Two Saints Earn Prestigious Gilman International Scholarship

Two Saints Earn Prestigious Gilman International Scholarship

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Breanne Beard ’17

This year, two Siena students were awarded the prestigious Gilman International Scholarship for the upcoming spring semester. Emma Henderschedt '19, will be traveling to Vietnam and Stephanie Lopez '19, will be studying in Ecuador.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered through the Institute of International Education, the Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is one of the most prestigious study abroad scholarships available to U.S. students today, and Siena students have consistently been chosen to be part of this select group.

Henderschedt explained the extensive process one must go through in order to apply for the Gilman Scholarship. The Program focused on getting to know the applicant’s aspirations and intentions, as well as how they would apply the lessons they learned once returning home. She hopes to spread the word about the importance of academic international experiences to others in Siena’s community.

Henderschedt will be studying abroad in Vietnam through the School for International Training. Here, she will be doing an independent research project.

“I hope to study and research intercountry adoption policies, especially regarding orphans with AIDS/HIV in southeast Asia,” Henderschedt said. “I believe that the skills I’ve learned in my social work classes will help me be able to take the values of social justice, equality, respect and compassion, and apply them to my interactions abroad.”

As a Bonner Service Leader at Siena, she will also be working towards a certificate in Community Development while in Vietnam titled, "Culture, Social Change, and Development." Her decision to study abroad in Vietnam was based upon her drive to experience the world and broaden her international perspective. “I wanted to go someplace that would force me to get out of my comfort zone.”

Siena’s Center for International Programs is heavily invested in the Gilman Scholarship Program, guiding each student through the application process to ensure these Saints have the chance to receive this once in a lifetime opportunity. Since the spring of 2011, 24 Siena students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships; this represents over $81,000 in scholarship funds to help our students study abroad.

“It's important to encourage and offer these types of programs because it opens up the opportunity of study abroad to all students; and ultimately, due to the program's Follow-on Service Projects, the student learns how to share his or her experiences with a wide audience, ranging from high school students to fellow friends and colleagues,” said Matthew Schiesel ’15, Siena’s Center for International Programs program coordinator.