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.
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.
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.
“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.