In a national competition, five SUNY Geneseo students so far have won 2023–24 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships: Genesis Flores ’25 (Senegal); Abby Gleason ’26 (Switzerland); Iliana Papadopoulos ‘25 (Senegal); Corina Tulevech ’25 (Senegal); and Kimberly Wu ’24 (South Korea). Since 2007, 50 Geneseo students have won Gilman scholarships.
The State Department award financially assists US undergraduates of limited financial means in pursuing academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. The goal is to better prepare students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.
Genesis Flores, an English literature and communication double major from the Bronx, NY, will spend Summer 2024 in Dakar, Senegal, with Geneseo’s Modernity and Western Africa study abroad program, led by associate professor of Francophone studies Kodjo Adabra. Flores sees her time in Senegal as a chance to share her Puerto Rican heritage and essential to her academic and personal growth. She aspires to a PhD in Africana studies and French ahead of a career as a college professor.
Abby Gleason, from Wayland, NY, is a business administration major who plans to attend law school after graduation, ahead of a career in either corporate or international law. Gleason will spend Spring 2024 studying at Webster University in Geneva, Switzerland, “the most business-friendly capital in the world,” exploring her Swiss heritage and improving her advanced abilities in French.
Iliana Papadopoulos, a first-generation English literature major who grew up in Queens, NY, with a Jamaican mother and Greek father, will also spend Summer 2024 in Senegal with the Modernity and Western Africa program. There she will undertake ethnographic research to “study the ways in which French literature is promoted and implemented in Senegal, a country where more than 40 different tribal languages are spoken.” She hopes to obtain a PhD in English and Africana studies ahead of a career in academia.
Corina Tulevech, from Ithaca, NY, is an international relations and political science double major with a minor in Africana studies. She is interested in a summer in Senegal to increase her abilities in French and to better understand how French colonization affected the region’s many cultures. After graduation, she plans on a law degree for a career with the “International Criminal Court or for an adjacent NGO in order to help developing and developed countries’ leaders understand and work with each other, socially and politically.”
Kimberly Wu, a first-generation Chinese American from Brooklyn, NY, is a psychology and political science double major. She will spend Spring 2024 taking courses at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea. Wu plans a career with the State Department in the Foreign Service: “Studying abroad in Korea will open a door to the Asian world and provide me with an understanding of what it is like to live as a Korean, something I will do as a diplomat."
“Geneseo students continue to be a wellspring of excitement and curiosity for intercultural learning experiences, and our faculty spend countless hours crafting meaningful, high-impact learning experiences that maximize time abroad,” says Sam Cardamone, director of the Study Abroad Office. “The Gilman Scholarship is a powerful vehicle to close the equity and access gap and serve some of our most financially disadvantaged students.”
The recipients of this prestigious scholarship attend 500 US colleges and represent all 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Gilman Scholars will study or intern in 90 countries through the end of 2024. On average, 70 percent of Gilman recipients self-identify as racial or ethnic minorities, 60 percent are from rural areas and small towns across America, and half are first-generation college or university students.
Gilman Scholarship applications for Summer 2024, Fall 2024, and academic year 2024–25 open in mid-January with a March 7, 2024, submission deadline. Students and alumni seeking more information about and assistance with applications for the Gilman International Scholarship and any other fellowship or scholarship program should contact Michael Mills, Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-245-6002.