MISSOULA – Seven students from the University of Montana have been awarded the prestigious Gilman scholarship to study abroad.
The 2022-23 UM Gilman Fellowship recipients are Shelby Bauman, Stephan Cardella, Hannah Davis, Maggie Gibbons, Molly Lagasse, Emily Ramirez, and Brandon Smith.
“All of this year’s recipients are extraordinarily passionate about their interests and clearly communicate that passion, their interest in study abroad, and their ability to represent the United States abroad in their applications,” said Dr. Kylla Benes, Director of UM’s Office of External Fellowships and Fellowships.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Gilman Scholarship aims to increase the number of U.S. citizens who study abroad and to foster mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and other countries. The scholarship allows undergraduate students to study or intern abroad and often funds applicants who historically may not be seeking international educational opportunities.
Baumann, of Missoula, Montana, will be going to Charles Stuart University in Australia in the spring of 2024 to study Environmental Science. Bauman is an Environmental and Sustainability Science major and Nature Studies minor with an interest in sustainable agricultural practices and science communication. She has many experiences abroad and in agriculture, including an internship on a free-range pig farm in New Zealand and volunteering on a permaculture farm in Peru. At Charles Stuart, Bauman plans to focus on global climate change issues and their impact on Australian ecosystems while exploring the country.
Cardella, a junior majoring in business management and entrepreneurship, traveled to Romania in May 2023 on a trip co-sponsored by UM’s College of Business and Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu. In Sibiu, Cardella worked with local businesses to learn about international business practices and provide expertise. He chose to work with the UNIMAT company, assisting them in their e-commerce platform, their web marketing and their internationalization efforts through the translation into English of marketing tools. Originally from Montana, Cardella wants to work in long-term sustainable business practice, particularly in the area of affordable and sustainable housing in the state.
“I hope this experience will provide a deeper look at business practices and additional insights into these industries that could be applied to sustainable home building concepts to help reduce costs and create more energy efficient buildings” , Cardella said.
Davis, a theater student, spent her spring semester at the American University in Athens, Greece. A junior of Missoula, Montana, Davis pursued music and acting classes alongside general education classes while in Greece. It was the first time overseas for Davis.
“Greece is rich in theater and history,” Davis said. “I’m thrilled to have the chance to explore a new place, understand a new culture, expand my understanding of theater and meet new people from another country.”
Gibbons, a freshman from Missoula, Montana, will spend the 2023-2024 academic year at the University of Almeria in Spain with a specialization in psychology. Gibbons was able to travel to Spain in the spring of 2022 and knew she wanted to return to study abroad. She ultimately wants to become an art therapist to accompany people on their journey to healing and growth. Along with her interest in art, she is particularly interested in exploring the art and architecture of Almeria.
“I am very grateful to have been awarded the Gilman Scholarship to fund my study abroad experience and pursue my academic and personal interests in Spain,” said Gibbons. “I’m so excited to see what this next year will bring to my life.”
Lagasse, a wildlife biology major, is working this summer for the Laos Conservation Trust for Wildlife to support its mission to care for, educate and protect Laos’ diverse wildlife. Originally from New Hampshire, Lagasse came to UM for the wildlife biology program. She plans to pursue a career in international conservation.
“I want to see how wildlife is managed in another country and give me an edge in future wildlife-related jobs,” Lagasse said. “This opportunity will give me a different perspective to bring to my new jobs or help me brainstorm new ideas.”
Ramirez, a sophomore from Billings, Montana, will be going to the University of Sunderland in the UK in the spring to study art and animation. Ramirez has recently been intrigued by shows like “Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared” and “The Amazing World of Gumball,” which are produced in the UK. So she sought to study in the country to learn the use of mixed media in animation and experience. the place and culture that inspired his artistic interests.
“I have a desire to experience the art world from a new perspective and to better understand how living in different fields causes changes in art,” Ramirez said. “I want to know what changes I can make to myself to improve my own skills in the creative field and limit the potential for tunnel vision.”
Smith, a sophomore studying international relations and comparative politics and history, will spend the 2023-24 academic year in Denmark at Arhaus University. While there, he will focus his studies on political science while exploring the history and rich culture of the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. Since joining UM, Smith has been involved with the campus and local community by participating in Model UN, MontPIRG, and Soft Landing. He aspires to work in international relations and diplomacy.
“My time abroad will give me invaluable skills, including new ways of communication and cooperation,” Smith said. “The unique perspectives on the world, life and culture will inevitably be invaluable to my future endeavours, as it will make me a better leader as well as a better future diplomat.”
Contact: Kylla Benes, Director, UM Office of External Scholarships and Fellowships, 406-243-5241, firstname.lastname@example.org.