Brandeis named top Gilman Scholar institution

March 29, 2019

For the second year in a row, Brandeis has been listed as one of the top small colleges and universities for producing Gilman Scholars through the Gilman Scholarship Program.

In the past five academic school years, 65 Brandeis students have been awarded a total of $235,000 in scholarship through the program, according to a BrandeisNOW article. Students who have received the Gilman Scholarship have traveled to countries all over the world, including South Africa, Russia and Bhutan.

The Office of Study Abroad on campus assists students who are qualified for the program to apply. Ashley Trebisacci, a study abroad advisor in the office, says that it is a privilege for her to assist students in applying for such a prestigious scholarship.

“It is always wonderful to see such deserving students be granted a scholarship that often makes a significant impact on their study abroad experience,” Trebisacci said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot.

Trebisacci spoke about being a resource for students to help students “present the fullness of their identities, passions and experience in them.” Trebisacci also explained that the Gilman International Scholarship not only asks students to express their academic and career goals, but to share their personal stories.

“I always feel lucky to be able to bear witness to those stories and help hone and clarify them in a way that will stand out to the Gilman selection committee,” she said.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a program run with the help of U.S. Congress, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and U.S. Department of State, according to the Gilman Scholarship’s official website. Each of these departments is “committed to ensuring that our next generation of leaders—American students of all backgrounds—engage internationally to foster mutual understanding and develop critical skills in support of our national security and economic prosperity, as well as their own futures,” according to their website.

Trebisacci distinguished the Gilman Scholarship from other scholarships because of the opportunities that it provides for students who may not have an opportunity to study abroad otherwise. The scholarship is also available for students who are Pell Grant eligible and studying abroad for credit in the fall, spring or summer, according to the Brandeis website.

“Because it is overseen by the U.S. Department of State, winning a Gilman scholarship also means being granted access to a network which extends beyond students’ time abroad,” said Trebisacci. “This includes opportunities to network with other Gilman alumni and resources that help further their career goals.”

There are a number of different parameters that help the Gilman International Scholarship determine the top producing universities. The main parameters that the committee looks at are the ”priority achievement categories”: the number of first-generation college students; racial and ethnic minority students; students with disabilities; Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) students and Most Unique Destination. “Most Unique Destination,” involves looking at the total number of destinations an institution sent students to during any point during the academic school year.

The “Gilman Greatest Growth Institutions” is also given to the top three institutions of each size and type depending on the growth of students in each of the priority achievement categories.

According to an article by BrandeisNOW, during the 2017-2018 school year, Brandeis ranked second overall among small colleges and universities, defined as schools with less than 5,000 students, in producing Gilman Scholars. In the 2016-2017 school year, Brandeis ranked fourth overall.

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