ATLANTA— Two Georgia State University Honors College students are among the 395 American undergraduates from 152 colleges and universities selected to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the summer of 2019.
Chrystina-Sammantha Ricks-Gray, a junior studying criminal justice, and Savannah Rogers, a sophomore studying political science, were recently named recipients. The federally funded Gilman Program seeks to broaden the number of American students studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships of up to $5,000 to outstanding undergraduate Pell Grant recipients who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise have the opportunity.
Ricks-Gray plans to use her scholarship to study the criminal justice system in the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Her study abroad at the University of Trinidad will be May through June.
"I'm really interested in criminal justice reform and I think it's important to see how other countries have approached this," she said.
Ricks-Gray also is curious to learn more about the Caribbean culture as a way of connecting more deeply with her family.
"My mom is from Jamaica, but she moved to the U.S. when she was in her teens. I've never had a chance to experience that culture," she said. "And I know that Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica aren't exactly the same, but I'm so glad I get a chance to learn more."
Rogers will apply her scholarship toward travel to England, where she will study at the London School of Economics as a Hansard Society Scholar and participate in the Honors College's London Experience, a program that matches honors students with internships at a variety of United Kingdom-based companies.
"As a political science student, it is a dream come true to be able to intern in another country," Rogers said. "And then being a Hansard Society Scholar, on top of that, will allow me to learn so much more and then put into practice what I'm learning.
"I think studying abroad is so important," said Rogers, who will be in the U.K. May through July. "It shows you how people in other countries, from other points of view, are solving problems."
The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and is supported by the Institute of International Education.
The Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships in the Honors College advises honors and non-honors students on their applications for competitive national awards, including Gilman. For more information or to set up an appointment, please contact Jacob English at (404) 413-5577 or make an appointment online.