25 WKU Students Recognized by Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad
- Friday, December 11th, 2020
(First row from left: Olivia Allen, Asiana Bell, Jaylyn Briggs, Whitney Campbell, Vannetty Coffee. Second row from left: Aaron Coin, Makayla Davis, Eli Edens, Phoenix Gray, Kiah Grier. Third row from left: Mark Lamb, Brooke Larson. Fourth row from left: Addison McCoun, Nina Ni, Jessica Perez, Morgan Porter, Isaiah Richardson. Fifth row from left: Lukendra (Star) Riddle, Shelby Robertson, Hope Wells, Kendall Wheeler, Matthew Wininger. Three additional students are not pictured.)
25 WKU students were recognized by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for study abroad in the October 2020 application cycle. 21 WKU students—more than any other university in Kentucky—were offered scholarships totaling $98,500 with an average award amount of $4,690. Four additional students were recognized as alternates.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the operations of the scholarship program and the study abroad programs it funds. Recipients whose study abroad plans are interrupted by travel restrictions are able to defer awards to later terms or apply funding to alternative programs, including credit-bearing virtual international opportunities.
The following students, in addition to one student who did not wish to be recognized, were awarded funding:
Asiana Bell of Portland, Tennessee is the daughter of Victoria Bell. A double major in criminology and sociology with a minor is psychology, she plans to be a voice and advocate for marginalized people. She will study in South Korea in fall 2021.
Jaylyn Briggs of Clarksville, Tennessee is the daughter of Lauren Hubbard and niece of Kenya Jones. With a major in interior design and fashion merchandising and a minor in business administration, she plans to start a furniture collection combining traditional Korean design with modern American style. In fall 2021, she will study in South Korea.
Whitney Campbell of Powell, Tennessee is the daughter of April Hubbs and Scott Campbell. After completing degrees in political science and German studies, she will attend law school. She is pursuing a career in diplomacy with the U.S. Department of State. In summer 2021, she will study in Morocco.
Vannetty Coffee of Louisville is an English major with a concentration in literature and a sociology major with concentration in inequality and social change who is pursuing careers in writing, law, and education. In fall 2021, they will study in the United Kingdom.
Makayla Davis of Louisville is the daughter of Tiffany Davis and stepdaughter of Terica Campbell. A broadcasting major with a minor in teaching English as a second language (TESL), she is pursuing a career in broadcast journalism with interest in the Youtube platform. She will study in South Korea in fall 2021.
Eli Edens is an English major with creative writing concentration and a communication studies major who plans to study in the United Kingdom. With interest in fiction writing, they will pursue a master of fine arts degree after graduating from WKU.
Phoenix Gray of Shelbyville is the daughter of Melinda Keiner-Rummel and Danial Rummel. A triple major in biochemistry, chemistry, and Chinese with minors in biophysics and biology, she is pursuing Ph.D programs in immunology and microbiology toward a career in industrial drug development and antigen pathogenesis. A student in the Chinese Flagship Program, she planned to study in Taiwan in spring 2021.
Kiah Grier of Louisville is the daughter of Crystal and Lewis Grier. A social work and creative writing major, she will seek a master’s degree and become a licensed social worker doing school-based mental health therapy. She will study in Tanzania in summer 2021.
Mark Lamb of Livingston County is the son of Leigh Williams and Jerry Lamb. After completing his degree in music, he will pursue a career as a music educator. In summer 2021, he will study in Austria.
Brooke Larson of Cookeville, Tennessee is the daughter of Vaughan and Brian Larson. After completing the special education and elementary education program, she will pursue a master’s degree with a teaching english as a second language (TESL) certificate. She will study in Ireland in summer 2021.
Addison McCoun of Frankfort is the daughter of Shawn and Craig Foley and Scott McCoun. With majors in political science and history and a minor in legal studies, she is pursuing a career in law with interest in becoming an elected official. In summer 2021, she will study in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.
Nina Ni of Monticello is the daughter of Zhou and Mei Ni. She is pursuing dual degrees in international business with concentration in international management and Chinese. A student in the Chinese Flagship Program, she will study in Taiwan in fall 2021.
Jessie Onuobia of Antioch, TN is an interior design and fashion merchandising major with concentration in fashion merchandising. She is pursuing a career in the fashion industry, a career she hopes will land her in New York City or abroad. In fall 2021, she will study in Italy.
Jessica Perez of Lexington is the daughter of Elva Rodriguez and Jose Perez. After completing her degree in music education, she will pursue a career as an elementary or middle school music teacher. She will study in Austria in summer 2021.
Isaiah Richardson of Bowling Green is the son of Christy Richardson. A computer science major, he is pursuing a career as a software engineer working abroad. He will study in South Korea in fall 2021.
Lukendra (Star) Riddle of Memphis, Tennessee is a dance major with minors in Spanish and musical theatre. She is pursuing a career as an English teacher in South Korea where she will also pursue her interests in dance, acting, writing, and modeling. In summer 2021, she will study in South Korea.
Shelby Robertson of Russell County is the daughter of Pam and Brent Robertson. A biology major with a minor in biophysics, she is pursuing a career as a physician invested in rural areas and advocating for equal access to healthcare. She will study in Tanzania in summer 2021.
Hope Wells of Prospect is a social work major with minors in gender and women’s studies and sales. Inspired by other strong women, she is pursuing a career empowering others in spaces that foster communication and connection. In summer 2021, she will study in the Netherlands.
Kendall Wheeler of Murray is the son of Beth and Les Madden. After completing his degree in biochemistry he will attend medical school to pursue a career as a pediatrician. He is also interested in finding ways to increase sustainability in the medical field. He will study in Tanzania in summer 2021.
Matthew Wininger of Bowling Green is an agriculture, political science, and international affairs major with a minor in sales. He is pursuing a career in agricultural food production in the biotech industry. In summer 2021, he will study in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.
The following students were designated alternates who may receive the scholarship if additional funding becomes available:
Olivia Allen of Edmonson County is the daughter of Jennifer and Chris Allen. With a major in English and minors in legal studies and history, she will pursue a law career with a focus on human rights, social justice international law, and disabilities advocacy. She will study in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in summer 2021.
Aaron Coin of Bowling Green is a music major. He is pursuing a career that involves creating, playing, and sharing music. He plans to pursue this passion by studying in Austria in summer 2021.
Morgan Porter of Louisville is the daughter of Misty and Brian Porter. With majors in psychology and criminology, she is pursuing a career as a criminal defense lawyer focused on crime prevention and rehabilitation in juveniles. In summer 2021, she plans to study in the United Kingdom.
McKenzie Rodgers of White Plains is the daughter of Jeff and Kristal Rodgers. With a major in communication disorders and a minor in business administration, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in speech language pathology. She plans to study in the United Kingdom in summer 2021.
All of the students recognized in this application cycle worked with Lindsey Houchin, coordinator of international opportunities in the Office of Scholar Development at WKU, to prepare their applications and with advisors in the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning to find the best study abroad program to fit their goals.
Students interested in studying abroad in summer 2021, fall 2021, winter 2021, and/or spring 2022 are encouraged to work with the Office of Scholar Development at WKU and the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning before the upcoming Gilman Scholarship deadline on March 2.
About the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship: Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Gilman Scholarship program funds internships or study abroad programs for undergraduate Pell Grant recipients. Since 2001, the Gilman Scholarship has enabled more than 33,000 Americans to study in 151 countries, representing diverse backgrounds including ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, and first-generation college students.
About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in nationally competitive scholarships.
About the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL): SAGL serves the WKU community by engaging students, faculty and staff in diverse, educational and cultural experiences through faculty-led, exchange, consortia and other study abroad opportunities.
Contact: Lindsey Houchin, email@example.com.