JONESBORO – A record five Arkansas State University students have been chosen as recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The winners are Lisa Browning, Jacob Copeland, Alexandra (Alex) Gibson, Megan (Meg) Gray and Joree Pierre-Antoine.
The Gilman Scholarship provides funding for those who wish to study abroad who otherwise may not have the opportunity to do so. The scholarship is open to undergraduate students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Browning, of Salem, is a junior creative media production major with an emphasis in graphic communications. She will study in the United Kingdom at Canterbury Christ Church University in Kent, England in the spring of 2023. A transfer student from Arkansas State University-Mountain Home in the fall of 2022, Browning graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa.
“I’m incredibly honored to be selected for the Gilman Scholarship. Being able to travel and experience other countries is something that some only dream of, but actually doing so is life changing. With both the help of the faculty and staff at A-State, the study abroad programs offered here, and the Gilman Scholarship, I’m now able to accomplish things that I thought were impossible only a year ago,” said Browning.
Copeland, of Bonne Terre, Mo., is a junior computer science major and will study in Japan in spring 2023 at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Copeland plans to go on to a career in computer science but has not ruled out seeking a master’s degree in the future. On campus, he is involved in the A-State Esports team, Association for Computing Machinery, Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Anime Club.
“It has always been a dream of mine to study abroad, and this scholarship is helping me accomplish this dream. I highly encourage everyone to try to pursue your dreams because you never know – you might surprise yourself,” said Copeland.
Gibson, of Jonesboro, is a senior seeking a double major in biology and Spanish with a minor in chemistry. She will spend the spring of 2023 studying in Spain at the University of Huelva. Gibson is involved in Pre-Professional Club and Honors College, interns at El Centro Hispano, and is a 2022 Chancellor’s Scholar Award winner for the College of Sciences and Mathematics.
“After so many canceled study abroad programs, I am so happy to finally have the chance to study abroad in Spain,” said Gibson. “I’m so honored to receive the Gilman Scholarship.”
Gray, a North Little Rock native, is a junior double major in business administration and business economics. She will study in Belgium and Netherlands as part of the Honors study abroad experience in May of 2023. Gray is involved with the A-State Women’s Leadership Center, Future Business Leaders of America-Collegiate, Honors College and Zeta Tau Alpha. Gray said she intendeds to open her own occupational therapy practice. After graduation, she plans to enter the doctor of occupational therapy program.
“Having the indispensable opportunity to study and travel with the Honors College will allow me to broaden my understanding of other cultures, ideas and history. The resources that this program offers goes beyond just a scholarship and I believe it will help me to be a better future healthcare provider and business owner.”
Pierre-Antoine, of North Little Rock, is a freshman radiologic sciences major who will also be part of the Honors study abroad experience in Belgium and Netherlands. Pierre-Antoine is a patient ambassador at St. Bernards Medical Center, involved in the Honors College, and part of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students.
“I am so excited to be receiving the Gilman Scholarship that will allow me to explore my passion for travel. I want to study abroad to familiarize myself with different people and parts of the world. Understanding yourself also means understanding your context and the world around you, and I am looking to doing that through travel.”
A-State students received five of the 1,500 awards given out. More than 4,000 students applied.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs with additional funding available for the study of a critical language overseas. Since 2001, the Gilman Scholarship has enabled more than 31,000 Americans of diverse backgrounds to engage in a meaningful educational experience abroad. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study.
The late Congressman Benjamin Gilman, for whom the scholarship 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).