Three UMBC students have been selected to receive prestigious Boren and Gilman scholarships to study abroad this summer. The programs provide recipients with financial support to pursue international travel and immerse themselves in a new culture and language, with an eye toward their future careers.
“We know from research that studying abroad is among the most positive and impactful experiences a student can undertake while in college. Learning to function in an unfamiliar environment, developing an understanding of another culture, and acquiring proficiency in a foreign language all contribute greatly toward academic and career development,” says David Di Maria, associate vice provost for international education.
The Boren Scholarship, a National Security Education Program initiative, provides students with unique opportunities to study languages that are important to national security, but are not commonly taught in schools. Boren Scholars commit to federal government jobs related to national security for at least one year after graduating.
This year, Cody Thomas ‘18, chemical engineering, and modern languages, linguistics and intercultural communication, received the Boren Scholarship for International Study. He will travel to Kazakhstan to study the Russian language at Nazarbayev University, through a program hosted by the University of Arizona.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship provides funding to support students studying or completing internships abroad during summer- or semester-long programs, with the goal of “internationalizing their outlook and better preparing them to thrive in the global economy.” The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education support the Gilman Scholarship.
Sungheum Jo ‘19, biology, and Danielle White ‘19, chemical engineering, are two of about 1,200 students from across the United States who will participate in the Gilman Scholarship Program. Jo will study in Barcelona as part of UMBC’s faculty-led program in Spain, and White will be a participant in UMBC’s faculty-led program in Barranquilla, Colombia.
“The prestigious Boren and Gilman scholarships provide talented students with generous financial awards and unique pathways to rewarding careers with the federal government,” says Di Maria. “We are very proud of this year’s recipients and look forward to following their continued achievements.”
This year’s awards continue UMBC’s strong tradition of connecting students with international learning opportunities through competitive scholarship programs. During the 2016 – 17 year, UMBC was one of the top institutions of its size in number of Gilman Scholarships awarded. Barellie Thompson ‘17, sociology, traveled to Ghana; Danielle McGrogan ‘17, global studies, traveled to Rwanda; Emily Parks ‘18, English, traveled to India; Selam Kubrom ‘18, global studies, traveled to Costa Rica; and William Early ‘19, information systems, traveled to Japan.
Banner image: The flags in the Commons. All photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.