Top producer of Gilman scholars

This International Education Week (November 15–19, 2021), Mount Holyoke College celebrates being a top producer of Gilman scholars over the past 20 years.

By Christian Feuerstein

Mount Holyoke College was recognized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for having produced the most Gilman recipients over the past 20 years in the small institution category.

Sixty-nine students from Mount Holyoke College have received Gilman awards since 2001.

“It is an honor to be a part of the strong legacy of supporting Mount Holyoke students to explore their academic areas of study, personal goals and professional interests, while keeping in mind the financial realities that might prevent some students from pursuing opportunities abroad,” said April Stroud ’99, director of study abroad. “The Gilman Scholarship Program aligns with Mount Holyoke’s mission to ‘provide an intellectually adventurous education’ and prepare students ‘for lives of thoughtful, effective and purposeful engagement in the world.’ Combined with the generous financial support of alums through the College’s need-based Laurel Fellowships program, the Gilman Scholarship Program helps to broaden participation in study abroad and deepen students’ understanding of themselves and the world.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is proud to announce the 20-year anniversary of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and its Top Producing Institutions over the past 20 years. Throughout its 20-year history, the Department of State’s Gilman Program has reshaped study abroad to make it more accessible and inclusive for American students by providing scholarships to outstanding U.S. undergraduate students who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars from all U.S. states, Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories have studied or interned in more than 155 countries around the globe.   

Joanne Picard, who was the dean of international studies until 2017, was thrilled by the award. “I worked with Gilman applicants from the inception of the program until the fall of 2017, and I have to say, it was always a pleasure,” she said. “I was impressed by the challenges students had overcome, the creativity of their service projects and their eagerness to encourage and assist other students in pursuing their dreams for studying abroad. This distinction is well earned, reflecting as it does the determination of so many students and the commitment of the College to support them.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Ethan Rosenzweig virtually announced the U.S. colleges and universities that have sent the most Gilman Scholars abroad over the past 2 decades. These institutions were recognized for their support of equity, diversity and accessibility in study abroad for American students through the Gilman Program. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Institute of International Education, compiles the lists, which are organized by institution size and degree-awarding category.

Based on 20 years of data, the top 20 institutions in four categories are being honored: small, medium and large institutions and associate-awarding institutions. Colleges and universities in 27 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, are represented, as well as 33 minority-serving institutions. 

As the recent Department of State and Department of Education Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education noted, “All Americans need to be equipped with global and cultural competencies to navigate the ever-changing landscapes of education, international business, scientific discovery and innovation, and the global economy.”

The Gilman competition is administered at Mount Holyoke College through the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives

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