Fall ’15 Gilman Scholarships put New Paltz on pace for best-ever year

gilmanEight SUNY New Paltz students will receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study abroad in the fall ’15 semester, the largest single-cycle class of Gilman scholars in the College’s history.

The Gilman Scholarship is a highly competitive, federally funded prize awarded by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to undergraduates for academic studies and internships abroad. A total of 860 American undergraduate students from 332 U.S. colleges and universities will receive up to $5,000 each towards study abroad costs as Gilman scholars this fall.

“That SUNY New Paltz again leads all public universities in the State of New York in Gilman scholarships awarded is a testament to the caliber of our students, to our institutional commitment to preparing globally-engaged graduates and to the hard work of our study abroad staff,” said Bruce Sillner, dean of the Center for International Programs (CIP).

The following students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships for the fall ’15 semester:

Jerry Cifuentes ’15 (International Business / Marketing), who will study in Japan.

Karl Eden ’17 (Black Studies / Communication Studies – Public Relations), who will study in Kenya.

Stephanie Fernandez ’16 (Sociology – Criminology), who will study in Ecuador.

Cole Kitchen ’16 (Asian Studies / International Relations), who will study in China.

Johnathan Olivencia ’16 (International Business / Management), who will study in China.

Luisanna Sosa ’16 (Communication Studies – Public Relations), who will study in France.

Kimberly Velazquez ’17 (Psychology / Spanish), who will study in Ecuador.

Betsy Wiener ’15 (Latin American & Caribbean Studies / Sociology – Human Services), who will study in the Dominican Republic.

The Gilman’s mission of supporting international study for students of limited financial means makes it a natural partner with the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and other similar institutions. At New Paltz, the CIP and EOP work closely together to identify and support candidates for the award. Six of the eight New Paltz students who will receive the Scholarship this fall are EOP students.

“The ongoing partnership between the CIP and EOP has greatly expanded the participation of underrepresented students studying abroad,” said Clare Kelly-Barra, EOP advisor and study abroad liaison. “Our EOP students are our study abroad ambassadors, and they continue to make us proud.”

Gilman-eligible students at SUNY New Paltz have access through the CIP and EOP to advising regarding the application process, editorial feedback on application essays and outreach efforts before, during and after their international experiences, helping to ensure that each student gets the most out of study abroad.

Earlier this year that work was recognized when SUNY New Paltz was honored with the 2015 Andrew Heiskell Study Abroad Award, a prestigious prize for which more than 1,400 colleges and universities are eligible.

Students with an interest in learning more about the Gilman Scholarship and about study abroad can visit the Center for International Programs online. More information about the Educational Opportunity Program is available as well.

Additional details about the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship can be found at the website of the Institute of International Education.