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College of Arts and Sciences students Gerti Wilson and Christopher Gunter are among the undergraduates selected to study abroad this year through the Gilman Scholars program.
Former New York Congressman Benjamin A.
Gilman values international education, saying study abroad “provides our
students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper
understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a
contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community."
This Winter Session, four undergraduate students -- Christopher
Gunter, Monica Lindsay, Gerti Wilson and Nathan Rouwhorst -- are participating in University of Delaware study abroad programs across three
different continents with the help of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.
Named in honor of the long-serving congressman who chaired the House
Foreign Relations Committee, the Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored
by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
of the U.S. Department of State. It funds undergraduate students from
traditionally underrepresented backgrounds interested in study and
internship opportunities in less-traveled areas of the world.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs seeks to foster mutual
understanding between the people of the United States and the people of
other countries to promote friendly, sympathetic and peaceful
After their study abroad experiences, Gilman Scholarship recipients
complete a follow-on service project in an effort to inspire other
students to pursue their own international journeys.
Wilson, a senior political science major, is participating in
the 2016 Winter Session study abroad program sponsored by the
departments of Human Development and Family Studies and Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management in South Africa.
With an emphasis on service learning, students will spend time volunteering in local orphanages.
“The opportunity to give back while also fulfilling my dream of
studying abroad is exactly why I chose this program,” Wilson said.
She will be creating a blog to document her experience, which she
will then incorporate as part of a spring workshop series for an
organization she helped establish, Sisters on the Move, which seeks to
empower young women of color.
After receiving emails about the Gilman Scholarship from UD’s Institute for Global Studies (IGS), Wilson attended an information session on the award.
“I have wanted to study abroad since I came on my first UD campus
tour. My tour guide described studying abroad as a staple of the UD
experience,” Wilson said. “During my junior year, I became very serious
about looking for scholarships that would help fund my experience
Wilson added, “I want to travel to every region of Africa before I
turn 30.” Well on her way to accomplishing this goal, Wilson previously
won a Plastino Scholars grant during her junior year, enabling her to conduct research in Ghana.
A senior political science and criminal justice double major, Gunter is using the Gilman Scholarship to study in China.
A first-generation college student, Gunter, who transferred to UD
from Delaware State University, has sought opportunities to become
highly involved on campus. He is vice president of the Black Student
Union, a member of the Black Cabinet and a mentor for a number of
Gunter currently works for the Delaware Department of Labor in a program titled Advancement through Pardons and Expungements
(APEX). Through APEX, Gunter works with people who have recently been
released from prison to apply for pardons and expungements, which enable
them to have greater access to jobs and other programs.
“My research focuses on incarcerated African American men and their re-entry back into society,” he said.
Gunter said he hopes to establish this program at UD by training students to assist in the processes.
By participating in internships for U.S. Sens. Christopher Coons and
Thomas Carper, Gunter has worked to maximize his college experience.
Until recently, he did not think that study abroad would be a part of
However, Gunter’s combined drive to study abroad and his current research motivated him to apply for the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice-sponsored Winter Session program in China, later receiving a Gilman Scholarship to help finance the program.
As he looks forward to traveling to China and learning about the
Chinese criminal justice system, Gunter said, “Primarily, my excitement
stems from my ability to have my western ways challenged in order to
help me refocus and better appreciate both my life and academic
Lindsay, an English and sociology
double major from the Bronx, New York, is using the Gilman Scholarship
to participate in the Department of English program in India this
winter. During the month-long experience, she will volunteer at local
schools, working with young Indian students.
While in India, Lindsay also plans to film documentary-style clips,
which she will call “Capturing Culture.” She will also encourage other
students in her program to create clips of approximately 60 seconds in
Lindsay said she is hopeful that “Capturing Culture” will emphasize
the importance of “letting people know that they have their own culture
that they need to tap into, and that everyone should have opportunity to
access and experience different cultures of the world.”
After her study abroad experience, Lindsay said she hopes to screen
the project at her former middle and high schools in the Bronx.
“I think that it is very important for us to be global citizens,
world learners and active participants in different worldly
activities,” said Lindsay. “Observing other cultures helps you
appreciate your own. And the more you get to know different cultures,
the more knowledge you obtain, both about yourself and how you fit into
the global landscape of things.”
Rouwhorst, a junior management information systems and operations management major, will take advantage of his Gilman Award during a spring 2016 study abroad program in Australia.
About the Gilman Scholarship Program
To learn more about each of the Gilman winners’ journeys or for more
details on the Gilman Scholarship Program, follow @UDGlobal on Instagram and Twitter or visit the Gilman program website.
About the Institute for Global Studies
The Institute for Global Studies
was created in 2009 to enhance the international dimensions of
teaching, research and outreach at the University of Delaware. IGS
provides leadership and support for programs and experiences that
contribute to the education of informed, skilled, open-minded citizens
of the world.
Best known for coordinating the University’s study abroad program,
IGS also awards scholarships and grants to faculty and students for a
number of global opportunities, and administers
internationally-recognized State Department-sponsored programs such as
the UD Fulbright Initiative, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Institute, Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders, and most recently the Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders on Women’s Leadership(SUSI-WL) program.
IGS sponsors such signature events as Global Month each fall and country-specific celebrations each spring.
IGS collaborates with other global partners on campus, including the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Confucius Institute and the Center for Global and Area Studies. In addition, IGS partners with Enrollment Management to coordinate the UD World Scholars Program.
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