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University of Richmond Named Top Producer of Gilman Scholars

Student Scholars

Scholarship Supports Study Abroad Experiences for Students of Limited Financial Means

November 2, 2023

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND ─ The University of Richmond has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State for producing the most Gilman recipients for the 2021–22 academic year in the small institutions category. During that award cycle, 16 students received Gilman scholarships.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which oversees the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, announced top producing institutions at the Diversity Abroad Global Inclusion Conference in Chicago earlier this week.

The Gilman study abroad program was created to provide scholarships to outstanding U.S. undergraduate students who due to high financial need might not otherwise go abroad. The Gilman Top Producer campaign recognizes U.S. colleges and universities for their dedication to providing global opportunities for American students.

“This honor highlights the University of Richmond’s commitments to academic excellence, access and affordability, and providing opportunities for our students to study abroad,” said Joan Saab, executive vice president and provost. “The Gilman program is a wonderful fit for University of Richmond students who are deeply interested in global issues and cultural exchange.”

“The Gilman Scholars program allows students to study or intern abroad without worrying about the financial burden that could be a barrier,” said Dana Kuchem, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships, which oversees Richmond’s Gilman program. “Study abroad experiences through this program focus on gaining skills critical to national security and addressing shared global challenges, such as climate change, food security, and global health.”

Recent graduate Marco Barcenas-Consuelo, a cognitive science major from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, received support from Gilman, including a supplemental critical need language award, to study in Brazil during the 2021–22 academic year. 

“For me, the Gilman and Critical Need Language Award I received were especially important because I was able to take higher level Portuguese courses while I was in Brazil, and this prepared me to take linguistics classes at the exchange institution in Portuguese with other native speakers,” Barcenas-Consuelo said.

Following his Gilman award, Barcenas-Consuelo received a Fulbright Scholarship. Through that program, he is currently teaching courses in translation and business English as a visiting lecturer at the University of Aveiro in Portugal.

As of June 2023, 89 University of Richmond students have been offered Gilman scholarships since the program started in 2001.