USF World News

USF Leads the Nation With 13 Gilman Scholars for the Summer Early Decision Application Cycle

Peter Kivuva, Gilman Scholar

Peter Kivuva, 2017 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Recipient

TAMPA, Fla. (January 15, 2019) - Thirteen University of South Florida (USF) students were selected during the Summer Early Decision application cycle to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the summer of 2019. Of the 152 colleges and universities represented during the application cycle, USF was the leading producer of Gilman scholars.

The Gilman Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides undergraduate Pell Grant recipients with up to $5,000 to apply to their study abroad expenses. The program strives to encourage American students to develop proficiency in diverse languages and cultures that are critical to their academic and career development.

Nicole Kantchev, a freshman majoring in world languages and cultures, will be traveling to Costa Rica this summer with the support of the Gilman Scholarship. “Studying abroad can be difficult for a number of reasons,” says Kantchev. “But one of the main deterrents for students, myself included, is the cost.”

According to Heidi Manley, the Chief of USA Study Abroad at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman Program aspires to make study abroad more accessible and inclusive for students. “These diverse American students gain critical skills overseas that expand their career options and ability to make an impact in their home communities,” says Manley.

Jae Earing, Gilman Schoar

Jae Earing, 2017 Gilman Scholarship Recipien

Kantchev also emphasizes the impact of education abroad, especially when studying a foreign language. “Regardless of how much you hear about cultures and listen to languages, you never truly comprehend what you have been studying until you go and experience it for yourself. Studying abroad helps students put all of the pieces together and gain a much fuller understanding of their studies and the world as a whole.”

Since its inception in 2001, the program has sent more than 28,000 Gilman scholars from over 1,300 U.S. institutions to 145 countries around the world. The Gilman Program primarily focuses on supporting populations that are typically underrepresented in study abroad including first-generation college students, students in the STEM fields, ethnic and racial minority students, students with disabilities, students who are veterans, and students attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions.

“Scholarships like Gilman give students a chance to afford the level of education they so deeply desire without having to sacrifice their financial well-being,” says Kantchev. “I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to apply and receive the award as it has eased my mind about the affordability of my program.”

Congratulations to the following scholarship recipients who will be studying in six countries across three continents:

  • Ashley Sizemore, France, Psychology
  • Bridget Godsil, England, Nursing
  • Christy Sorto, Costa Rica, Global Business
  • Chyenne Tran, Germany, Health Sciences
  • Dajah Burks, Italy, Behavioral Healthcare
  • Derryk Theberge, Korea, Computer Science
  • Jaqueena Cousin, Italy, Biomedical Sciences
  • Julian Cruz, Italy, Chemistry
  • Michael Cummings, Italy, Biology
  • Niatikqua Brooks, France, Theatre
  • Nicole Kantchev, Costa Rica, World Languages
  • Olivia Sciandra, Costa Rica, Environmental Science
  • Pei Lin, Italy, Health Sciences

In addition to its Gilman scholars, USF was also recognized as the number one institution in Florida and the ninth in the nation for Pell Grant student success with a 68 percent six-year graduation rate. 

The national 2019 Gilman Scholarship deadline for summer and fall programs is March 5, 2019. USF’s Office of National Scholars (ONS) intent to apply deadline is February 6, 2019. ONS identifies, recruits, and mentors high achieving students to apply for national merit scholarships across all disciplines. Please visit the ONS website or email the Gilman advisors for more information.