(Posted August 17, 2017)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Four Juniata College students have received Gilman Scholarships to study abroad during the upcoming school year. Khoreen Eccleston, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will study in Japan; Brody Greenleaf, of Roaring Spring, Pa., will study in Spain; Rina Kirsch, of Clayton, Calif., will study in Russia; and Nichole Leiby, of Spring Mills, Pa., will study in Australia.

The Gilman Scholarships, named for Benjamin Gilman, a Republican U.S. Representative from New York, offer grants for undergraduate students of limited financial means to study abroad. Scholarships of up to $5,000 are awarded every academic year. The program encourages students to choose non-traditional destinations for their study-abroad experience. For this cycle, 80 selection panelists from colleges and universities across the nation met at IIE offices in Washington D.C., New York, Houston, and San Francisco, to review nearly 2,900 applications.

More than 1,000 outstanding students were selected to receive scholarships, nearly 100 more than were selected in the fall 2016 term. This is also Juniata’s most successful application period to date. To accomplish this new record, Juniata’s Center for International Education actively recruits eligible students to make them aware of the Gilman opportunities. The College’s community then sets to work, supporting students through the application process.

“We reach out to the students to attend a workshop with our office,” says Kati Csoman, dean of international education at Juniata. “We then offer to review their essays—sometimes multiple versions—to be sure they are addressing the grant application qualifications.”

Students are identified based on their eligibility for Pell Grants, which are federal grants for undergraduate students with financial need.

"Study abroad directly supports the College's mission to empower our students to develop the skills, knowledge and values that lead to a fulfilling life of service and ethical leadership in the global community," says Kati Csoman, dean of international education.

“Juniata’s Student Financial Planning Office is so supportive of helping facilitate the best possible financial planning so that students can study abroad,” Csoman adds.

At Juniata, more than 40 percent of the graduating class has studied abroad, according to the College’s Center for International Education. They can take advantage of the College’s partnerships with 47 programs in 18 countries, on every continent except Antartica.

“I am extremely excited to see a new part of the world, meet new people and learn Spain’s culture,” Greenleaf says of his upcoming trip.

Csoman points out that Juniata a community committed to helping all students to study abroad, saying, “Here, faculty and staff are actively engaged in and support internationalization so that students can take courses abroad that will help them progress towards degree requirements. This extends from initial advising and application through reentry as students integrate study abroad with their career goals.”

In addition to assisting students in applying for external financial aid, the College has also created internal resources to ensure students can study in other countries. Both the Chumpol Experiential Fund, named for alumnus Chumpol Phornprapha ’65, and the Thomas R. Kepple Jr. International Opportunities Endowment exist solely to make study abroad more financially feasible for students.

“Study abroad directly supports the College’s mission to empower our students to develop the skills, knowledge and values that lead to a fulfilling life of service and ethical leadership in the global community,” Csoman concludes.

For additional information about Juniata College study abroad opportunities, visit www.juniata.edu/international.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.