EKU Now Boasts Second Gilman International Scholarship Recipient

Published on April 28, 2015

A second Eastern Kentucky University student has received the prestigious Gilman International Scholarship.

Somerset native Eric King, a senior anthropology major, will travel to Bolivia to study regional archaeology and culture for two independent study courses. He joins junior public health major Tori Caldwell, who will use her Gilman Scholarship in Tanzania. Caldwell’s scholarship was announced in February.

“This will hopefully be the first of many excursions to Latin America, which has always fascinated me,” King said. “Latin America will be a central focus in my future research.”

King, who receives a $3,500 stipend, credited EKU Anthropology faculty members for their assistance.

“Dr. Kelli Carmean has always been a supportive adviser and professor,” he said. “She is also sponsoring one of my independent study courses. Dr. Benjamin Freed has always challenged me to think and learn more critically. Dr. Jennifer Wies has pushed me to work for my knowledge, and is sponsoring my other independent study course. Dr. Jon Endonino has shown me the practical use for theory and that practicality does not limit one’s good intentions.”

He also thanked Jennifer White, director of EKU’s Center for International Education; EKU Financial Aid Coordinator Amanda McCracken; and Dr. Minh Nguyen, coordinator of EKU’s Office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships; as well as his “accomplice,” Candice King, a Berea College economics student also headed to Bolivia on a Gilman Scholarship; and Ann Butwell, the study abroad liaison at Berea. “Without their expertise and encouragement, I would not have had any chance.”

King plans to be an artist, writer and researcher, and teach at a college after receiving a doctoral degree.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which bears the name of a former Congressman and chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education.

"Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates," Gilman said. "Living and learning in a vastly different environment … not only exposes students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world."

The Office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships at EKU assists students with the deliberation and application process. The Office offers individual advising assistance to all EKU students in: determining appropriate fellowships or scholarships to pursue, coordinating application materials, selecting recommenders, preparing compelling personal statements, developing project proposals or proposed programs of study, and interviewing. The coordinator is Dr. Minh Nguyen at minh.nguyen@eku.edu.