Two Auburn University students, Lexi McGrew and Anna Kate Gruwell, have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for study-abroad opportunities.
The nationally competitive scholarship program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies around the world.
McGrew is an Honors College sophomore in the College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, McGrew is majoring in wildlife ecology and management with a minor in Spanish. She was awarded a scholarship to study in Costa Rica.
“I am so thankful to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the opportunity to study abroad and develop my professional education and experiences,” McGrew said. “Personally, this opportunity has made it possible to expand my cultural awareness and ecological understanding of the world around me.”
Gruwell is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts. Originally from Winfield, Alabama, Gruwell is majoring in professional flight with a minor in business. She was awarded a scholarship to study in Rome, as well as Madrid.
“The Gilman Scholarship encourages individuals with all kinds of different backgrounds to go out into the world and make a difference,” Gruwell said. “This award is not only allowing me to broaden my perspectives, but also to grow in ways I never thought I could.”
Tiffany Sippial, director of the Honors College, congratulated the students for being named Gilman Scholars.
“This award is a wonderful opportunity for exceptional students like Lexi and Anna to expand their intellectual horizons through an immersive foreign educational experience,” Sippial said. “The Gilman award also encourages students to place their newly acquired knowledge and skills in service to others upon their return to the U.S. I know that Lexi and Anna are precisely the kind of students who will uphold that vision. We are so proud and excited for them both.”
Auburn Abroad, the university's study abroad program, guides students through the process of applying for the scholarship, according to Director Deborah Weiss.
“This was another banner year for the Gilman award,” Weiss said. “Students are excited about going abroad after the past two challenging years. We work closely with the National Prestigious Scholarships Office in the Honors College to provide students with the assistance needed during the application process.
“In addition, we want returning Gilman Scholars to come and work for our office. They are an inspiration to students who are interested in going abroad, and their outreach projects touch so many young lives and add to the cultural richness of the Auburn area.”
The Institute for International Education, which oversees the Gilman Scholarship program, is an independent, not-for-profit organization based in New York and founded in 1919. Its mission is to advance international education and access to education worldwide.