Four Appalachian Students Receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to Study Abroad Fall 2019

Boone, NC – The Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships, a division of University College at Appalachian State University, is pleased to announce that four Appalachian seniors were awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, to study abroad during fall 2019.

Scholarship recipients Raine Lo, from the College of Arts and Sciences, Javon Nathaniel, a student in the College of Business, and Kevin Garcia Bautista and Sara Sallam, students in the College of Fine & Applied Arts, are among 912 undergraduate students from 345 colleges to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program — funded by the U.S. Department of State, in honor of late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York — increases the number of students who study or intern abroad by providing financial support to undergraduates who could not otherwise afford to travel internationally.

The Gilman scholarship makes it possible for recipients to experience international cultures and to learn languages of their choice.

The scholarship provides up to $5,000 in funding for students to study or intern abroad. Applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad can apply for a supplemental Critical Need Language Award of up to $3,000, for a combined total of up to $8,000.  

Lo, majoring in Languages, Literatures and Cultures student, has the distinction of receiving both awards and will study Japanese the entire academic year in Kyoto, Japan. She stated, “The Gilman scholarship is a great and helpful scholarship worth applying for! It is competitive, but it's a good way to challenge yourself!"

The goal of the scholarship program is to broaden the student population that studies abroad. The scholarship supports students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad.

Gilman encourages applications from first-generation college students, those in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field, ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, those in the military, students attending community colleges and minority-serving institutions, and any student interested in traveling abroad.

Bautista, who majors in Public Relations with a double minor in Global Studies and Nonprofit Organizations, will study on a multi-country CIEE program this fall in Germany and London.

“To be the first member of my family to attend college is the biggest achievement I’ve accomplished in life. Although many students from my university have had the opportunity to travel abroad, I neglected every possibility I had for obvious reasons. My socioeconomic background created an identity for me, one that led me to believe that study abroad was absurd and impossible for someone like me,” Bautista stated.

Regarding the award’s potential impact, Bautista said, “I hope to become the person who is able to leave a legacy of excellence and success to my siblings and other first-generation college students, which is why I applied for the Gilman Scholarship.”

Honors student and Wilson Scholar, Nathaniel — who is an International Business student minoring in Japanese — will spend the fall semester studying in Japan. Nathaniel said, “Thanks to this funding, I’ll be able to experience my childhood dream of traveling to Japan and studying more about the culture I love. I’ll be able to use my study abroad as a way to prepare for my honors thesis topic.”

Sallam, who majors in Industrial Design with a concentration in Product Design, stated, “I will be studying in Kortrijk, Belgium, for the full Fall 2019 semester, at Howest University. There I will be continuing my studies in Product Design and exploring its implications in a global market.”

Since its inception in 2001, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship has provided funding for 28,000 award recipients, from 1,324 U.S. institutions, to study or intern in 149 countries.

For more information about the Gilman Scholarship Program and how to apply, contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at or visit

By Terri Lockwood and Joanie Andruss

About Nationally Competitive Scholarships

Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 3,000 undergraduates in 10 majors and 175 graduate students in three master's programs, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts

Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance. Learn more at

About University College

Formed in 2007, University College consists of the university’s general education program, faculty and student support, and co-curricular programming and support – all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside the classroom. All students at Appalachian begin their education in University College and benefit from its programs until they graduate. Learn more at

Pictured from left to right, Raine Lo, Javon Nathaniel, Kevin Garcia Bautista, and Sara Sallam
Published: Jul 30, 2019 3:24pm