University of Delaware
Four students won Gilman Scholarships for study abroad. Pictured is Catherine Zimmerman. Other students who won scholarships are Danielle Levredge (next image), Sharnita James and Jillian Farley.

Gilman Scholarship winners

Four UD students win Gilman Scholarships for study abroad


1:53 p.m., Dec. 18, 2012--Four University of Delaware undergraduates have won Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State to support their study abroad in locales from Morocco to China during UD’s upcoming Winter Session.

They include Jillian Farley, a senior from Newark, Del., majoring in environmental studies with a minor in geography; Sharnita James, a senior from Washington, D.C., majoring in mechanical engineering with minors in Chinese and global enterprise technologies; Danielle Levredge, a junior from Laurel, Del., majoring in public policy with a minor in wildlife conservation; and Catherine Zimmerman, a sophomore Honors Program student from Elverson, Pa., majoring in international relations, with a specialty in the Middle East region.

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The Gilman Scholarship Program is designed to broaden the student population that studies abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program encourages students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Award recipients are selected through a competitive process. Over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded this academic year, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Levredge said she considers her upcoming study abroad in Morocco, led by faculty director Audrey Helfman, associate professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration and focusing on leadership, an important asset to her future success.

“The Moroccan study abroad program will be a wonderful asset for my eventual career in public policy, which I eventually hope to turn into international relations,” Levredge said. “This program will be a life changer and a pivotal point in my all-around college experience and personal growth.”

Farley, a self-described “non-traditional student with significant workforce experience,” will travel to Fiji, which she once heard described in a song lyric as “the most magical place in the world.”

However, as part of her research on palm oil for a recent UD project, Farley said she was appalled at how pristine environments like Fiji are being changed.

The senior is now set to go on a UD study abroad program led by faculty directors Lusiana Browning and Sophia Harmes focusing on geography as a social science. The group will explore the impact of deforestation and other development activities on globalization and cultural diversity, as well as the threat of climate change on coastal regions.

“I chose to be an environmental studies major because I want to protect the natural world,” Farley said. “Seeing and experiencing part of the environment I’m trying to protect will stick with me in a way not even the best research project could.”

For more information about the Gilman Scholarships, visit the website. The online application for fall 2013 opens in mid-January. For UD-specific questions, contact Lisa Chieffo, associate director of study abroad, at the Institute for Global Studies.

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