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UTSA student receives Gilman Award

Melissa Hernandez will explore architecture in Italy with her scholarship.

By Sherrie Voss Matthews, International Media & Marketing Coordinator

Melissa Hernandez wanted to study abroad as a part of her college experience. She recently learned that she’s received a national award to help make her experience more affordable.

Hernandez is a recipient of an award from the nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

“We’re thrilled to learn that Melissa has been awarded a Gilman scholarship,” says Reed Vesey, director of Education Abroad Services in the UTSA Office of International Programs. “Our students look forward to the opportunity to earn academic credit toward their degrees while exploring a new culture and immersing themselves in a new culture. The Gilman helps make our students’ studying abroad a reality.”Melissa Hernandez Gilman winner

The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the types of students who study abroad and the countries and regions to which they go. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education.

Hernandez, a junior from El Paso, received $4,000 for her spring 2014 program. She will spend a semester at the University of Urbino as a participant with the UTSA faculty-led College of Architecture program.  She also received funding from the UTSA International Education Fund. The combined scholarships will pay for most of her study abroad experience.

Studying abroad was a long-term goal for the architecture major, who listened to others who said it was a life-changing experience for them.

“I’m just really excited to see the world as I’ve never seen it before,” says Hernandez, who has never travelled abroad before. “I’ve always lived in cities that have an intensive Mexican culture; I’m excited as an architecture student to see a different culture’s architecture.”

She plans to celebrate Easter at the Vatican while in Italy. She also hopes to explore several other countries, including a possible trip to London to meet with internationally known architects with other UTSA architecture students.

The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell grants and are planning to study abroad.

Students interested in applying for the Gilman Scholarship Program should visit iie.org/gilman and discuss possibilities with the staff in Education Abroad Services, MB 1.204.