Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

Nontraditional student receives Gilman scholarship to study in Nicaragua

RELEASED: May 19, 2011

Araceli Whitwam-Sell
Araceli Whitwam-Sell

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

According to program administrators, the largest number of applications in the 10-year history of the program was received for the summer 2011 application cycle.

Sophomore Araceli Whitwam-Sell, of Eau Claire, was among the more than 2,600 who applied, and among just over 500 who received awards. This summer she will study in Granada, Nicaragua, the oldest colonial city in continental America with a population of approximately 100,000 people, located on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. The Latin American studies major will participate in a program called "Women in Nicaragua: Culture, Language and Society."

"We will be looking at the women's movement in Nicaragua and how the dynamic political strife and wars have impacted the women of this country," she said. "Nicaraguan women are taking charge of their lives, empowering themselves economically and politically, and we will have the privilege of living with many of them as our host families and seeing the challenges they face every day.

Immersion in the feminist movement in Nicaragua is appealing to Whitwam-Sell, who is also minoring in women's studies.

"I cannot wait to listen to the stories these amazing and resilient women have to share with me," Whitwam-Sell said. "Can you imagine sharing a cup of coffee with one of these ladies and listening to what she has overcome? I've already purchased a jumbo journal that will never leave my side because I hope to compile as many interviews as possible of these amazing women."

Whitwam-Sell will return to Eau Claire Aug. 22. Her follow-on project has not been finalized, but options may include the sharing of her experiences at the Study Abroad Fair or other presentations as appropriate, or making herself available to parents of students who may have questions about the study abroad experience.

"I am a nontraditional student and more than likely will have a different perspective on the experience than a traditional age student," she 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 marchwcc@uwec.edu.

-30-

RD/DW

Back to:
Current year's news releases

All news releases
News and information home

 

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.