    ·  Rena Ben-Eliezer, a Tannersville, New York, native majoring in global supply chain management with minors in economics and Arabic language, will study in Israel.

    ·  Olivia Christ is a biology major with a minor in Spanish. The Parkersburg native will study in Panama.

    ·  Colleen Christopher, a biology major from Morgantown, traveled to Panama with WVU Global Medical and Dental Brigades in spring 2023.

    ·  Ingrid Vanessa Ferro of Hackettstown, New Jersey, is a biomedical engineering major who earned a scholarship to study in Australia.

    ·  Bryan Hill of Princeton is an anthropology and history double major. He earned the scholarship to study in Spain.

    ·  Alaira Hudson, a landscape architecture major from Thomas, will study in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

    ·  Wren King, a Morgantown native who graduated in May with degrees in anthropology, women’s and gender studies and geography, traveled to Panama. 

    ·  Madyson Kimble, a psychology and Spanish double major from Charleston, will study in Spain.

    ·  Riley Klug, an art history and anthropology double major from New Martinsville, will study in Belize.

    ·  Erin Langan of Ridgeley graduated in May with a degree in English and traveled to Panama.

    ·  Luna Martin, a native of Lewisburg, is a human nutrition and foods major who traveled to Argentina in winter 2022.

    ·  Shelby Meador, a biology major from Shady Spring with a minor in painting, traveled to Italy over spring break.

    ·  Jordan Murray of Martinsburg is an international studies and political science double major who will study in Australia.

    ·  Hillary Probst of Malvern, Pennsylvania, is a multidisciplinary studies major with minors in anthropology, art history and Italian language. She will study in Greece.

    ·  Raiven Scott, an exercise physiology major with a minor in Spanish from Huntington, will study in Spain.

    ·  Makayla Sigmon, a horticulture and environmental microbiology double major from Hurricane, will spend an academic year in Austria. 

    ·  Aleksandra Skiloutovskaya-Lopez, a civil engineering and dance double major from Princeton, will study in New Zealand.

    ·  Andrew Ross, a political science and German studies double major from Summersville, will study in Germany.           

    ·  Taylor Tetreault, a health and well-being major with minors in strength and conditioning and nutrition from Falling Waters, will study in the Netherlands.

Two additional WVU students were awarded scholarships but declined in order to pursue other opportunities.

     ·  Tim Bonnell, an international studies major from Ballard, was awarded the scholarship to study in Jordan; however, the program coincided with his deployment as part of the U.S. National Guard.

    ·  Ariana Burks, an international studies and geography double major from Beckley received the award to study in Jordan. She was also awarded a Critical Language Scholarship and opted to participated in that program.

The ASPIRE Office supports WVU students interested in applying for this and other national competitive awards.

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