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Four UW-Eau Claire students named Gilman Scholars

January 24, 2012
Darcy Behringer
Darcy Behringer
EAU CLAIRE — Four University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students were awarded scholarships through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad for the spring 2012 semester.


Freshman Darcy Behringer, River Falls, was awarded $3,000 to study at Southern Cross University in Lismore, Australia. Sophomore Kelsey Freymiller, Viola, received $4,000 to study in Marburg, Germany. Junior Kathryn Jensen, Tomah, and sophomore Collin Weyers, Two Rivers, received scholarships to study at the University of Ghana at Accra, West Africa, through the International Student Exchange Program. Jensen was awarded $3,500 and Weyers was awarded $5,000.

Behringer, an art major with an emphasis in photography, chose Lismore because it complemented her interests in art, education and the ocean. She plans to volunteer at a koala hospital, learn about the Australian culture and push her own personal boundaries.

"I am looking forward to taking myself entirely out of my comfort zone in a new place and culture," Behringer said.

Kelsey Freymiller
Kelsey Freymiller
Freymiller, a German education major, will study in Marburg in a program designed to immerse students in the German language. Freymiller's goal is to greatly improve her speaking proficiency as well as spend time with native Germans and learn about their history.

"Although this didn't come to my attention until after I had been accepted into the study abroad program, I learned that Marburg is near the area of Germany where my ascendants and ancestors lived before they emigrated to southwestern Wisconsin in the mid-1800s," Freymiller said. "I plan on making a special trip to see if I can find some distant relatives."

Kathryn Jensen
Kathryn Jensen
Jensen, a communication sciences and disorders major, plans to take courses that fulfill her general education requirements, as well as classes such as African literature. She also plans to volunteer at Mawuvio's Outreach Programme in Ghana — a nongovernmental organization that provides free education to young orphans.

"As a communication sciences and disorders major I was looking for an experience that would expose me to my major in a different cultural environment," Jensen said. "Volunteering at Mawuvio's Outreach Programme will help me do just that because at this program there are three deaf students in need of a teacher who knows sign language."

Weyers
Collin Weyers
Weyers, a philosophy major, will study African philosophy and history, as well as other general education subjects. He hopes to come away with a greater understanding of African philosophy and thought in a post-colonial setting.

"I am very excited to dive into African history and thinking, and also prepare myself for graduate school in philosophy," Weyers said.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, provides awards that allow American undergraduate students who receive federal Pell Grant funding at two- or four-year colleges or universities to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.

For more information, contact Colleen Marchwick, study abroad coordinator in the Center for International Education at UW-Eau Claire, at marchwcc@uwec.edu.

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JT/JB/DW

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