2020 Gilman Scholarships
Three Ohio Wesleyan Students Earn Awards to Support International Learning Experiences
By Cole Hatcher
DELAWARE, Ohio – Three Ohio Wesleyan University students have earned 2020 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
OWU students earning competitive Gilman Scholarships this spring and fall are sophomore Jeremiah Anderson of Dayton, Ohio; senior Miko Harper of Sandy Springs, Georgia; and senior Megha Malik of Dublin, Ohio.
The scholarships help to fund study-abroad experiences that foster mutual understanding between peoples of the United States and other countries. The late U.S. Rep. Benjamin Gilman, R-New York, for whom the scholarships are named, has said living and learning abroad provides students “a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
Jeremiah Anderson is an Ohio Wesleyan Black World Studies and psychology double major. When the university resumes international travel, he plans to use his $4,000 Gilman Scholarship to travel to rural Iringa, Tanzania, where he will participate in the Community Development, Language and Culture program. The program is administered by the Council On International Educational Exchange
“I chose this program because I am immensely dedicated to the improvement of those within the African diaspora,” Anderson said. “I plan on being an outspoken activist for Black communities, educating the masses, striving towards a future that ensures equity despite our respective identities, and lending my voice and education towards the continuous battle to end systematic and institutional racism.”
Anderson also hopes his time in East Africa helps him to identify the path he will follow after graduation.
“Understanding and experiencing the richness of my chosen country and the entire continent will give greater clarity to where I am headed in life post-OWU,” he said, noting that he chose Ohio Wesleyan because of its location and The OWU Connection program.
The university’s signature program, The OWU Connection helps students to think big (understand issues from multiple academic disciplines), go global (gain international perspective), and get real (translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience. Learn more at owu.edu/connection.
Miko Harper is a Black World Studies and theatre double major and a dance minor. She hopes to use her $3,500 Gilman Scholarship to participate this spring in The OWU Connection Travel-Learning Course, “African Women, Public Health, and Feminisms.” Following a semester of on-campus classes, the course is scheduled to include a 28-day trip to Eswatini, Lesotho, and South Africa with professors and course co-creators Dawn Chisebe (Black World Studies) and Phokeng Dailey (communication).
“My aspiration is to ingrain a new standard of what Black representation looks like in film, television, and theater,” Harper said, “specifically, work created and developed through the Black-feminist lens. This perspective ensures the ‘a-stereotypical’ portrayal of Black women by actively pursuing the objective to expand the viewer’s perception of the Black woman’s identity while highlighting the value of her life.”
Harper said she believes her Travel-Learning Course will help her to “set the foundation for the content I plan on creating and exploring in grad school and throughout my career. …
“With the aid of the Gilman Scholarship,” she said, “I can further expand my knowledge and perspectives of my studies on a global scale through travel.”
Harper said she chose Ohio Wesleyan because “the school doesn’t limit my academic and intellectual pursuits. OWU is one of the few universities that would allow me to study theatre, Black World Studies, and dance in addition to any other interests I may have discovered on campus.”
Megha Malik is an OWU pre-professional medicine and pre-preprofessional zoology double major and a chemistry and women’s and gender studies double minor. Malik hopes to use her $5,000 Gilman Scholarship to travel to Dublin, Ireland, to participate in a Summer STEM Research program at University College Dublin. The program is administered by Arcadia University.
“My academic goal is to attend medical school and pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology,” Malik said, explaining that she hopes her Ireland experience helps her to better understand “how women’s health is practiced in another region of the world. …
“I am very passionate about understanding and learning where others come from and have fostered respect for the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she said. “This has left me with a genuine interest in visiting different countries to authentically experience different cultures, and I hope my Gilman experience helps me do just that.”
Malik said she chose Ohio Wesleyan both for its smaller size and its closeness to her family home.
“I knew I needed to gradually push myself out of my comfort zone to learn and to grow, and my time here has shown me that I am ready to push those boundaries,” she said. “I’m ready to travel, explore, and learn more about myself thousands of miles from home.”
Since the Gilman International Scholarship program was established in 2001, more than 1,300 U.S. institutions, including Ohio Wesleyan, have sent over 33,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 151 countries around the globe. In 2019, Ohio Wesleyan was recognized nationally as a Gilman Program “Greatest Growth Institution.”
Gilman Scholarships have successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study. The Gilman Program is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education. Learn more at www.gilmanscholarship.org.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more undergraduate majors than many universities its size and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.