Fairfield University Students Awarded Gilman International Scholarship
Fairfield University students Aliyah Phipps ’18 and Christopher Amoako-Kwaw ‘17 are two of more than 850 American undergraduate students from 324 colleges and universities across the U.S., selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, to study or intern abroad during 2016-2017 academic year. The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Phipps plans to study abroad in China and Amoako-Kwaw will study in Italy.
Phipps, a rising junior at Fairfield University studying Chinese Studies and Communication, is captain of the Fairfield Cheerleading Team. She will spend the 2016-2017 school year studying abroad in Beijing, China, pursuing her passion for learning and understanding worldly perspectives, and immersing herself in Chinese culture. The Gilman Scholarship has provided Phipps with the opportunity to fulfil her childhood dream of studying abroad in China and becoming fluent in Chinese. She has also been selected as a candidate to intern for a Chinese magazine company while abroad. Phipps will join a small group of fellow students who will be traveling throughout China engaging in local customs and celebrations such as Chinese New Year, the Moon Festival and the famed Dragon Festival.
Recipient Christopher Amoako-Kwaw is a rising senior at Fairfield University studying Communications and Creative Writing. With the Gilman Scholarship, Amoako-Kwaw will be studying writing and art in Florence, Italy. Studying Italian throughout high school and college, Amoako-Kwaw developed a strong interest in Italian culture and history and a desire to learn the intricacies of the European lifestyle. He plans to visit as many European countries as possible during his yearlong endeavor. Amoako-Kwaw, a first generation high school graduate and college student, is also the first in his family to study abroad. The Gilman Scholarship provides Amoako-Kwaw with the opportunity to realize his mother’s childhood dream to learn in another country.
Gilman scholars each receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a Federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit, are eligible to apply. Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages, and economies — making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector.
Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, commented, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). According to Allan Goodman, President and CEO of IIE, “International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries. It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”
The full list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on their website: www.iie.org/gilman.