As a college student, the opportunity to study abroad is both educational and life changing.
This summer and fall, seven Missouri State University students will head overseas to deepen their knowledge and expand their worldview. This opportunity is made possible by the Gilman Scholarship Program from the U.S. Department of State.
According to Elizabeth Strong, director of Missouri State’s office of education abroad, the competitive Gilman Scholarship enables American students to gain proficiency in diverse languages and cultures, skills that are critically important to their academic and career development.
“Our students’ participation in this program directly aligns with Missouri State’s public affairs mission,” Strong said. “They will 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.”
The students and their programs
Five of the students will head to Zambia this summer. They will participate in the MSU education abroad research program with Dr. Mary Willis, department head of sociology and anthropology.
The students are:
- Ahmed Amjed, a first-generation college student majoring in exercise and movement science – he will explore health-related areas.
- Sarah Elliott, a first-generation college student majoring in early childhood education – she will study learning barriers in Zambian and American schools.
- Fernando Luis Rodriquez Lopez, a first-generation college student and pre-med biologymajor – he will focus on strengthening his skills in the health professions.
- Domique Lowe, afine arts major with a sociology minor and an emphasis on health equity – she will work with school children in Zambia to learn about dental health and hygiene practices using dramatic expression.
- McKennzee Newton, a first-generation college student majoring in anthropology and minoring in communication – she will study the importance of corn in the diets of Zambians.
Another two students, Josiah Jackson and Elida Orozco-Sanchez will spend time in Israel (summer) and Japan (fall), respectively.
Jackson, a political science major, wants to observe the differences in equality and accessibility between cultures. He also hopes to experience firsthand and understand the different historical perspectives of Middle Eastern cultures.
A first-generation Mexican American and college student, Orozco-Sanchez is majoring in management with minors in Japanese and marketing. Her Japanese studies have revealed remarkable similarities between the Japanese and Mexican cultures. She wants to further explore the Japanese language and culture during her semester abroad.
About the Gilman Scholarship Program
The Gilman Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.
The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical-need languages.