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Senior Receives 2019 Gilman International Scholarship


JONESBORO – Amanda Medaries, a senior at Arkansas State University, has been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for spring 2019. The Gilman Scholarship provides funding to study or intern abroad.

Medaries is a transfer student from Monroe, La., majoring in wildlife, fisheries and conservation. Her career goal is to be a university professor and researcher. The scholarship allows her to study in the Bilateral Exchange program at North-West University in the Republic of South Africa during the spring 2019 semester.

“I am so proud of Amanda and the work she put into winning the Gilman Scholarship,” said Jennifer Salo, academic adviser and competitive fellowships and scholarships coordinator. “This opportunity means a lot to her, and the study abroad experience that this award makes possible will benefit her going forward as she pursues her goals. It is exciting to see our students achieve these great opportunities.”

The South Africa program is an A-State study abroad initiative in environmental biology spearheaded by Dr. Tom Risch, interim associate vice chancellor of research and professor of animal ecology, and Dr. Paul Sikkel, associate professor of aquatic biology.

Medaries is one of 835 American undergraduate students from 310 colleges and universities across the U.S. who received a scholarship.  She plans to get a master’s degree and PhD following graduation from A-State.

Medaries joins a select group of A-State students who have received the Gilman Scholarship, bringing the total to 12 in the last six years. Tyler Brown of Hot Springs and Alyssa Green of Sheridan were named recipients in May. Kandria Driskill of Sheridan, who was awarded a Gilman Scholarship in fall 2017, studied abroad at North-West University in the Republic of South Africa. Julian Jackson of Monticello studied in Austria in the fall of 2017, Hannah Massey of Walnut Ridge spent time in spring 2017 in Northern Ireland, and Raj N. Patel of Bryant studied in Japan during the summer of 2016.

James Frye of West Monroe, La., visited Thailand and Jenny Cheng of Jonesboro studied in Spain in the spring of 2013, and Jonathan Carmichael of Black Oak went to Costa Rica in summer 2013. Leslie Ginn of Walnut Ridge was selected to study in Costa Rica during summer 2012 and Michael Markin of Cave City spent the summer of 2013 studying in China.

Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs with additional funding available for the study of a critical language overseas.  The Gilman Scholarship supports American undergraduate students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad and, since 2001, has enabled more than 25,000 outstanding Americans of diverse backgrounds to engage in a meaningful educational experience abroad. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study.

The late Congressman Gilman, for whom the scholarship is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he commented, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but 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 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 Institute of International Education (IIE).

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Amanda Medaries
Amanda Medaries