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UGA ranks in top 10 of Gilman Scholarship-producing institutions

Monday, June 13, 2016

University of Georgia ranks in top 10 of Gilman Scholarship-producing institutions

Athens, Ga. – Twenty University of Georgia undergraduate students have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for summer-term studies or internships abroad. UGA is tied for fifth place among all U.S. institutions for the number of students receiving summer-term Gilman scholarships.

The Gilman Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is a nationally competitive, need-based scholarship that aims to diversify the students who study abroad and the countries and regions to which they travel. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 each, and students are encouraged to choose nontraditional study abroad destinations such as Armenia, Ghana, Morocco, Peru, South Korea and Thailand.

Scholarship recipients have the opportunity 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. These UGA students were selected during both the early decision and standard application cycles.

Eighteen students accepted the scholarships for this term. The winners, their hometowns, and their destination countries are:

  • Ashley Ayeni, Stone Mountain, Ga., Costa Rica
  • Karishma Dayani, Grayson, Ga., Spain
  • Aniya Hamilton, Tucker, Ga., Ghana
  • Aiden Holley, Nashville, Tenn., Armenia
  • Wanyi Jiang, Woodstock, Ga., Italy
  • Garrett Johnson, Dallas, Ga., Italy and Poland
  • Jeriann Jones, Decatur, Ga., South Korea
  • Janine Kfouri, Lawrenceville, Ga., Spain
  • Sang Lee, Columbus, Ga., South Korea
  • Waynie Lee, Suwanee, Ga., China
  • Peri Levey, Voorhees, N.J., Costa Rica
  • Nicole Manu, Loganville, Ga., Peru
  • Charles Orgbon, Dacula, Ga., Spain
  • Roma Parikh, Marietta, Ga., Morocco
  • Cynthia Ponir, Marietta, Ga., Peru
  • Jessica Sagastume, Athens, Ga., South Africa
  • Suyuan Tan, Marietta, Ga., Thailand
  • Ha Truong, Suwanee, Ga., Tanzania

“It is a thrill to work with the students on their applications and see their hard work come through,” said Laura Paris, education abroad adviser in the Office of International Education. “Our gratitude goes out to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program, the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education for supporting their study abroad plans.”

“For me, the Gilman Scholarship was the extra push that helped me decide to pursue the internship opportunity this summer,” said Aiden Holley. Holley, an international affairs major who works extensively with the Campus Kitchen at UGA, is using the award for his internship in Yerevan, Armenia. He will be working with the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development Foundation, a partner organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development, on projects related to improving economic outlooks for Armenian farmers.

Sagastume, who is majoring in international affairs and communication studies, will use the Gilman Scholarship to study politics and development in South Africa and interact with local children through a service-learning course.

“As a first-generation college student, studying abroad has been something I’ve always wanted to do, but wasn’t able to because of finances,” Sagastume said. “The Gilman Scholarship is giving me the opportunity to immerse myself in a different country, to experience hands-on the topics we are learning in class, and to make a difference, however small, in the lives of the people with whom I will be interacting.”

About the Office of International Education
The Office of International Education supports the University of Georgia's academic, research and outreach missions and strategic directions through the promotion of global learning experiences for students, the sponsorship and support of international students, scholars, faculty and staff, and the development of international research and instructional partnerships and collaborations. For more information, visit


Writer: Anagha Kadambi, 706-542-2900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact: Laura Paris, 706-542-2900, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.