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UW-Eau Claire student receives Gilman Scholarship to study abroad

September 13, 2013
Gilman Scholarship recipient Christina Manwiller in Riomaggiore, Italy.

EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student has been awarded a scholarship through the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to study abroad.

Christine Manwiller, a senior art history major and University Honors Program participant from Turtle Lake, was awarded $5,000 to study at the Lorenzo de Medici Institute in Florence, Italy, for the 2013-14 academic year.

"I probably would have only gone for one semester without the scholarship," Manwiller said. "I decided to apply because I was planning to attend Lorenzo de Medici for an entire year to complete their certificate program for art conservation."

Manwiller, a student in UW-Eau Claire's University Honors Program, arrived in Italy Aug. 28 and began classes Sept. 2.

"I am beyond thrilled to be able to see in-person (the) artwork and architecture that I have studied in my art history classes at UW-Eau Claire. Thank you to the Gilman Scholarship program for making this incredible experience possible," Manwiller said.

Manwiller also cited several of her UW-Eau Claire professors, Dr. Gene Hood, art & design; Dr. Karen O'Day, art & design; Sandra Starck, art & design; and Dr. Jefford Vahlbusch, University Honors Program/foreign languages, for their assistance in preparing her for her time in Italy, and Cheryl Lochner-Wright in the Center for International Education for assisting her with her Gilman application.

According to the program's website, the Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad and was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. This scholarship provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at two- or four-year colleges or universities to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Manwiller said the Gilman award also is pushing her to document and share her experiences. The Gilman program asks recipients to complete a "follow-on project" in conjunction with their scholarship award.

"As part of my follow-on project I am completing an article a month along with an oil pastel drawing and submitting both to my hometown newspaper," Manwiller said. "I hope to inspire other students from my hometown to pursue study abroad programs and scholarships."

When she returns, Manwiller plans to pursue a graduate degree in art conservation at the University of Delaware.

To learn more about Manwiller's experiences in Florence, view her blog,

For more information about the Gilman Scholarship Program, contact Cheryl Lochner-Wright, study abroad coordinator in UW-Eau Claire's Center for International Education, at



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