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Two Bard College Students Win Prestigious Gilman Scholarships

Photo by Sarah Wallock '19
Bard College students Kina Carney ’18 and Jessica Liu ’18 have both won highly competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to pursue studies abroad during the upcoming spring semester. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 toward study abroad or internship costs.
Carney, a literature major, will take part in the Pitzer in Botswana program, which includes extended study trips in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Students live with host families, study local cultures, and work with scholars and experts in each country. Participants experience firsthand the concept and life of Ubuntu, the notion that defines the communal nature of the cultural values of the South African, Batswana, and Zimbabwean peoples. Ubuntu is indicated in the greetings that proclaim, “I am well if you are well,” and “my destiny is intricately intertwined with yours.”
Liu, a mathematics major, plans to pursue studies in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) program. Through BSM, mathematics and computer science majors study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers and receive the benefits of Hungary’s long tradition of excellence in mathematics education that includes combinatorics, number theory, and probability theory. BSM instructors are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary’s highly acclaimed mathematicians. In keeping with Hungarian tradition, teachers closely monitor each student’s progress. Considerable time is devoted to problem solving and encouraging student creativity. Emphasis is on depth of understanding rather than on the quantity of material.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Rep. Gilman (R–N.Y.), who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Committee on International Relations, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be contributors rather than spectators in the international community.” During the spring 2017 application cycle, the program reviewed more than 2,700 applications for more than 850 awards.
Post Date: 12-06-2016