UNH Student Audrey Petteruti of Brunswick Wins Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

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UNH Student Audrey Petteruti, Gilman Scholarship winner, will study abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France

DURHAM, NH (12/14/2012)(readMedia)-- Five UNH students have received prestigious and competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to fund study abroad trips in spring 2013. They are Jennifer Baker, Brianna Cole, Heather Diversi, Audrey Petteruti, and Kellie Shea. UNH has not seen this many Gilman winners in its history as an institution.

Gilman Scholarships provide up to $5,000 in financial support to students who are traveling abroad on university-approved programs that are four weeks or longer. To be eligible for a Gilman, a student must have financial need, as evidenced by being a Pell grant recipient.

The Gilman Scholarship requires that students commit to a "follow-on" project upon their return to the United States. These projects help advertise the benefits of study abroad and the Gilman program to the university and local communities.

Audrey Petteruti is a junior in the Honors Program who hails from Brunswick, Maine. In Aix-en-Provence, France, she hopes to improve her fluency in French, which she has been studying for seven years. As a biomedical sciences major, Petteruti plans to attend medical school and become a doctor. As she wrote in her Gilman application essay, "One day, I hope to take this experience and practice medicine in an underserved area of northern Maine where the French language will be necessary to communicate and connect with the people."

Petteruti's follow-on project will involve a presentation to Alpha Epsilon Delta, the National Health Pre-professional Honors Society, of which she is a member. Petteruti is also the recipient of the highly competitive Foley-Jackson scholarship for UNH students.  Commenting on how critical the Gilman scholarship is to her study abroad plans, Petteruti said, "The Gilman Scholarship will allow me to concentrate on my studies abroad without financial pressure. Without UNH's outreach to students about the Gilman scholarship, getting to France would have been a struggle."

Gilman Scholarships are offered twice a year, with deadlines in October and March. In preparation for the October deadline, the director of the Office of National Fellowships, Jeanne Sokolowski, with the assistance of Cindy Mills, the assistant director of financial aid, contacted all UNH Pell grant recipients with general information on the scholarship. She also held several information sessions and worked one-on-one with students applying for the Gilman.

These five students also worked closely with the Center for International Education on choosing a program that was an excellent fit for their academic and professional plans, which is an essential factor in writing competitive applications for the Gilman. The center will continue its support to the Gilman winners through one-on-one advising, pre-departure orientation and reentry services-similar support that it gives to the approximately 25 percent of all UNH students who study abroad.

The Gilman Program aims to increase the number and diversity of students studying abroad, including students studying in non-traditional countries, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand; students with diverse ethnic backgrounds; students from a diverse range of institutions; students engaged in non-traditional (for study abroad) fields of study, such as the sciences and engineering; and students with disabilities.

For more information, visit http://www.iie.org/Programs/Gilman-Scholarship-Program

The UNH Center for International Education supports campus-wide internationalization and student, faculty and staff engagement on the international level. Center responsibilities include:

• International Affairs Dual Major

• Study abroad

• Scholarship opportunities

• International seminars

• Faculty development

Contact Gregg Orifici at (603) 862-4788 or gregg.orifici@unh.edu

About the Office of National Fellowships: Established in 2005, the UNH Office of National Fellowships provides information, counsel, and editorial support to high achieving students applying for national and international fellowships and scholarships. The services of the Fellowships Office are available to undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni who are interested in opportunities like the Gilman Scholarship. Contact Jeanne Sokolowski at (603) 862-0733 or jeanne.sokolowski@unh.edu.