Nebraska U honored for focus on Gilman awards
Program offers international experiences to underrepresented students
An alignment of student support services has led to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln being named a “Greatest Growth Institution” by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.
The Gilman is a nationally competitive scholarship awarded three times a year by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education. The Gilman Scholarship Program supports underrepresented undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints and aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and to study languages, especially critical-need languages.
Nebraska earned the “Greatest Growth Institution for Large Colleges and Universities (more than 15,000 undergraduates)” honor for its campus record-setting Gilman class in 2017-18. The cohort included 34 award winners earning international experiences in 20 countries. Announced earlier this year, the award citation was received by Chancellor Ronnie Green in mid-July.
“The Gilman scholarships are important because they expand study abroad opportunities to students who normally would not have the funds available or the knowledge on how to make international travel possible,” said Laura Damuth, director of national and international fellowships. “It’s a gateway scholarship that can increase aspirations in terms of fellowship opportunities and educational possibilities.”
Prior to 2017-18, Nebraska averaged slightly less than 20 Gilman awards annually. A realignment of Nebraska’s education abroad and national/international fellowship offices that year helped focus promotion of and assistance with the scholarship opportunity, increasing the awards to 34 earned from more than 80 applications.
“We really started working closely with our Gilman applicants that year,” Damuth said. “We created tip sheets related directly to how to apply for the Gilman and what needed to be in the essay.
“It was really just a few simple things that helped us provide more international experiences for our students.”
Nebraska’s recent Gilman Scholarship successes were highlighted at an event April 2 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by the Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State.
There, U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Nebraska) spoke about the impact of the Gilman program and the success of Nebraska’s undergraduates in the program.
Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward study program costs and may receive an additional $3,000 to study a critical language.
Learn more about the Gilman Scholarship.