(Posted December 11, 2019)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – Four more Juniata College students have been awarded Benjamin Gilman Scholarships to study abroad during the 2019-2020 academic year. 

Grace Singer, a junior from Hellertown, Pa., Emily McGrath, a junior from North Plainfield, N.J., Charles Cadden, a junior from Glen Burnie, Md., and Lauren Eyler, a junior from Yoe, Pa., earned the scholarship for spring 2020. Singer will study in New Zealand, McGrath in Ecuador, Cadden in the United Kingdom, and Eyler in Ecuador. 

Singer, McGrath, Cadden, and Eyler join Caitlin Binner, a senior from Hanover, Zakira Watts, a senior from San Pedro, California, and Roxanne Jeffers, a senior from White Plains, New York,  in earning Gilman Scholarships for this academic year. 

“I’ve always loved to learn about different cultures and traditions. When I came to Juniata, I was very excited to hear about the many study abroad opportunities, so I made myself a promise to spend a semester abroad as part of my undergraduate experience,” Singer said. “Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, I will be able to do that without a financial burden.”

Singer will be studying bio-ethics and Maori society at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, while completing a follow-on project to encourage other students to study abroad regardless of financial need. 

Cadden, who will continue his studies in political philosophy at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, called the scholarship, “a dream come true.”

“I had serious reservations about whether or not I could actually go abroad,” he said. “With the Gilman, I don’t have to worry about that anymore. I can go abroad and have the experience of a lifetime.”

Cadden’s follow-on project will address the lack of information and representation for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“My goal is two-pronged: (1) to show that LGBTQ+ can study abroad and be successful, and (2) to be a source of inspiration for future LGBTQ+ student leaders to study abroad,” he said. “I will be working closely with the university’s LGBTQ+ advocacy organization to learn new strategies for successful advocacy.” 

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 scholarship 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 800 students were selected to receive Gilman Scholarships across the U.S.

Juniata’s Center for International Education actively recruits eligible students to make them aware of the Gilman scholarship and similar opportunities. The College’s community then sets to work, supporting students through the application process.

“There are two application cycles, one with a deadline in October and a second in March, depending on when a student will study, such as in winter, spring, summer, fall, or academic year,” said Caitlin Murphy, director of study abroad. “Students complete their application and submit a personal statement and follow-on service project proposal. They have to state how the Gilman Scholarship would benefit them personally and academically and describe how the location they have selected will help them achieve their goals.”

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

“It’s a national award and our students compete with those from colleges of all sizes from across the nation. Every year, on average, Juniata has five or six Gilman awardees,” Murphy said. “Juniata does very well and has for quite a while. This is something to be very proud of.”

In the 2019-20 academic year, 30 percent of students will study abroad, according to the College’s Center for International Education. They can take advantage of the College’s partnerships with 40 programs in 25 countries, on every continent except Antarctica.

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