Tag: Gilman Scholarship

Three Lawrentians awarded Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad

Three Lawrence University seniors are spending this fall studying abroad as recipients of a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Sam Bader, Milou de Meij and Christian Rodriguez were among 1,037 undergraduates nationally selected for the fall 2017 scholarship from among 2,859 applicants.

“I’m very proud that three Lawrence students have received these highly competitive awards,” said Laura Zuege, director of Lawrence’s off-campus programs. “The Gilman program aims are to diversity student access to study abroad and promote study in countries less commonly represented in study abroad. Lawrence students are contributing to the changing demographics of study abroad participants and it’s a thrill to work with them during this process. Meaningful study abroad experiences have been shown to contribute to academic success, increased graduation rates and greater employability after graduation. I’m eager to extend the reach of these outcomes.”

Sam Bader
Sam Bader ’18

Bader, an anthropology major from Hilo, Hawaii, leaves Sept. 4 for Madagascar. He will spend 12 weeks at Centre ValBio, a research station in Ranomafana National Park run by Stony Brook University. During the program, Bader will participant in field site visits to conduct research relevant to primate study, specifically lemurs, as well as biodiversity and ecosystem comparisons throughout Madagascar.

“Most of the time I will be in Ranomafana, but the program also includes two camping trips and a cross country trek towards the island’s west coast,” said Bader, who is traveling abroad for the first time. Being from Hawaii, he admits being on a tropical island will make it seem a bit more like home for him.

Opportunities to explore areas of his interest — biological anthropology, which involves primatology or aspects of environmental conservation — are especially exciting for Bader.

“I’m hoping to get some experience in these areas while conducting fieldwork in a different country and culture than I’ve experienced before. I’m looking forward to connecting the areas of anthropological research I have experience in, particularly in linguistic anthropology, cultural preservation, and music, in the independent study portion of this program. I’m also looking forward to interacting with the Malagasy people throughout my time there.”

Bader hopes others follow his lead and pursue the Gilman and other funding opportunities for study abroad.

“So many people see finances as a barrier and never get the chance to go abroad,” said Bader. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and hope more underrepresented students from Lawrence get the chance to do so as well in the future.”

Milou de Meij
Milou de Meij ’18

de Meij, a double degree candidate with majors in Russian studies and piano performance from Bozeman, Mont., will be in St. Petersburg, Russia until Dec. 23.

She is participating in the Bard-Smolny Program, a liberal arts college associated with St. Petersburg State University. Founded by New York’s Bard College, Smolny College was the first liberal arts college in Russia. de Meij is taking Russian as a Second Language courses as well as courses in Soviet music history, political science and Russian theater, all taught in Russian.

“My biggest goal is to improve my speaking skills in Russian,” said de Meij via email, who began her stay in St. Petersburg in mid-August. “I chose this program because I’m able to take actual college classes in Russian with Russian students at Russia’s first liberal arts college, an entire experience that is unusual for most study abroad programs. I’ve already seen my conversation skills growing. I’ve even successfully haggled for a sweater in the market.”

________________________________________
“The Gilman program aims are to diversity student access to study abroad and promote study in countries less commonly represented in study abroad. Lawrence students are contributing to the changing demographics of study abroad participants.”
Laura Zuege, director of Lawrence’s off-campus programs
_________________________________________

On the program, de Meij is living with “an amazing host mother” on Vasilievsky Island near the center of St. Petersburg.

“Her name is Rita and I call her Mama Rita,” said de Meij, who is the 75th student Rita has hosted. “She cooks delicious food and is always eager to talk and help me with language. She bought a stack of notecards to put around the apartment with new words I’m learning. I really, really like her.”

Christian Rodriguez
Christian Rodriguez ’18

Rodriquez, an economics and mathematics major from Chicago, will spend 16 weeks on the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program at College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focused on international students.

“This was the best program that fit with my interest and degree requirements,” said Rodriguez, who will live in an apartment in central Budapest while on the program. “Almost everybody I’ve talked to has said this is not a run-of-the-mill, go-abroad-and-have-fun program. It’s known for its large emphasis on academics and to challenge math majors. It is a bit intimidating, but I’m really excited for the diverse selection of mathematics courses offered.”

The program will be Rodriguez’ first experience outside the United States and it has generated a mix of nervousness and excitement.

“I’ll have almost nothing flying into Budapest. I’ll be a foreigner with no relation to anybody and have no familiarity with the place, culture, or language,” said Rodriguez.

“But there is a bright side. I intend to create a new ‘me’ while in Budapest. When I’m at home or at Lawrence, I’m stuck being a certain person, but I think Budapest will be a great opportunity to start from scratch. Through previous experiences, such as coming to Lawrence or through my summer internship at Michigan, I’ve been able to discover new parts about myself. Who knows what I’ll get from Budapest? Despite the challenge Budapest may impose, I intend to travel a lot and see more of the world.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. The program’s mission is to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program is named in honor of Benjamin Gilman, who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-2003. According to Gilman, a strong advocate of studying abroad programs, the scholarship “provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Ben Meunier awarded Gilman International Scholarship to study Arabic in Jordan

Sophomore Ben Meunier has been awarded a prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Ben-Meunier_newsblog
Ben Meunier ’17

Meunier, an anthropology major from Marshall, was one of 850 undergraduates nationally selected for the scholarship from among 2,700 applicants. The award will support studies abroad this fall (Aug. 23-Dec. 17) on the Middle East and Arabic Language Studies program in Amman, Jordan.

Administered by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest in partnership with AMIDEAST, the program immerses students in Arabic as well as the history and culture of the region.

Meunier, who his completing his first year of studying Arabic at Lawrence, sees the language skills as critical to his future plans.

“I expect to journey to the Middle East regularly during my professional career,” said Meunier, whose older brother Zechariah, a senior at Lawrence, received a Gilman International Scholarship in 2013. “I aspire to be a biblical archaeologist and learning Arabic is a necessary step if I hope to attain the fullest understanding of the region. Arabic, like Hebrew, is a Semitic language and this connection will only further help me study the Hebrew peoples.”

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs. The program’s mission is to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Lawrence Anthropology Professor Peter Peregrine said the Gilman Scholarship provides a perfect opportunity for Meunier to combine his Christian faith with his broader interests in the Abrahamic religions.

“Ben’s planned work in Jordan will allow him to develop his Arabic language skills while pursuing a greater understanding of Islam,” said Peregrine, Meunier’s academic advisor. “I have developed a great respect for Ben. He has not allowed his deep Christian beliefs to keep him from trying to understand and appreciate other faiths. He has used his interest in the Abrahamic religions to strengthen his understanding of his own Christian beliefs.”

Amman-Jorda_newsblogGilman Scholars have opportunities to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, which prepares them to be leaders in an increasingly global economy and interconnected world.

“I am looking forward to the whole experience,” said Meunier, who will live with a host family while on the program. “I am very excited about the homestay because I will be directly immersed in the culture of the Middle East. I am also looking forward to meeting my fellow classmates and living as a Middle Eastern college student.

“As an anthropology major, this program will be ideal, providing me firsthand experience in the field,” he added. “I also will be able explore some of my personal interests in religion, and the influx of refugees from Syria and other neighboring countries has created an anthropological research topic of great interest. Jordan truly is the perfect location for me.”

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program is named in honor of Benjamin Gilman, who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-2003. According to Gilman, a strong advocate of studying abroad programs, the scholarship “provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Environmental Passion Earns Lawrence Junior Zechariah Meunier $5,000 Udall Scholarship

 Zechariah Meunier is itching to fight the “continuing crusade” of conservation education.

Zech-Meunier_newsblog
Zechariah Meunier ’15

The Lawrence University junior from Marshall, Wis., will work toward those efforts after being named one of only 50 national recipients of a $5,000 Udall Scholarship. Meunier was selected from among 489 candidates throughout the country.

Awarded by the Arizona-based Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, the scholarships are awarded to students committed to careers related to the environment, Native American health care or tribal policy.

Stewart Udall, the former Secretary of the Interior, urged biologists to speak directly and frankly on what they know about evolving controversies that concern environmental problems. It is a message that resonates deeply with Meunier, a biology and environmental studies major.

An Advocate for Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation

“As an ecologist, I will strive throughout my professional career to blur the boundaries between research, education, and advocacy,” said Meunier, whose career plans include a Ph.D. and a teaching position at the collegiate level. “In our technoscientific age, it is crucial that scientists engage meaningfully in society.

“I plan to use my professorship as a platform to conduct research about community dynamics and human impact on ecosystems,” he added. “I want to educate students, the scientific community and the public through lectures, books, articles and field trips. I hope to be a prominent advocate for biodiversity and habitat conservation.”

Meunier has already begun spreading the environmental gospel as vice president and cofounder of Lawrence’s Bird and Nature Club and current co-president of the Ecology and Conservation Organization.

Last year, Meunier was awarded a $4,500 Gilman Scholarship through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He spent 11 weeks in Madagascar on a study-abroad program based at Centre ValBio, a research station in Ranomafana National Park where he observed and studied environmental issues related to rainforest degradation and conservation.

As a Udall Scholar, Meunier will travel to Tucson, Ariz., in early August to participate in a five-day Scholar Orientation, where he will meet with environmental policymakers and community leaders as well as other scholarship winners and program alumni.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating and networking with environmentally-minded students from all disciplines as we endeavor to find sustainable solutions,” Meunier said of his upcoming scholar orientation.

Meunier is Lawrence’s third Udall Scholarship recipient in as many years and the sixth in the program’s 17-year history. He joins Chelsea Johnson (2013), Hava Blair (2012), Stephen Rogness (2003), Gustavo Setrini (2001) and Jacob Brenner (1999) as Lawrence Udall Scholars.

Founded in 1992, the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is one of five federal foundations established by Congress. Among the missions of the foundation is to increase awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources, foster a greater recognition and understanding of the role of the environment, public lands and resources in the development of the United States and identify critical environmental issues.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Two Lawrence Students Awarded Gilman Scholarships for Off-Campus Study

Two Lawrence University students have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Senior Tammy Tran and junior Zechariah Meunier are among more than 850 American undergraduate students from 324 colleges and universities across the United States selected for the scholarship.

Tammy Tran ’14

Tran, an English and Chinese languages and literature major from New York City, will study abroad at Minzu University in Beijing on the Associated Colleges in China Intensive Chinese Language program this fall.

Meunier, a biology and environmental studies major from Marshall, will spend 11 weeks in Madagascar on a study-abroad program based at Centre ValBio, a research station in Ranomafana National Park.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.

Tran, who will spend three months in Beijing beginning in September, is looking forward to making her first to China, where her grandparents were born.

“Extending my studies in Chinese language and culture beyond the Lawrence classroom will enhance my liberal arts education and challenge me to grow into a more globally minded individual,” said Tran. “I am really excited to continue learning Mandarin by immersing myself in China and opening my mind to a culture that I have always felt deeply connected to through my family.”

In addition to classes, Meunier will complete an independent research project as part of his program, which includes a 10-day trip across the island. With his interests in ecology, botany and entomology, he is focusing on a project involving plant-insect interactions.

Zach Meunier ’15

“The Madagascar program is an ideal opportunity to further my interdisciplinary education and the Gilman Scholarship helps make this experience affordable,” said Meunier. “By studying the country’s tremendous biodiversity and participating in conservation initiatives, I will advance my life’s goals of researching and preserving the natural world.”

Gilman Scholars have opportunities to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies, making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.

Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program is named in honor of Benjamin Gilman, who represented New York in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973-2003. According to Gilman, a strong advocate of studying abroad programs, the scholarship “provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.