10 Wildcats Chosen To Study Abroad With Gilman Scholarship


LEXINGTON, Kentucky (August 23, 2022) Ten Kentucky universities have received Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to support their overseas education goals.

The Gilman Scholarship supports students who have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad, including but not limited to students with high financial need, community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as science and engineering, students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. and students with disabilities. Winners are chosen through a competitive selection process and must use the prize – ranging from $100 to $5,000 – to cover tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and tickets international planes.

The congressional funded scholarship is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

UK Gilman Scholarship recipients include:

  • Alexis Farmer, a senior anthropologist from Alexandria, Louisiana, to study in Thailand;
  • Kaitlyn Johnson, a Spanish senior from Prestonsburg, Kentucky, to study in Costa Rica;
  • Brianna Mattingly, Senior Architect and Fellow of Lewis Honors College in Lebanon, Kentucky, to study in Italy;
  • Leanna McCarty, a senior anthropology and linguistics from Morehead, Kentucky, to study in Romania;
  • Mariah Ransom, a biology student from Paris, Kentucky, who will study in Italy;
  • Ryan Sistrunk, an architecture senior from Louisville, Kentucky, to study in Argentina;
  • Rebecca Stalcup, a graduate in human health sciences from St. Louis County, Missouri, to study in Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands; and
  • Daniela Torres-Gomez, a second-year business management student from Lexington, to study in the UK.

Two of the UK recipients chose to remain anonymous.

Alexis Farmer, who is pursuing a minor in Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures/Chinese Studies in addition to her degree in Anthropology, is advancing her language skills through the Gilman.

“This scholarship will allow me to… continue my acquisition of the Chinese language. Thailand has many native Chinese speakers. Being able to study Chinese in Thailand and have daily access to classes, local speakers, and study materials in my target language will help me become more proficient in using Mandarin in the workplace after I graduate. . Studying abroad will also allow me to network with locals and professors to gain experience in my field.

In the UK, Farmer has been active in the UK Anthropology Club and the Chinese Club and is a UK CLIME Ambassador. This summer, she worked at the Webb Museum of Anthropology and helped co-author research with mentors Elena Sesma, Ph.D., assistant professor of anthropology, and Ann Kingsolver, Ph.D., professor of anthropology. , published in a special issue of Anthropologue du Sud. Farmer also includes Juliana McDonald, Ph.D., associate professor of anthropology; Sihui Ke, Ph.D., assistant professor of second language acquisition; and Pat Whitlow, Ph.D., director of the UK’s Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, as influential in her studies.

After graduating, Farmer plans to pursue a master’s degree in anthropology and research opportunities overseas.

Kaitlyn Johnson is minoring in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies in addition to her Spanish Language and Linguistic major. She believes the Gilman offers a variety of opportunities to study abroad, network internationally, and pursue future opportunities like Fulbright or government employment.

Passionate about Latin American culture, Johnson has been active in researching the implications of climate change in the region and the impact of colonization on the African diaspora in the Dominican Republic. She thanks Jennifer Garlin, her senior academic adviser, for being instrumental in her studies during her stay in the UK.

After her debut, Johnson hopes to teach English abroad and then return to the United States to earn her master’s and doctorate in Latin American studies. His career plan is to become a researcher and professor.

Former College of Design Ambassador Brianna Mattingly is pursuing a certificate in historic preservation in addition to her degree in architecture. In addition to working overseas with professors from both fields, she is thrilled with the connections made through the Gilman Fellowship.

“Getting this award not only gives me the chance to study abroad with funding, but also lots of connections for the future. The Gilman Scholarship has a network of recipients and alumni, and they support each other with respect to future scholarships and careers,” Mattingly explained. “This scholarship not only means travel and networking opportunities, but also memories that I will only have once with all my friends in a whole new country.”

Several architecture professors have influenced Mattingly since first year, including Jason Scroggin, MS, associate professor, and Jordan Hines, M.Arch., architecture instructor, as well as members of the NOMI Design team at Lexington.

“Every College of Design professor becomes your friend after a while just because of the community we have. I should thank Sipera Simons, who has the most positive attitude every day, and without fail I can go and talk to them about anything I need at any time of the day.

After graduation, Mattingly will pursue a master’s degree in architecture and a graduate certificate in historic preservation.

Leanna McCarty, who is pursuing degrees in linguistics and anthropology, used the Gilman to attend the 2022 Juvenile Osteology Research Workshop in preparation for graduate school. “These experiences will stay with me for the rest of my life,” she said.

In the UK, McCarty researched with Renee Bonzani, Ph.D., a lecturer in anthropology, on stable isotope analysis of the bones of deer and dogs to analyze whether they ate corn during certain periods of time. .

McCarty credits Sesma, along with assistant professors of anthropology Heather Worne, Ph.D., and Celise Chilcote-Fricker, Ph.D., for impacting the academic path she chose to guide her through. university selections for graduate studies, programs to apply and daily class questions. “I wouldn’t be where I am, or able to accept this scholarship, without them.”

Upon completion of her degree, McCarty plans to pursue a master’s degree in forensics or biological anthropology and linguistics. “I could even get my doctorate. also in subjects. I’ll never stop wanting to know more, and who’s to say I have to stop? »

Architecture student Ryan Sistrunk will use his Gilman to gain experience to one day realize his passion for “transforming cities into better spaces and creating a new way of life for people”.

A participant in the NOMAS and ACE mentorship program, Sistrunk credits AÄ MÄ studio partner Maynard Leon and Liz Swanson, M. Arch., associate professor of architecture, as the best influences on his studies.

Sistrunk plans to attend graduate school after debut.

Gilman Scholar Rebecca Stalcup studied sex trafficking with her funding this summer. “I spent the first three weeks in Stockholm, Sweden, studying human trafficking. Then I spent two weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a week-long study trip to Amsterdam to study prostitution and the sex trade.

A former officer of the Human Health Sciences Student Organization of the United Kingdom, Stalcup credits Christy Brady, Ph.D., assistant professor of human health sciences, and Ok-Kyong Park-Sarge, Ph.D. , associate professor of physiology in the College of Medicine, as having influenced his decision to study abroad and pursue other academic endeavors.

Upon completion of her degree, Stalcup’s goal is to attend the UK College of Medicine.

“My goal is to help those who have been negatively impacted due to marginalization and bring their voice to the forefront of medicine. I hope to be an advocate for these patients and help the medical community see the needs of certain populations, particularly women’s health care.

Daniela Torres-Gomez is using her Gilman Fellowship in the UK to enhance her global leadership skills to one day prepare her for her business endeavors.

“I have a dream of being CEO of my own restaurant franchise in the near future,” said Torres-Gomez, whose family business and Mexican culture inspired her. “My studies will help me achieve this goal and share my culinary art as well as my leadership expertise with the world.”

Torres-Gomez has speaker Conrad Davies; Laurence Tuccori, Advisor and Director of Exchange & Direct Programs at the UK International Center; and Deirdra Reber, Ph.D., associate professor of Latin American culture, as major influences on her time in the UK.

After her debut, Torres-Gomez plans to pursue an MBA at the UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards helps current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni to apply for internships, external scholarships and scholarships funded by sources (such as a non-governmental foundation or a government agency) outside the university. These awards honor outstanding students across the country. The next deadline for the Gilman Scholarship is October 6. Students interested in these opportunities are encouraged to contact the office well before the scholarship deadline.

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