Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Awarded to Three CSU Students for Spring 2016

Three Colorado State University students have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, which aims to diversify students’ international experiences, including program types and locations. Mika Bernal, Danait Hailemicael, and Allyson Hannah will apply their scholarships, which range from $2,000 to $5,000, to education abroad experiences during the spring semester.

CSU Gilman Scholarship Recipients

Allyson_sittingCSU junior Allyson Hannah will study abroad in Peru in the General Language and Culture program offered by International Study Abroad (ISA), a University affiliate. Allyson chose the program because it aligned well with her major, environmental sociology with a focus on international development. Through the program, she will take a mix of Spanish language and environmental development classes. In high school, Allyson joined an exchange program that allowed her to visit Monteverde, Costa Rica, which sparked her desire to study abroad in the future. One of the biggest considerations facing Allyson as she prepares to live abroad is lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition that requires her to wear a daily compression garment. Despite challenges associated with her condition, Allyson plans on taking part in every activity she is able to and she hopes that other people with chronic illnesses will see that they can follow their dreams of going abroad, too. With her background in international development and environmental sustainability, Allyson hopes to some day be able to help minority populations in developing countries counteract the negative affects of climate change. Allyson was also awarded the Mona Mitchell Scholarship for Students with Disabilities from the Office of International Programs, and received a $1,500 scholarship from ISA.

Junior design and merchandise apparel major Mika Bernal will study in Seoul, South Korea, for the spring semester. As the first CSU student from her major to study in Korea, Mika is excited to immerse herself in a culture she has been dreaming about for over a year now. Mika was first exposed to Korean popular culture when one of her friends introduced her to a South Korean K-pop, or Korean Pop, music group. Since then, she has joined a vast online community of people who are interested in K-pop, including people who currently live in Korea. Before signing up for her program, Mika told her adviser about her desire to study abroad in Korea and was surprised to find out that her academic advisor was Korean. Since then, her advisor has been a great resource for her to find out more about the culture she loves so much. Mika’s program requires her to study Korean language, and she has already started on campus. Although she is at a beginner level, she believes that she knows enough to be able to get along well enough on a day-to-day basis. Growing up in Colorado, Mika loves hiking in the mountains and exploring the outdoors and is looking forward to being able to explore the misty mountains of Korea while abroad. She is excited to try the unique street food from the food carts in the city, to finally meet all of the people she has met online and to experience Korean culture up close and personal.

DanaitDanait Hailemicael, a junior economics major, will study in Rome, Italy, with CSU-affiliated Academic Programs International (API), in their International Business Studies program. Danait chose Italy because she was born in Eritrea, Africa, a former Italian colony with a strong Italian influence. Danait moved to Colorado when she was two and is a first-generation college student, and she has always been excited to travel the world and gain more international experience. Although she is nervous about the language barrier, Danait is enrolled in an Italian language course to ease communication with locals in Italy. While studying abroad, Danait will not have classes on Fridays, allowing her more freedom to travel to many of Europe’s big cities and sightsee on weekends. Despite growing up only a half hour from Denver, Danait is most excited to live in a large international city and experience the diverse food and culture of Rome. Along with the Gilman scholarship, Danait received $1,000 from the Office of International Programs and a $1,000 scholarship from API.