Seven students from the State University of New York at New Paltz were selected from thousands of applicants across the United States to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring 2014 semester.
Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, and sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, the Gilman Scholarship Program is intended to provide students with the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies—making them better prepared to assume leadership roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. Scholars are selected from over 8,500 scholarship applications annually and receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs.
Gilman Scholarship recipients include: Teobaldo Almonte ’15 (United Kingdom), Austin Cartagena ’15 (Spain), Wendy Chiu ’15 (Spain), Josh Greenberg ’16 (Japan), Amber Murchison ’15 (India), Angela Pujols ’15 (Ecuador), and Terisa Woych ’15 (Ireland).
“SUNY New Paltz has regularly ranked first among public universities in New York State in regard to the number of Gilman Scholarships awarded to its students,” said Bruce Sillner, dean of international programs at SUNY New Paltz.
In fact, in the most recent national competition, involving 341 colleges and universities across the United States, one percent of all Gilman Scholarship recipients were New Paltz students. The College has been awarded 27 Gilman Scholars awarded over the past two academic years.
“We are a small campus, with only about 8,000 students,” said Christian Wilwohl, a study abroad coordinator at SUNY New Paltz’s Center for International Programs, “so this fact testifies to the quality of our students and to a staff dedicated to their success.”
Alumnus Jeffrey Cifuentes ’13, who majored in international business and Asian studies, who received a Gilman Scholarship to study in Osaka, Japan during fall 2012, says, “Study abroad helped me to become a more open-minded person. I’ve found that since going to Japan, I’m more adaptable, and better at communicating with others. The world has opened up, and now I’m motivated to explore and travel to each corner of it.”
Learn more about Cifuentes’ study abroad experience here.