By Chris Bryant
Four Florida A&M University (FAMU) students have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Program scholarships and or internships for the 2020-2021 school year.
Administered by the U.S. State Department, the Gilman International Scholarship Program enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity, according to the program’s website.
The program received 7,000 applications and made awards to 1,000 students. The top 14.27 percent of applicants received the award.
“Increasing the number of students who apply for the very competitive Gilman scholarship has been one of our strategies to make study abroad more affordable for FAMU students,” William T. Hyndman III, Ed.D., assistant vice president FAMU Office of International Education and Development.
Among the Gilman scholars is Magdalie Mexile, a senior veterinarian technology student in the FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences (CAFS). She was born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in Tampa.
“As a kid I always knew I wanted to work with animals but never really knew what that would look like until transferring to FAMU after my sophomore year of college,” said Mexile, who hopes that by summer 2021 she will be able to study abroad in South Africa. Mexile believes South Africa will be a great place to learn about wildlife conservation, her passion.
“I’ll get to research and closely study a variety of the wildlife, focusing on large cats, that is part of South Africa’s ecosystem,” she said.
Rebekah Hill is also a CAFS student. The Bartow, Fla., resident hopes to learn more about sustaining and conserving food in Costa Rica next summer.
Tyandra Mosley, a senior social work student from Gainesville, Fla., received funding to participate in a FAMU faculty-led service-learning program in Trinidad & Tobago.
“My study abroad plans are to experience the world outside of the U.S.,” Mosley said. “I plan to gain valuable knowledge while also sharing with others the knowledge that I have attained.”
Mosley also believes the experience will help her be more independent and self-reliant.
Meanwhile, Noella Williams, a senior broadcast journalism student from Pensacola, Fla., hopes to study journalism at Sciences Po Reims in France next spring. Sciences Po is a FAMU exchange partner university. More than half the students enrolled at the college are international.