Ten WWU Students Awarded Prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to Study Overseas  

by Cooper Campbell
Office of University Communications intern

Ten undergraduate students from Western Washington University have been awarded prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad in 2021, the highest number of awards ever given to Western students in a single term.  

The students receiving Gilman scholarships are Shadia Amir (Kent), Sara Atack (Marysville), Jennifer Scott (Oakville), Kendrick Jackson (Lynden), AdriAnna Rodriguez (Las Vegas, Nevada), Isabella Colbert (Boise, Idaho), Citlalli Ocampo Bernal (Vancouver), Reuben Martinez (Port Angeles) and Rebecca Mercado (Camas).  

The Gilman Scholarship Program is a national, highly competitive scholarship with each successful applicant receiving an award ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. With this scholarship, studying abroad is made possible for students who might have been otherwise unable to travel overseas and study.  

Western’s Education Abroad office has collaborated with other departments and offices on campus to increase applications and access to scholarships like the Gilman Scholarship.   

“We have seen a huge increase in WWU students applying for and receiving nationally competitive scholarships including the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. It is incredibly rewarding to work with these students, and I share in their excitement upon being awarded,” said Hannah Nevitt, program coordinator for Education Abroad at Western.  

Nevitt typically meets with hundreds of students over the course of an academic year, advising and sharing tips for applications; the number of applications submitted has climbed year over year, something Nevitt said she is excited about.  

“It has been really rewarding to see these numbers increase over the years,” Nevitt said.  

The Western students who received Gilman scholarships and their destinations are as follows:  

  • Shadia Amir is a senior philosophy student minoring in education and social justice, will study abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand in spring 2021. Amir hopes to work in education policy or community and youth engagement after graduation.  

  • Sara Atack is a sophomore working on a bachelor’s degree in sociology with minors in Spanish and law, diversity & justice, will participate in a Spanish intensive program in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Atack wants to improve her Spanish fluency on her journey to become a civil rights attorney.  

  • Jennifer Scott, a senior at Western, is pursuing an bachelor’s degree in international business with minors in both political science and communication studies. Scott will virtually attend Edith Cowen University, located in Perth, Australia, for their study abroad program.   

  • Kendrick Jackson, a junior studying sociology and human services, will study abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in spring 2021. Jackson looks forward to adding diverse experiences to his education experience prior to seeking social or nonprofit work.  

  • AdriAnna Rodriguez is double-majoring in linguistics and Japanese, and will travel to Tsuda University in Japan for a semester abroad during her senior year. Rodriguez wants to become a professor or author after graduation.  

  • Isabella Colbert, a junior environmental science major, will attend a program in San Jose, Costa Rica as she seeks a global perspective and insight into the cultural, biological and ecological diversity of her host country.  

  • Citlalli Ocampo Bernal is a senior studying psychology, with a minor in anthropology, and she will travel to KCP International Japanese Language School. Bernal wants to learn a third language during the program before continuing her education to become a clinical psychologist.  

  • Rebecca Mercado is a senior environmental science major at Western who will complete a study abroad program in Pau, France to focus on French language and European studies.  

  • Reuben Martinez, an economics major, will study abroad in Japan during his senior year.  


To learn more about study abroad opportunities at Western, contact Hannah Nevitt at hannah.nevitt@wwu.edu or the WWU Fellowships Office at fellowshipawardsoffice@wwu.edu.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 10:26am