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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 of the U.S. Department of State and provides scholarships for undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens to pursue academic studies anywhere in the world.
McGrew is a sophomore in the Honors College of Forestry, Wildlife and the Environment. Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, McGrew majored in wildlife ecology and management with a minor in Spanish. She got a scholarship to study in Costa Rica.
“I am so grateful to the Office of Educational and Cultural Affairs for giving me the opportunity to study abroad and expand my education and professional experiences,” McGrew said. “Personally, this opportunity has broadened my cultural awareness and ecological understanding of the world around me.”
Gruwell is a senior at the College of Liberal Arts. Originally from Winfield, Alabama, Gruwell majored in professional flight with a minor in business. She received a scholarship to study in Rome, as well as in Madrid.
“The Gilman Fellowship encourages people from all kinds of different backgrounds to get out into the world and make a difference,” Gruwell said. “This award allows me to not only broaden my outlook, but also to grow in ways I never thought I could.”
Tiffany Sippial, Director of Honors College, congratulated the students for being named Gilman Scholars.
“This award is a wonderful opportunity for outstanding students like Lexi and Anna to broaden their intellectual horizons through an immersive educational experience abroad,” said Sippial. “The Gilman Prize also encourages students to put their newly acquired knowledge and skills to use for others when they return to the United States. I know that Lexi and Anna are precisely the kind of students who will champion this vision. We are so proud and excited for them both.
Auburn Abroad, the university‘s study abroad program, guides students through the scholarship application process, according to director Deborah Weiss.
“It was another banner year for the Gilman Prize,” Weiss said. “Students are enthusiastic about going abroad after the past two difficult years. We work closely with the National Office of Honors College Prestigious Scholarships to provide students with the necessary assistance during the application process.
“Also, we want former Gilman Scholars to come work for our office. They are an inspiration to students looking to go abroad, and their outreach projects touch so many young lives and add to the cultural richness of the Auburn region.
The Institute for International Education, which oversees the Gilman Scholars program, is an independent, nonprofit organization based in New York City and founded in 1919. Its mission is to advance international education and access to education in the whole world.