January 10 2022
Five Susquehanna University students have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International University, enabling them to study in Cyprus, England, Ireland and Spain.
Gilman Susquehanna scholars are:
- Jurnee Coker ’23, a psychologist with a minor in Africana Studies from Danbury, Connecticut, will study psychological sciences and culture at the University of Cyprus.
- Chelsey Forrester ’23, a psychologist with a minor in sociology from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, will study psychology at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus.
- Gracie Orosco ’23, a Public Relations and Strategic Communications major with minors in Professional Sales and Marketing from Ringtown, Pennsylvania, will study Irish Business and Studies at the National University of Ireland Galway.
- Michael Blauecki’s 23, a finance major from Exton, Pennsylvania, will be attending Susquehanna’s Sigmund Weis School of Business in London.
- Abigail Reist ’23, a Marketing major with minors in Professional Sales and Legal Studies from Jackson, New Jersey, will study Spanish language and culture in Barcelona, Spain, via the Barcelona Study Abroad Experience.
Benjamin A. Scholarship Gilman International of the US Department of State is a scholarship program that enables qualified American students with limited financial resources to study or train abroad, thereby acquiring the skills necessary for our national security and economic prosperity. The Institute of International Education has run the program since its inception in 2001. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply to cover the costs of their study abroad or internship program.
Of the total applicants across the country, only 25% of those applying to the semester program receive an award. Over 40 Susquehanna students have received the scholarship since 2015. The university has a program dedicated to identifying students and guiding them through the application process for Gilman and other prestigious scholarships.
Scholarship recipients gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies – making them better prepared to take on leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Students to study in their majors
Both study psychology Coker and Forrester are eager to learn more about how mental health is treated in different cultures.
“I want to be a child therapist,” Forrester said. “Being able to understand how different cultures view mental health and how these values and norms contribute to different treatment techniques will give me a better understanding of how to relate to people.”
“I want to become a clinical psychologist and this program focuses on neuroscience and psychological science,” Coker said. “My focus in my future career will be on how culture affects one’s view of therapy and counseling.”
In addition to the coursework, Rist will also train with the Association of Mediterranean Women Business Organizations.
“I hope to gain experience in various aspects of business, as well as an understanding of how cultural differences affect business practices,” said Rist. “I hope this experience will allow me to become more appreciative of diverse cultures and teach me how to work concurrently with those whose views differ from mine.”
Orosco and Plawecki both look to immerse themselves in the particular cultures in which they will study.
“I wanted to pursue the Gilman Prize to help with my studies and understanding of foreign cultural experiences,” Blawicki said. “I hope to achieve these things by applying myself to religious services while abroad and by joining a non-profit organization focused on cultural heritage.”
“I am very excited to be immersed in Irish culture,” said Orosco. “I hope this experience abroad will help show future employers that I am a good person with knowledge of other parts of the world.”