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Two Bard College Students Win Prestigious Gilman Scholarships

Mark Primoff
 Image Credit: Sarah Wallock '19
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—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.
About the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
International experience is critically important in the educational and career development of American students, but it can also require a substantial financial investment. The Gilman Scholarship Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical-need languages (those deemed important to national security and diplomacy). By supporting undergraduate students who have high financial need, the program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending HBCUs or other minority-serving institutions, students attending community colleges, and students coming from U.S. states with less study abroad participation. The program seeks to assist students from a diverse range of public and private institutions from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Award recipients are chosen through a competitive selection process.


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This event was last updated on 12-06-2016