Juniors Awarded Prestigious Gilman International Scholarship

Jasmine Carter ’19 and Alexus Smith ’19 have been named winners of the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which will enable them to study abroad this spring.

Both students are part of a group selected from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants to receive this highly competitive award. Carter and Smith are heading to the United Kingdom for Spring Term and will be participating in the Hollins Abroad – London program. Smith will be blogging about her experience as a disabled traveler and interviewing disabled Londoners.

Jasmine Carter
Jasmine Carter ’19

The Gilman Scholarship Program encourages students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. Since its inception in 2001 by the Institute of International Education, the program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad. The scholarship is named after the late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York, who served in the House of Representatives for 30 years, chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee, and supported the establishment of the program by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000.

Alexus Smith '19
Alexus Smith ’19

 

 

 

“Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates,” Gilman said. “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”


Kindra Wyatt ’14 Wins Prestigious Study Abroad Scholarship

wyattHollins University sophomore Kindra Wyatt has been named the winner of a $10,000 award from the Fund for Education Abroad’s Hiliary Echo Douglas Memorial Scholarship to study in India during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Wyatt, who resides in Salem, Virginia, is among just 11 students selected from a pool of 224 applicants representing over 190 U. S. colleges and universities to receive an award, and is the only student to receive $10,000, the highest award given. Scholarships are granted with a preference for underrepresented students in study abroad programs, including minorities, science and technology majors, community college students, and those choosing to study in non-traditional countries.

The scholarship was established in memory of Hiliary Echo Douglas, who graduated from the University of Evansville in 1999 and then traveled to Vietnam on a Fulbright Scholarship. She subsequently worked for various international cultural collaborations in Vietnam and later served there with CET Academic Programs, a study abroad organization that offers semester and summer programs in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Douglas died in 2008.

“This scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates Hiliary’s love of other cultures, her desire to give back to the world community, and her contagious love of life. Kindra fits this mold like a glove,” said Kirsten McKinney, Hollins’ director of international programs. “We are very proud to have assisted her in her quest to make her dream of studying in India come true.”

Founded in 2010 and based in Washington, D.C., the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) seeks to increase opportunities for U.S. students to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs by reducing financial restrictions through the provision of grants and scholarships. FEA’s goals include assisting students in the acquisition of critical foreign language skills and cultivating U.S. students’ world awareness and appreciation of cultural differences through academic and experiential opportunities.


M.F.A. in Dance Student Wins AAUW Career Development Grant

lewisLeila Anglin Lewis, a student in Hollins University’s Master of Fine Arts program in dance, has been awarded a Career Development Grant by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

AAUW presents Career Development Grants annually as a way to help empower women in furthering their careers.

“We’re so proud to continue this wonderful legacy and to salute this new class of fellows and grantees,” said Gloria Blackwell, AAUW vice president of fellowships, grants, and global programs. “They now join the ranks of Nobel Prize winners, celebrated authors, social entrepreneurs, and prominent scholars who have used AAUW funding to advance equality for women and girls.”

Lewis, who resides in Greensboro, North Carolina, is an arts administrator, dance artist, and community advocate. Her vision is to create a life-affirming community wholeness center that houses an arts ecosystem and a family centered birthing center. In addition to pursuing her M.F.A. in dance at Hollins, Lewis is studying to become a certified professional midwife.

Lewis will use her AAUW Career Development Grant to research a paper focusing on the contextualization of the movement-based works of literary artists Zora Neale Hurston and Ntozake Shange. The grant will also support work on her thesis, which will draw parallels between the history of Samba, a Brazilian music and dance form, and the phases of womanhood according to the womb.

AAUW is one of the world’s leading supporters of graduate women’s education, having awarded nearly $100 million in fellowships, grants, and awards to more than 12,000 women from more than 130 countries since 1888.


Lindsey Narmour ’15 Earns Full Scholarship to Study at Oxford this Summer

narmourSince childhood, Lindsey Narmour ’15 has wanted to study at the oldest university in the English-speaking world. This June, the Hollins University English major and Ferrum, Virginia, resident is realizing that dream.

Named a British Universities Summer Scholar (BUSS) for 2014, Narmour has been awarded an all-expense-paid scholarship by the English-Speaking Union (ESU) to spend three weeks enrolled in two major seminars, Critical Reading and Shakespeare on Stage and Screen, at England’s University of Oxford, one of the world’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.

“I was familiar with the ESU and their goal of promoting the English language between cultures and in different countries,” Narmour explains. In December 2013, she learned of the BUSS scholarship program sponsored by the ESU’s Virginia chapter, which is open to college and university juniors in the commonwealth. She applied the following month “just to see what would happen.”

Based on her grade point average, a statement of purpose explaining why she wanted to study at Oxford and what she hoped to gain from her experience, and letters of reference attesting to her character and qualifications, Narmour was invited for an interview with the ESU chapter in Richmond. Shortly thereafter, she was offered the scholarship.

“To have this opportunity now while I’m an undergraduate is remarkable and I’m very thankful for it,” she says. “Getting immersion in a place where English literature had its genesis and to be with professors whose perspective might be different than what I’ve encountered in the U.S. would enable me to have a broader range of experience with the English language and a keener understanding of it.”

Narmour transferred to Hollins last fall from Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke. “I had been looking at Hollins since high school – the English program was a huge pull for me. I had talked to and corresponded with some of the professors beforehand about the sorts of things I would be able to do if I were to go to Hollins. I found that everything they said is quite true as far as the strength of the English department. The caliber of professors here is quite wonderful.”

One of those faculty members, Professor of English Marilyn Moriarty, is Narmour’s advisor and also helped her with the scholarship application.

“The English-Speaking Union has as its mission the celebration of English as a shared language to foster global understanding and goodwill by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members,” Moriarty says. “I’m delighted that Lindsey was selected by the committee in a competitive process that will enable her to attend summer school at Oxford. Engaged, self-motivated, and knowledgeable, she is the kind of student who makes the most of every educational opportunity.”

After completing her undergraduate degree, Narmour plans to pursue both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English. Eventually, she would like to study full-time at Oxford or at least perform an independent study there.

“My aim right now is to become a professor and specialize in medieval literature. I’m looking into teaching in a different country at the university level – I’d love to live in England and possibly teach at Oxford. At the same time, I’d certainly be interested in teaching here in Virginia. If I could, I’d love to teach at Hollins or Virginia Western.”

In the meantime, Narmour is excited to make the most out of her time in Oxford this summer and is currently exploring opportunities to do research outside of the classroom and possibly travel in the area. “I’d really like to visit the Bodleian Library, which is England’s equivalent to the Library of Congress. I hope to pursue a senior thesis next year and I’d like to collect materials that will aid me later on. So, this scholarship has come at a very opportune time.”