UNH Student Kellie Shea, of Beverly, Wins Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

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UNH Student Kellie Shea, Gilman Scholarship winner, will study in St. Petersburg, Russia.

DURHAM, NH (12/12/2012)(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.

Honors student Kellie Shea of Beverly, Mass., will be the sole UNH student representative in Russia next semester. As a junior majoring in Russian/international affairs, Shea will study in St. Petersburg at the Gertsen Institute, where she will take classes in Advanced Conversation, Phonetics and Intonation, Advanced Grammar and Lexical Study, Contemporary Russian Society, Russian Literature, and an elective course in which she will analyze the political and economic system of Russia and the independent states of the former Soviet Union. "I plan to go to law school and hopefully focus on international and immigration law," Shea said. "So this scholarship greatly helps with my development and understanding in those areas by allowing me to study them in a foreign environment." Shea will "give back" upon her return to the U.S. by conducting a campus outreach program to advocate for international education opportunities to fellow members of the UNH Model United Nations.

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.

Two of the winners (Brianna Cole and Kellie Shea) are dual International Affairs (IA) majors. The IA program includes language proficiency, study and research abroad, and capstone project and presentation requirements. As Cole noted, "My regional focus and IA capstone will be in regard to Argentine and Latin American studies, so I am really excited to experience life in Argentina first hand." And Shea will begin research on her project, which examines the economic transition from the Soviet Union's planned economy to its capitalist economy, while in St. Petersburg.

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

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.