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Eight W&L Students Awarded Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards of up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students who are Pell Grant recipients.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program announced its latest round of recipients for this academic year. Eight students were accepted from Washington and Lee University.

This spring’s W&L recipients included:

  • Brandon Bishop ’26 to study Arabic in Jordan.
  • Daxon Citron ’26 to study in Austria.
  • Mariam Drammeh ’25 to complete an internship at a refugee organization in Germany.
  • Taylor Graham ’24 to study Russian in Kazakhstan.
  • Sean Lee ’24 to complete an internship for an American football team in Austria.
  • Irelyn Michiels ’26 to complete an internship at a medical facility in Mexico.
  • Creighton (Trip) Wright ’25 to study politics, economics and culture in Argentina, Spain and South Africa.

“I am so pleased to see that the Gilman Scholarship program has once more recognized our students’ hard work and awarded them funding to support their studies and internships abroad,” said Matthew Loar, W&L’s director of fellowships. “I know that these will be transformative experiences for our students, and I can’t wait for them to share their stories with future W&L applicants in the years to come.”

Award recipients can study and intern abroad during the spring, summer, fall, winter or academic year term. Seven of the eight Gilman recipients will be using their award for summer opportunities. Two other W&L students were awarded the Gilman scholarship during Fall Term 2022.

“This award greatly aids my ability to study abroad and my dream of engaging with other cultures and learning more about our diverse world,” said Bishop, who will study Arabic in Amman, Jordan this summer. A native of Bettendorf, Iowa, Bishop is a computer science major with a minor in poverty and human capability studies and Middle East and South Asia studies. He also received the 2023 Arabic Summer Scholarship from W&L’s Center for International Education.

Drammeh, a native of Lawrenceville, Georgia, is pursuing a double major in cognitive and behavioral science and German, as well as a minor in art history. Drammeh will be completing a summer internship in Berlin, Germany, working for the refugee organization Moabit Hilft.

“To be awarded this opportunity means the world to me,” Drammeh said. “Being a QuestBridge Scholar and coming from a low-income background, I never even imagined having the chance to spend my entire summer in another country doing work that is meaningful to me and will contribute to my studies.”

Lee, a philosophy major at W&L, will complete a summer internship for the Danube Dragons, an American football team based in Vienna, Austria. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Lee moved to the United States when he was six years old and graduated from George C. Marshall High School in Vienna, Virginia.

“I’m looking forward to this opportunity because it will allow me to work in multimedia production,” Lee said. “At W&L, I broadcast and commentate for many of our teams’ games, and I’m excited to be able to do something similar in Vienna. This opportunity will also allow me to experience the culture of a place I’ve been interested in for a while and to supplement my German studies.”

Michiels is pursuing a double major in Spanish and biochemistry at W&L and will complete a summer internship at the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute TeletonUSA in Mexico.

“It means so much to be awarded this opportunity as someone who came from a low-income household, and it will support my plans to pursue a career in medicine,” said Michiels, who is a native of Meridian, Idaho.

Wright is a sociology and anthropology major with minors in data science and poverty and human capability studies. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he will be studying urban politics, economics, geography and culture in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Barcelona, Spain, and Cape Town, South Africa during the upcoming Fall Term.

“With this award, I will get to experience a cross-cultural study in three continents while learning about urban issues facing cities in the 21st century through the lens of social justice,” Wright said. “This opportunity will enhance my course of study, allowing me to witness sociological mechanisms as they play out in different global cities. A special thank you to Dr. Loar for his support during the application process and to W&L for giving me the opportunity to make the world my classroom.”

Since the inception of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program in 2001, more than 33,000 scholarships have been awarded to students participating in study abroad programs and internships around the world.

The Gilman Scholarship Program, named for retired congressman Benjamin A. Gilman, seeks to diversify the kinds of students who study or intern abroad and the countries and regions they visit by offering up to $5,000 to U.S. undergraduate students who are Pell Grant recipients. The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the Institute of International Education administers the program.

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