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Two awarded U.S. Department of State Gilman scholarships for study abroad

Lamar University students Linda Pham, a mathematics major from Bridge City, and Kay-Alana Turner, a business management and Spanish major from Lumberton, have been awarded the prestigious Gilman Scholarship.

They are two of more than 850 American undergraduate students from 359 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the spring 2017 term.

Linda PhamPham will receive the maximum award of $8,000 to study on exchange at Seoul National University of Science and Technology. There she will study Korean, a critical-need language, alongside her STEM classes. Turner also will be studying on exchange at ESC Rennes School of Business in France with an award totaling $4,000.

Turner is a member of the McNair Scholars Program, which helps underrepresented students towards graduate studies by providing research opportunities and student-faculty mentor relationships. She is also a Lamar Ambassador and a member of the Reaud Honors College, Global Lamar, the College of Business Student Advisory Council and the Wesley Student Foundation.

Pham is a Cardinal Scholar and a member of the Reaud Honors College. A multilingual student, Pham speaks fluent Vietnamese and conversational Spanish and Korean. After her previous study abroad in South Korea, she helped found LU’s Korean Culture Club and joined Cardinals Beyond Borders.

Kay-Alana TurnerThe Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or career-oriented internships abroad. The purpose of the scholarship is to better prepare U.S. students to thrive in the global economy.

The congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston.

Congressman Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, said that study abroad is a special experience for all students who participate.

“Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community,” he said.