CCNY trio earns Gilman Scholarships for study abroad

Three City College of New York undergraduates are headed to Asia and South America on Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships. Seniors Deborah Cobourne and Marlyn Santos-De La Rosa, and sophomore Amber Raine McCandless are recipients of the competitive national scholarships that provide support for overseas travel and research.

Cobourne, who is a psychology major in the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, will spend the 2024-2025 academic year in South Korea studying sociology.  

The Brooklyn resident’s other honors at CCNY include the Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship from the Watson Foundation, and a MARC/U-RISE Fellowship funded by the National Institutes of Health. She plans to pursue a nursing and research career.

Santos-De La Rosa, a theatre and speech major, will attend the Portuguese Language and Culture program in São Pedro da Aldeia, Brazil, January 2 – 23, 2025. There the East Harlem resident, whose minors are Portuguese Language & Lusophone Cultures and Black Studies, will study the arts, culture, history, and literature of São Pedro da Aldeia and the Lake Region of Brazil.

Last spring, Santos-De La Rosa was the recipient of the Downer Language Scholarship in Portuguese from the CCNY Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literature.  She’s scheduled to graduate in spring 2025.

“My goal is to become an advocate for cultural awareness and preservation, utilizing my background in theatre, speech, and language studies to promote understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, particularly those within the Black diaspora,” she said. “I also aim to pursue cultural advocacy through my art.”

McCandless, CCNY’s third Gilman Scholar, is an international relations and history double major. She will spend the 2024-2025 academic year in Japan studying the language and politics there. Her Gilman is in the “Critical Needs Language Award” category. It adds to her other academic honors: a Certificate of Achievement from the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literature, and the Dean's List. 

Scheduled to graduate in spring 2026, McCandless sees diplomacy in her future. “I want to become a diplomat specializing in the international relations of East Asia,” said the Harlem resident. 

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. Education research organization Degree Choices ranks CCNY #1 nationally among universities for economic return on investment. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi (now Lightcast) puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Jay Mwamba
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