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Three UW-Eau Claire students named Gilman Scholars

August 2, 2012
Ryan Jensen 
Ryan Jensen
 HessAshleyWeb
Ashley Hess
 Andrew Maher
Andrew Maher
EAU CLAIRE — Three University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students have been awarded scholarships through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad.

Junior Ashley Hess, Schofield, was awarded $5,000 to study at Ajou University, South Korea, for the 2012-13 academic year. Senior Ryan Jensen, Alexandria, Minn., received $3,500 to study at Stellenbosch University in South Africa this fall. Sophomore Andrew Maher, Hudson, received $5,000 to study at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan for the 2012-13 academic year.

Hess, a liberal studies major with an emphasis in Asian studies, will spend time learning the language and culture of South Korea. She also plans to put to use her minor, teaching English as a foreign language, by working as an English tutor.

"I visited South Korea last summer just for fun and I fell in love with it," Hess said. "Its culture is rich, unique and mesmerizing, so I couldn't wait for an opportunity to go back."

Jensen, an instrumental music education major whose primary instrument is viola, is looking forward to teaching, honing his viola skills and exploring South Africa's natural environment.

"I chose Stellenbosch because of its location as well as the conservatory that is attached to it," Jensen said. "I plan on advancing my musicianship as a violist, and I believe that the facilities in Stellenbosch can help me achieve this."

Maher, an English major with a Japanese minor, looks forward to experiencing Japan through the life of his Japanese host family, participating in extracurricular activities, traveling to other parts of Japan and enrolling in a Japanese speaking partner program to learn Japanese quickly while helping someone else learn English.

"The thing I look forward to most from this trip is the personal growth I will achieve," Maher said. "Having lived all of my life in the states, I have not had the opportunity to experience many different cultures on such an intimate level as this. I expect the worldliness achieved from this trip will vastly improve me as a person, and as a United States citizen."

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 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 UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education, at marchwcc@uwec.edu.

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