W&L’s DJ Johnston ’22 Awarded Gilman Scholarship Johnston has won a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad with Middlebury Abroad at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco.
DJ Johnston ’22 has won a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad with Middlebury Abroad at Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco. At W&L, Johnston is double majoring in economics and politics with a minor in Middle East and South Asia Studies. Johnston is one of a record number of W&L students – seven – to earn a Gilman Scholarship this academic year.
The scholarship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and the program is administered by the Institute of International Education.
Johnston was recently awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) for this summer to study Arabic, and he intends to use both the CLS and Gilman experiences to help with his future career plans.
“Upon completion of the language-intensive CLS program this summer, the fall semester in Morocco, and eventually my graduation next spring, I hope to be in such a place that I can choose from job opportunities within the State Department and graduate programs in the fields of diplomacy and foreign affairs,” he said.
Johnston credits Anthony Edwards, assistant professor of Arabic, as a mentor at W&L.
“DJ’s an impressive, hardworking young man and, quite possibly, one of the most talented and dedicated learners of Arabic I have ever met,” Edwards said. “I know he will make significant linguistic gains this summer and am excited to see what the future holds for him next.”
On campus, Johnston is involved in the Washingtonian Society, and radio listeners can hear him broadcasting to the greater Rockbridge County area every week on 91.5 WLUR Lexington. He also takes weekly Campus Kitchen shifts.
“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship, and even being chosen as an alternate for the Boren Scholarship has been a source of validation for all that has been invested in my life by my family, the university and my community,” Johnston said. “It has also been a real motivating force in my search for academic and career purposes, and I hope to use these opportunities to build skills and make connections that will open up doors in the future.”
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 where they go by offering awards to U.S. undergraduates.