Deasia Hawkins '18 teaches in the Summer Writing Institute at her former high school, William Nottingham, in Syracuse, N.Y.

Antonia "Toni" Burdick ’18 and Deasia Hawkins ’18 have been awarded Gilman International Scholarship Program awards for undergraduate study abroad. Burdick plans to study in Senegal this fall through the Council on International Educational Exchange and in France in spring 2017 through the Hamilton in France program. Hawkins will study in Germany for the 2016-17 academic year through the Tufts-in-Tübingen program.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.  Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs.

Burdick, a government major at Hamilton, is a member of Hamilton Association for Volunteer, Outreach and Charity (HAVOC) E-board. She has been a Let’s Get Ready program SAT tutor, a reading tutor for America Reads and tutored refugee and immigrant adults and young adults in English. She is an also an intern in Hamilton’s Financial Aid office.

This summer Burdick interned for National Network for Youth in Washington, D.C., where she assisted with advocacy campaign support, membership outreach, design and branding on social media platforms, editorial work and non-profit administration.

Hawkins, a literature concentrator, is an intern in Hamilton’s Communications office. She is an usher at Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts and America Reads coordinator and tutor. In 2015 Hawkins interned for Nottingham High School Summer Writing Institute in Syracuse, and at the Young Author’s Academy at the YMCA in Syracuse. At Hamilton she founded Our Voices, We Speak, an organization that aims to inform the Hamilton community about bullying, self-harm and suicide.  She participated in the Levitt Leadership Institute, an intensive leadership training program, and volunteered for Hamilton Autism Advocates for Neuro Diversity (HAAND), an organization that promotes awareness of and support for individuals with Autism.

The Gilman Program highlights the importance of international study for undergraduates given the increasing global interdependence of economies and cultures in today’s world. As such, it seeks to eliminate one of the largest barriers for many study abroad candidates: the financial burden. The program also encourages students to pursue their studies or internships in areas of the world not conventionally selected as study abroad destinations (i.e. outside of Western Europe, Australia or New Zealand). Award recipients must complete a follow-up project that promotes international education to their universities or their home communities.

More than 9,000 applications are received each year and around 2,500 scholarships are awarded.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program was established through the International Opportunity Act of 2000 and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

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