Eleven MTSU students will study abroad on Gilman S...

Eleven MTSU students will study abroad on Gilman Scholarships

Eleven MTSU students received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship this year.

Gilman scholarships are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Applicants must be federal Pell Grant recipients in order to apply. Students chosen as Gilman scholars can receive up to $5,000 toward study-abroad or internship expenses.

Tiffany Bickers

Tiffany Bickers

Preferences are given to students who are studying critical languages, have never studied abroad before, choose unconventional locations and are first-generation college students.

“I would say definitely over 50 percent of students who are participating in study-abroad this summer are going on an MTSU faculty-led program,” said Tiffany Bickers, director of the Office of Education Abroad.

Three MTSU Gilman scholars will study in United Arab Emirates this summer under one of those signature faculty-led programs with funding from Gilman scholarships.

Concrete industry majors Arounyadeth Insyxiengmay of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Hussaen Ismail of Ashland City, Tennessee, and Peter Roldan of Shelbyville, Tennessee, will serve internships with local concrete companies under the supervision of assistant professor Ayez Ahmed.

“The reason we have three Gilman recipients (going to UAE) is because it is so unique, and that’s a major that is hard to find, as well,” said Katherine Kovar, an education abroad adviser.

Other Gilman recipients using their scholarships during the summer 2016 semester and the countries in which they will study are:Gilman Scholarship logo web

  • Rookery Baruch of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, France;
  • Dakota Beverly of Athens, Tennessee, Japan;
  • Brianna Buford of Nashville, Tennessee, Dominican Republic;
  • Emily Drew of Knoxville, Tennessee, South Korea;
  • Sabrina Watkins of Hendersonville, Tennessee, South Korea.

Martha Rodas Munoz of Nashville, Tennessee, used her Gilman to study for the full 2015-2016 academic year at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. For their spring 2016 semester studies, Jiana Kupecz of Spring Hill, Tennessee, chose to study in South Africa, and Hermon Phuntling of Knoxville, Tennessee, selected the nation of Tanzania.

For more information, contact the MTSU Office of Education Abroad at 615-898-5179 or Bickers at or Kovar at

— Gina Logue (