Three Westminster Students Awarded Prestigious Gilman Scholarship
February 21, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College is pleased to announce three undergraduate students received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad in 2020. Samantha Soto, Brendan Sudberry and Samantha Dominguez are among less than 400 U.S. students selected from 150 universities for the scholarship.
“This year we had our largest group of applicants for Gilman ever,” said Alicia Cunningham-Bryant Ph.D., assistant professor in Westminster’s Honors College and director of fellowship advising. “We are so proud of our winners — and all of our applicants. They worked incredibly hard to tell their stories and explain how study abroad ties into their dreams.”
The congressionally funded Gilman program broadens the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduate Pell Grant recipients who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise study abroad. Since the program’s establishment in 2001, over 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent more than 31,000 Gilman scholars who represent the rich diversity of the United States to 151 countries around the globe.
“The application process can be daunting. Westminster has an incredible team of faculty and staff working to support students through the entire process, and helping students identify opportunities, write compelling essays and be brave enough to click submit,” said Cunningham-Bryant.
This year’s awardees include:
- Samantha Dominguez (’20, Legacy Scholar): Marketing; Indonesia
- Brendan Sudberry (’22): Honors/Communications: Public Relations/Image Management; India
- Samantha Sotto (’21): Nursing; Thailand
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to study business, culture and entrepreneurship in Bali, Indonesia,” said Samantha Dominguez, Westminster marketing major. “Thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, I am able to accept this challenge as a first-time learner and see the positive impacts studying abroad will have in my future endeavors.”
According to the USA Study Abroad office at the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman program aims to make study abroad, and its career advantages, more accessible and inclusive for American students. The program particularly focuses on supporting first-generation college students, students in the STEM fields, ethnic and racial minority students, students with disabilities, students who are veterans, students attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions and other populations underrepresented in study abroad, as well as broadening the destinations where scholars study or intern.
The Gilman program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
About the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA):
Their mission is to build relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports, professional and private exchanges, as well as public-private partnerships and mentoring programs. These exchange programs improve foreign relations and strengthen the national security of the United States. ECA programs, funding and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports and professional exchanges. For more information about ECA programs, initiatives and achievements, visit eca.state.gov.
About the Institute of International Education (http://www.iie.org/):
The IIE works with policymakers, educators and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 18 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,300 member institutions.
Westminster is a private, independent, and comprehensive college in Salt Lake City, Utah. Students experience the liberal arts blended with professional programs in an atmosphere dedicated to civic engagement. With the goal of enabling its graduates to live vibrant, just, and successful lives, Westminster provides transformational learning experiences for both undergraduate and graduate students in a truly student-centered environment. Faculty focus on teaching, learning, and developing distinctive, innovative programs, while students thrive on Westminster’s urban Sugar House campus within minutes of the Rocky Mountains.