The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship opens the door for undergraduate students to travel and study abroad. Twelve WVU students are recipients this year. (WVU Photo/Kallie Nealis)

WVU students awarded Gilman Scholarships to pursue education abroad

Twelve West Virginia University students will expand their educational horizons this summer through study abroad programs provided by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Created and funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Gilman Scholarship is a competitive national award for undergraduate students interested in opportunities abroad. Since the scholarships inception in 2004, 88 WVU students have benefitted from the program.

“Travel can be a transformative experience and this scholarship helps open doors to international opportunities for students who may not have had the chance otherwise,” Cate Johnson, assistant director of the ASPIRE Office, said. “There is no doubt these students will make the most of their time abroad, gaining new and global perspectives.”

The 2022-23 Gilman Scholarship recipients include:

  • Holly Bursik, a graphic design major from Parkersburg, will study in South Korea.
  • Rebekah Gooding, an art history major and Honors College student from Morgantown, will study in Austria, Germany and France.
  • Kaleb Goad, an environmental, soil and water sciences major from Pataskala, Ohio, will study in Chile. 
  • Jordan Means, an immunology and medical microbiology major and Honors student from Elkview, will study in Ireland.
  • Ruby Cole, a landscape architecture major and Honors student from Lerona, will study in France, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as part of WVU Education Abroad’s Western Europe: Landscapes of Western Europe program.  
  • Trent Morris, a mechanical engineering major from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, will study in Spain.
  • Sarah Burton, a Chinese studies major from Fairmont, will spend a full academic year studying in Taiwan.
  • Bryan Hill, an anthropology and history double major from Princeton, will study in Peru.
  • Kaleigh Brooks, a criminology major from Maidsville, will study in Spain. 
  • Emily Butts, an international studies and Spanish double major from Martinsburg, will study in Costa Rica.

Rounding out WVU’s recipients are Rena Ben-Eliezer, an economics and global supply chain management double major from Morgantown, and Wren King, an anthropology and women and gender studies double major from Morgantown. Unfortunately, the Honors students’ programs in Israel and Russia, respectively, were canceled.

The ASPIRE Office supports WVU students interested in applying for this and other national competitive awards. Students interested in discussing their options can email to set up an appointment.


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