UConn Gilman Recipients

Over the years, UConn students have been successful in being awarded this national scholarship. Read more about our recipients below.

March 2024 Recipients

Jennifer Pires

Jennifer Pires, Psychology and Sociology ‘26

Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea

Advice for future applicants:

For me, I didn’t even know I could apply to study abroad or that there was a Gilman scholarship, but talking to other people who had this experience and also reaching out to EGL provided me with support, more information and resources which I advise students to do if they are interested in studying abroad and applying for the Gilman Scholarship.

Isabel Ayala Rodriguez

Isabel Ayala Rodriguez, Allied Health Sciences ‘25

Summer Mediterranean Diet and Tuscan Cuisine in Florence, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

For students interested in studying abroad or applying for the Gilman Scholarship, my advice would be to embrace your unique background and experiences. When sharing your story, focus on what makes you distinct and how studying abroad aligns with your personal and academic goals.

Maria Lopez-Capa

Maria Lopez-Capa, Communications ‘25

Umbra Institute in Perugia - General Studies Program in Perugia, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

My advice would be not to fear the process. Don't be scared of the idea, don't be afraid of rejection, and don't hesitate to try. The EGL advisors and mentors are here to help you navigate the journey, providing guidance and support every step of the way. Throughout my own experience, I've learned that embracing challenges and stepping out of your comfort zone can lead to incredible opportunities and personal growth. So, don't let fear hold you back; instead, embrace the adventure and seize the chance to pursue your dreams.

Donovan Brown

Donovan Brown, Economics ‘26

Summer Internship In London, United Kingdom

Advice for future applicants: 

For students interested in studying abroad or applying for the Gilman Scholarship, I recommend staying on top of important deadlines and being proactive in your preparations. Regularly communicate with your advisor, clearly articulating who you are and why studying abroad is personally significant to you. Being ahead of schedule ensures you have ample time to address any challenges and submit strong applications.

Sarah Koehler

Sarah Koehler, Anthropology ‘26

Charles University: East and Central European Studies in Prague, Czech Republic

Advice for future applicants:

The essays require you to think critically about your motivations for studying abroad and to really be considerate of your specific program. For someone that already knew they wanted to study abroad, this process made me feel confident and solidified in my choice. However, if you were on the fence, UConn offers an array of resources and support to applicants making the Gilman Scholarship a place where you can work to reflect. There are only potential gains in applying.

Skylar Dodge

Skylar Dodge, Psychological Sciences ‘26

University of Birmingham, in Birmingham, United Kingdom

Advice for future applicant:

I would really push those applying or interested to really reach out and connect with as many people as they can! There are so many helpful peers and staff that can help you plan going abroad, answer any questions you have, give you feedback, or just help you get the support you need to succeed in applications and while abroad. These connections make the whole process a lot less stressful and help you feel a bit less alone!



Anna Heqimi

Anna Heqimi, Communication and Journalism ‘26

University of Granada in Granada, Spain

Advice for future applicants:

Students interested in studying abroad should absolutely take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The Experiential Global Learning advisers are extremely helpful in informing students about the various programs offered, various scholarships, how to go about selecting classes that meet minor and major requirements and are there to give general advice about anything. I have never been out of the country, studying abroad in Spain will be my first time ever traveling outside of the United States. I was extremely nervous, but after many consultations with my adviser about where to apply for scholarships, how to select classes that meet my academic requirements and everything in between, I feel prepared and ready to study abroad at the University of Granada. Advice for students interested in applying to the Gilman Scholarship is to start as soon as possible. This way if they are not awarded a scholarship the first time, they have another opportunity to win it. Students should craft their essays in a way that highlights their passion and desire to study abroad while allowing their voice and personality to come through. They should also consult their EGL adviser and the Writing Center for assistance in cohesiveness, grammar and advice on where to add more detail in their essays. With the many resources available, students interested in studying abroad and applying to the Gilman Scholarship will be guided and supported at every step.


Geraldine Odikah

Geraldine Odikah, Allied Health Sciences ‘24

Summer Internship in London, United Kingdom

Advice for future applicants:

Take the chance, go study in the country you have always wanted to visit. You can again experience and knowledge. If you are interested in applying for the Gilman Scholarship, start early. Start by attending info sessions hosted by past Gilman scholars, this will allow you to speak with them one on one and hear about their personal experiences.

Manogna Reddy

Manogna Reddy, Physiology and Neurobiology, Molecular and Cell Biology ‘25

Summer Neuroscience in Salamanca, spain

Advice for future applicants:

Get in touch with an EGL advisor even if you are the slightest bit interested in traveling abroad. They can help you choose a program that fits your interests and works with your schedule as an undergraduate. While it can be challenging to adjust to a foreign culture, it is so important to be open to new perspectives and experiences when studying abroad. As for the Gilman, my biggest advice would be to research your host country and clearly communicate why the program you chose is the perfect fit for you. Emphasize your motivations to pursue an education abroad, the specific aspects of your program or country that drew you to it, and be as authentic as possible in your responses!

Abdulrahman Elrefaei

Abdulrahman Elrefaei, Analytics Information Management ‘26

Business & Economics in London, United Kingdom

Advice for future applicant:

For students interested in studying abroad or applying for the Gilman Scholarship, here are some key pieces of advice:

1. Research Thoroughly: Start by researching potential programs and destinations that align with your academic and career goals. Look into the specifics of each program, including courses offered, accommodation arrangements, and extracurricular opportunities.

2. Understand Eligibility and Requirements: For the Gilman Scholarship, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, which typically include being a U.S. citizen undergraduate receiving a Federal Pell Grant. Thoroughly understand the application requirements, deadlines, and the documentation needed.

3. Craft a Compelling Application: Your application essays should clearly articulate why you want to study abroad, how it fits into your academic and career objectives, and what makes you a strong candidate for the scholarship. Be specific about the impact this experience is expected to have on your personal and professional growth.

4. Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to reach out to advisors at your institution’s study abroad office, past scholarship recipients, or professors to seek advice and feedback on your application.

5. Plan Financially: While the Gilman Scholarship can significantly offset costs, be proactive in planning your finances. Look into additional scholarships, grants, and fundraising opportunities to cover extra expenses like travel, insurance, and personal spending.

6. Prepare for Cultural Integration: Educate yourself about the cultural norms and expectations of the country you plan to study in. This preparation can help minimize culture shock and enhance your overall experience abroad.

7. Stay Organized: Keep track of application deadlines, required documents, and correspondence. Being organized will help ensure a smooth application process and prevent last-minute scrambles.

By following these steps, you can enhance your chances of having a successful study abroad experience and securing the Gilman Scholarship to support your educational journey.



October 2023 Recipients

Michelle Eweka

Michelle Eweka, Political Science ‘25

University of Granada in Granada, Spain

Advice for future applicants:

For those just starting to think about studying abroad, I advise you to plan for it ahead of time. Discuss with your advisors to see if you have fulfilled enough requirements or see if you can fulfill some requirements while you are there. Also, give yourself enough time to fill out the application for the Gilman Scholarship. It's an amazing opportunity and I highly encourage those who are eligible to apply. Additionally, another tip is to not forget about classes. You are abroad, but it is called “study” abroad for a reason. For me, I found that the classes were all part of the immersive experience. All of my classes were taught in Spanish, and I got to study subjects I would have otherwise never explored had I not taken them here. Lastly, I would advise future study abroad students to find a way to document the experience, whether that’s through pictures, a journal, or an audio diary.


Yanni Tsiranides

Yanni Tsiranides, Finance ‘25

Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan

Advice for future applicants:

Do it sooner rather than later as it is difficult finding classes when you are closer to graduation and put in the effort when applying for the scholarship because it is worth the financial support and the network.

Moera Kamimura

Moera Kamimura, Mechanical Engineering ‘26

Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan

Advice for future applicant:

Be open minded and honest about an experience in writing to convey why studying abroad is valuable and the kinds of experiences one can expect upon obtaining the opportunity to do so.


Avery Sparks

Avery Sparks, Psychological Science ‘25

ISI Florence in Florence, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

I definitely recommend studying abroad to every student, as well as applying to the Gilman Scholarship. Studying abroad is life changing and an experience you don't want to miss! The Gilman Scholarship helps make this dream possible and I 100% recommend applying if you are eligible.
March 2023 Recipients

Rebekah Bacon

Rebekah Bacon, Psychology '25

Summer Interdisciplinary Ethnography Field School in Flic en Flac, Mauritius

Advice for future applicants:

The advice that I would give is that it's worth it. Even if you spend more money than you'd like to, you can't buy back the time to go back and do it. Although you still have to be smart with your spending, an experience like this is oftentimes a once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus, there are scholarships like Gilman which can help out with that.

Zarria Bethea

Zarria Bethea, Allied Health Science '24

ISI Florence in Florence, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

When applying for the Gilman Scholarship, the overall diversity of students abroad can continue to increase on a national level - helping many improve their education. Their mission is to serve as a support system for those who have been historically underrepresented, that may face financial constraints. The Gilman is a life-changing resource that can certainly help in participating, and I highly recommend applying! I strongly encourage students to study abroad because as mentioned before: it impacts worldly perspectives, you will have the opportunity to work with diverse peers in a new environment, learn to respect other cultures, and even communicate in different languages - if needed. With that being said, if you are interested in going, go for it! Remember to always remain open-minded.

Kayla Dubbs

Kayla Dubbs, Environmental Science '24

The Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

In terms of studying abroad, just know it’s never too late to decide. I didn’t decide to study abroad until late into my junior year. It helps to plan early, but it won’t make or break your experience. As for the Gilman Scholarship, make sure you work with the advisors and start early. I definitely wouldn’t have been awarded this scholarship if I hadn’t. I revised multiple drafts of my essays until the advisors deemed them fit of Gilman criteria.

Valerie Duque

Valerie Duque, Psychological Sciences '24

Neuroscience in Salamanca Spain

Advice for future applicants: 

I would say to believe in yourself when applying to Gilman. I know a lot of people that don’t bother applying because they think they can’t get it. But if you don't at least try, you’ll never know. I was unsure at first when applying, but I reached out to EGL advisors and previous recipients of Gilman for help. I applied in October and got waitlisted, and although that did discourage me a little I decided to reapply. I worked on my essays more and tried again for the March deadline because I knew that I had a chance.

Amy Eweka

Amy Eweka, Psychology '24

University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany

Advice for future applicants:

Never shy away from new experiences, especially those in which you can learn new skills.

Sarah Khouja

Sarah Khouja, Elementary Education '25

Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy

Advice for future applicants:

I would advise students applying to Gilman or studying abroad in general to be completely authentic and exhibit intersectionality to make meaning out of your time abroad!

Alexandra Luhrs

Alexandra Luhrs, Nursing '24

End-of-Life Palliative Care at the University of Arteveldehogeschool in Ghent, Belgium

Advice for future applicants:

If you are even a little interested in studying abroad, apply! It can be difficult to travel and get to see the world while we are in college, but UConn offers us so many opportunities with study abroad programs. Financial support is available as well through the Gilman Scholarship, EGL scholarships and many more. It can be a huge step out of your comfort zone, but it is so worth it!

Yelena Muralles

Yelena Muralles, International Relations and French '25

Lund University in Lund, Sweden

Advice for future applicants:

In addition to planning and research, my advice for students interested in studying abroad or applying to the Gilman Scholarship is to embrace independence and take risks! Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore new cultures and perspectives. Living and studying in a foreign country can be challenging, but it also offers tremendous opportunities for personal growth and development. We often live in a bubble, but studying abroad allows us to break out of that and experience the world in a new and exciting way. So, go for it and seize the chance to expand your horizon.

Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy, Paleontology as Outreach and Education '24

South African Field Ecology in Entabeni Game Reserve, South Africa

Advice for future applicants:

Try not to be intimidated by the prospect - follow your heart, no matter where in this incredible world it takes you.

Kasidy Quiles

Kasidy Quiles, Allied Health Sciences '23

Neuroscience in Salamanca, Spain

Advice for future applicant:

Do. Your. Research! Look up cultural norms, eating schedules, dressing attire, technology, language, things you want to do while you're there, currency... everything. Talk to your program professors as much as you can because their job is to help you succeed and feel comfortable while studying abroad. Talk to other people who have studied abroad and get their insight or speak with people you know outside of school who have experienced your country first hand. When applying the scholarship, prepare in advance so that you have time to finish the application to your fullest potential.


Julio Tozetto

Julio Tozetto, Natural Resources '25

OTS African Ecology & Conservation in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Advice for future applicants:

Go for it and take a leap, you're only in college once so take advantage of the resources EGL provides you to go abroad.

October 2022 Recipients
March 2022 Recipients