Two Senior Students Earn Prestigious International Scholarship

Alyson Gilbert, a Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design major, and Rebecca Henderson, an Accounting major, will spend Fall semester 2014 studying abroad at Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea after winning the Benjamin a. Gilman International Scholarship.

Alyson Gilbert and Rebecca Henderson will spend Fall semester 2014 studying abroad at Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea after earning the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Two senior students, Alyson Gilbert and Rebecca Henderson, have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and will spend Fall Semester 2014 studying abroad in South Korea at Keimyung University in Daegu, Korea.

“I’m a strong believer that the transformative experience of studying abroad is unparalleled,” said Jeffrey Palis, associate director of the Center for International Studies, who helps to advise students interested in studying abroad. “We’ve seen an increase in students’ interest in studying abroad in Korea. The fact that two students got the award and are both going to Korea shows our mutually beneficial relationships with our Korean partners.”

Valued at $3,500 each, Gilman Scholarships are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State which fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations. The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or university to participate in study and intern abroad programs worldwide. The two students were selected based on essay applications, and their proposed follow-up projects promoting the Gilman Scholarship and the study abroad program at Georgia Southern University.

“Because of the emergence of Korea, I think studying abroad there is on our young students’ radar,” said Palis. “Years ago we were sending one student a year to Korea and now we’re sending several.”

Gilbert, a Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design major with a minor in Studio Art, is from Blakely, Georgia. She says she felt relieved upon receiving the award. “I had been religiously checking my email ten or more times a day for the last two weeks waiting to hear back,” she said. “I was ecstatic to call my mother and let her know that I received the scholarship.” Gilbert is a Guest Services assistant with Georgia Southern’s Housing department. In addition, she served as the 2013-2014 president of the Korean Club student organization.

Henderson, an Accounting major with a minor in Fraud Examination, is from South Thomaston, Maine. She says she was ecstatic to learn the news. “To be honest, I screamed and ran downstairs to tell my mother,” she said. “This award is going to help me greatly in the pursuit of my studies.” Henderson is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma.

“A big thanks to the Georgia Southern University Honors Program for their support and promotion of the Gilman Scholarship,” said Palis.

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