Record number of UAB students selected for prestigious Gilman Scholarship

UAB has set a new institutional record with seven students selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Written by: Karen Templeton
Media contact: Yvonne Taunton

Gil2UAB has set a new institutional record with seven students selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.Seven University of Alabama at Birmingham students have been selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship — the largest cohort of recipients from UAB in a single application cycle.

The Gilman Scholarship is sponsored by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The scholarship makes study abroad experiences accessible to a more diverse population of students, which enables them to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies and prepares them to assume leadership roles in government and the private sector.

Students are selected for the Gilman Scholarship through a highly competitive application process that awards about 2,500 scholarships from more than 10,000 applications each year. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 toward their study abroad or internship program costs.

“It’s exciting to see students from different areas of campus awarded this scholarship, especially in the midst of a pandemic,” said Michelle Cook, Ph.D., interim director of UAB’s Office of National and International Fellowships and Scholarships. “These students will use their time abroad to engage in research, language study and cultural immersion. It’s a life-changing opportunity.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students are working with UAB’s Office of Education Abroad to arrange their trips for 2021. The recipients, their academic program and destinations are listed below:

  • Jessica Chediak (accounting) – Italy
  • Alice Kim (psychology, Honors College) – Australia
  • Gabriel Lopez (civil engineering) – Spain
  • Isabella Montgomery (political science, Honors College) – Morocco
  • William “Levi” Parker (immunology, Honors College) – Hungary
  • Makayla Smith (English) – United Kingdom
  • Skylar Summers (English, Honors College) – China 

“The National and International Fellowships and Scholarships team does an excellent job of identifying potential scholarship recipients and supporting them through the highly competitive processes,” said Pam Benoit, UAB senior vice president and provost. “We are proud to have this student cohort represent UAB around the world. Their experiences while learning abroad will help prepare them for dynamic careers and leadership roles in their fields.”

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships, including the Gilman, should contact for more information.