UConn produces a record 17 all-time Gilman Scholars


UConn produced 17 Gilman Scholars for the March 2022 application cycle, an all-time high for the University.

The Gilman Fellowship is funded by Congress through the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. The funding supports expanding student participation in study abroad programs and encourages travel to various locations around the world, as well as intensive language study and internships.

“We are thrilled to see our on-campus outreach efforts and student counseling for the Gilman Scholarship translate to such success,” says Valerie Jenkelunas, Experiential Global Learning (EGL) Advisor and Community Liaison Specialist. “We had a total of 21 students applying to UConn, and 17 were chosen for awards between $3,000 and $5,000. This exceeds the statistical average of nationally awarded candidates”

With over 13,000 applicants from over 450 colleges each year, the Gilman Scholars Program is a highly competitive scholarship. About one in four applicants is selected to receive the scholarship.

Each Gilman scholar is also required to complete a service project upon returning from study abroad to their home campus or community, with the goal of sharing the value of study abroad participation and promote the scholarship to potential students. Requests are reviewed taking into account the proposed tracking service project.

Eligibility for the Gilman Scholarship requires that undergraduate students be Pell Scholarship-eligible U.S. citizens who plan to study abroad for college credit, in a program approved by their institution. ‘origin. Supporting students with high financial need provides access to students who are historically underrepresented in study abroad, including first-generation students, STEM students, ethnic minority students, college students disabilities, LGBTQ+ students and others who face barriers to participation.

The following UConn students have been selected as Gilman Scholars and they are listed with their proposed tracking service project:

Marissa White ’25 (NUR)a nursing major from Waterbury who will present at student clubs and at campus events, including Bound Day.

Grace Coburn ’23 (CLAS)a Spanish major from West Hartford, she will work with the Commuter Service Office to educate students on the benefits of participating in a short-term program and the strategy for funding housing and board while studying abroad .

Suleymar Dominguez ’23 (CLAS), a major in Human Development and Family Sciences from Waterbury, who will use her role in admissions by organizing visits to UConn Waterbury to raise awareness of Experiential Global Learning (EGL) programs as a student at the regional campus. She plans to host a panel of Gilman students, present at open house events, and create a presentation for human development and family science majors.

Gail Boahen ’24 (CLAS), a psychology and anthropology student from Manchester, who will create a video blog for anthropology students documenting her program experience in Mauritius. She will also serve as an EGL Ambassador for the African American Cultural Center on campus.

Lizzette Irizarry ’23 (CLAS), a major in Latin American and Latin American studies from Groton, who will write a thesis on her experience in the Collective Action for Social and Migrant Justice program in the Borderlands, to share with Latinx groups on campus.

Madeline Cortes-Gomez ’23 (BUS), a Marketing Management major from Norwalk, which will collaborate with EGL and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center (PRLACC) on a student presentation.

Soribel Torres-Jimenez ’23 (ED), a Bilingual Elementary Education major from Waterbury, which will introduce English language learners and the curriculum for pre-education majors at UConn. She will also partner with a teacher to introduce bilingual education students and kindergarten students through the organization Jump Start.

Dylan Peters ’23 (BUS), a finance major from Somers, NY, who will use written and video content from her overseas experience to introduce First Year Experience students.

Guerlina Philogene ’24 (BUS & CLAS), a specialist in management information systems and German studies from Stamford, who will create a video blog in German with English subtitles presenting events and daily life in Germany to integrate into the presentations of the EGL and the German clubs.

Valeria Rose Chavez ’23 (CLAS), a psychological science major from Norwalk, which will work with her former high school to introduce students to the Center for Youth Leadership, a social activism organization.

David Salazar ’25 (ACES), an exploratory business major from Norwalk, which will focus on introducing first-generation students through organizations and clubs on the Storrs campus.

Viaivannie Vargas-Negron ’24 (CAHNR), a major in Natural Resources and Environment from Willimantic, who will present to the Pre-Vet Club, First Generation Society, and PRLACC.

Jerome Jacobs ’23 (CAHNR), a public health and health promotion major from Vernon, which will create a vlog for honors and Pell Grant eligible students.

Rose Pacik-Nelson ’23 (CLAS), a physiology, neurobiology, and cognitive science major from the Bronx, NY, who will present to students at EO Smith High School and work with EGL and the Office of Financial Aid to provide comprehensive funding participation information.

Sydney Seldon ’25 (CAHNR), an environmental science major from Fort Hood, Texas who will return to her high school and present to students in the Advancement Through Individual Determination program.

Geraldine Uribe ’23 (CLAS), a political science and urban studies major from Stamford, which will introduce students to the First Generation Society and First Generation Honors Society, as well as office hours to support students who wish to apply to EGL programs at the Afro-African Cultural Center American.

Samantha Valle ’23 (CLAS), a Political Science and Women’s Studies major from Waterbury, who will present in her classes and plans to work with EGL to promote student awareness through social media platforms.


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