College Student From Pleasant Plains Studying in Australia as Gilman Scholar

JONESBORO – Another Arkansas State University student is traveling for study abroad this semester after being selected for a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Sierra C. Clark of Pleasant Plains, a junior Honors College student majoring in animal science with a pre-veterinary emphasis, was selected for a Gilman Scholarship to study in Melbourne, Australia, this semester.  Clark is studying biological and animal science at La Trobe University.

“I was very excited to learn that I had been granted a Gilman Scholarship,” Clark said. “La Trobe University is state-of-the-art, the professors are extremely knowledgeable, and my fellow students – other internationals and local Australians – are amazing people. I am so appreciative of the opportunity to have been awarded this honor.”

A graduate of Midland High School, Clark has been involved in the Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta honor society, Delta Tau Alpha agricultural honor society, Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Collegiate Farm Bureau, Equine Club, Pre-Vet Club, FFA Alumni, and she works at the Equine Center on campus.  Her parents are Mike and Donna Clark.

“I am so proud of Sierra for the work she has put into pursuing her goals,” said Jennifer Salo, competitive fellowships and scholarships coordinator. “The Gilman Scholarship will make it possible for her to have a life-changing experience, studying and living abroad for a semester, and will open doors for her going forward.”


Clark is one of over 900 American undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the U.S. who received a scholarship. She plans to pursue a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree after completing her undergraduate studies at A-State. Her career goal is to work in veterinary research.

She joins a select group of A-State students who have received the Gilman Scholarship, bringing the total to 14 in the last seven years.  The most recent was Montana Greve of Norfork, also an animal science major.

“Both Montana and Sierra are very deserving of this scholarship and we hope that their experiences will inspire more students in the College of Agriculture to seek opportunities to study abroad,” commented Dr. Donald (Bud) Kennedy, interim dean.  “The CoA awarded each student $1,000 from the dean’s discretionary fund to help with their study abroad expenses.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs.  Since 2001, the Gilman Scholarship has enabled more than 25,000 outstanding Americans of diverse backgrounds to engage in a meaningful educational experience abroad. 

The late Congressman Gilman, for whom the award is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee.  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 Institute of International Education (IIE).

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