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USM Adds Nine Gilman Scholars to Impressive 2020 Roster

Fri, 12/11/2020 - 14:48pm | By: Van Arnold

Nine University of Southern Mississippi (USM) students have been named recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad. Southern Miss continues to lead the state in Gilman Scholars with the newest cohort bringing the University’s total recipients to 23 for 2020. The October 2020 cycle’s recipients include:

  • Emma Aitken, a sophomore marine biology major who will complete an internship in Ireland.
  • Victoria Burns, a senior political science (pre-law) major who will study abroad in France.
  • Brielle Comradelle, a junior marketing major who will study abroad in England.
  • Dianna Couch, a sophomore social work major who will study abroad in England
  • Cheyla Munoz Ramos, a sophomore international studies major who will study abroad in France.
  • Jennifer Shields, a senior journalism major who will study abroad in Spain
  • Austin Taylor, a junior architectural engineering technology major who will complete an internship in Spain.
  • Malana Tennessee, a sophomore graphic design major who will study abroad in England.
  • Leketa Virgin, a senior international business major who will study abroad in Spain.

Carlee Causey, Project Director for Nationally Competitive Programs at USM, notes that the Gilman Scholarship represents a game-changer for so many students.

“It makes studying abroad accessible to those who might have otherwise ruled out the opportunity. I know each of these scholars will use this prestigious scholarship well, cultivating critical skills and broadening their view on the world and its people,” said Causey.

The congressionally funded Gilman Program broadens the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships of up to $5,000 to outstanding undergraduates. The recipients of this prestigious scholarship are American undergraduate students representing 307 colleges and universities across the United States who will study or intern in 87 countries through the end of 2021.

Since the program’s establishment in 2001, more than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent approximately 33,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 151 countries around the globe. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study.

Given the disruption of the pandemic, the Gilman Program is committed to offering flexibility to participants whose plans may be impacted. The Gilman Program will support students who are unable to start their programs abroad in their original destination or in the original timeframe by helping to identify alternative program options, by permitting students to defer to a program through the end of 2021, or by supporting participation in a virtual study abroad or international internship program. “While 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, our students are undeterred and eager to take flight in 2021. I've seen even more students applying and receiving the Gilman than in 2019,” Causey said. The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its implementation by the Institution of International Education.

For more information on the Gilman Scholarship contact Causey at