Two Macalester students receive Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

John Glasgow '17

Two Macalester students receive Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

Zahrah Shakur '16

John Glasgow ’17, from Monmouth, Ill., and Zahrah Shakur ’16 from Mwanza, Tanzania, have received Gilman Scholarships to study abroad this summer. Glasgow will study in China while Shakur will study in Argentina, South Africa, and Vietnam. 

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. Such international exchange is intended to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

Glasgow said the Gilman Scholarship symbolizes hope.  “This scholarship serves as a beacon of hope showing that we don’t live in a global society solely devoted to aggression,” said Glasgow. “Instead there are programs and individuals dedicated to creating international peace and friendship across all sorts of boundaries.  The end result is an awakened world view that comes from getting to know an environment so different from your own that has the potential to create compassion rather than fear.”

The program aims to encourage students to choose non-traditional study and intern destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  It seeks to assist students from a diverse range of public and private institutions from all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray eligible study or intern abroad costs. These costs include program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

Shakur will be in the United States, Argentina, South Africa and Vietnam. Her program examines community health from a comparative perspective.  Glasgow will be in Beijing, China.

While he’s in China, Glasgow plans to deepen his understanding of the Chinese language and culture while also furthering his Political Science studies. Outside of the classroom his program offers a multitude of trips into China.

“My hope is that getting out of the American bubble will allow me to see a more complete and unbiased view of what, and who, China really is,” said Glasgow. “It is sometimes difficult to study China in the States without running into deep-seeded fear of ideologies different from our own. These regular, off-campus trips will allow me to experience this difference and better understand a country I’ve dedicated my Mac career to study.”

Once he graduates, Glasgow would like to work in government and more specifically, international relations.

This congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and is administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston, Texas. Named after retired congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York, the program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,045 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at

July 15 2015

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