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January 4, 2011

Five CCNY Undergrads Named Gilman Scholars



Ayodele Oti



Gareth Rhodes



Jesse King

Program Sponsored by State Department Supports Study Abroad

Ayodele Oti, Gareth Rhodes, Jesse King, Tabassum Rahman and Catherine Mandler, undergraduates at The City College of New York, have won 2011 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships for study abroad during the spring semester.  They were among 2,300 students chosen nationwide by the International Institute of Education, which administers the program, and they will travel to China, Costa Rica, France, the United Kingdom and Egypt for periods ranging from four weeks to five months.

The Gilman Scholarships aim to prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world by helping undergraduates with limited means study abroad.  The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the congressionally funded program.  

Ms. Oti, a University Scholar in the Macaulay Honors College majoring in international environmental public health and sustainable development, will spend the spring semester in Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  “I will take intensive Spanish classes, a marine biology course, and a Latin America history and cultures course,” said the junior, who was awarded $4,500. “I will also get to know the ecology of Costa Rica by traveling to cloud rainforests, turtle reserves, volcanoes, and diving locations.”

This is her second overseas stint in six months. Ms. Oti spent last July in Iceland attending an Archaeology Field School supported by a National Science Foundation grant.
 
“Thanks to the Gilman Scholarship, I’ll be able to learn about the world's fastest-growing economy and spend time interacting with the Chinese people,” said Mr. Rhodes, the recipient of a $1,500 grant.  A political science major who interned at the White House last summer, he is spending January at the University of Shanghai studying Chinese business and Mandarin.

Mr. King, a senior pursuing a double major in English and international studies, received $1,500 to help defray study expenses in Paris.  His writing will cover the French ban on veils covering the face, including the burqa worn by Muslim women, the expulsion of the Roma [Gypsies] and French republicanism/nationalism.  “There is a distinguished joy to live and study overseas. That distinction becomes an honor when one is rewarded for it. And for that, I am very pleased and excited,” Mr. King said.

The other CCNY Gilman Scholars, Ms. Rahman and Ms. Mandler, are headed to the United Kingdom and Egypt, respectively.  Ms. Rahman, a junior, received $3,500 and her semester-long study will be related to her biology major, which is focused on neuroscience.  Ms. Mandler, a senior majoring in international studies, will use her $5,000 grant to study in Egypt.

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