CeO Scholars win prestigious Gilman International Studies Scholarships

Several UW-Madison Center for Educational Opportunity (CeO) students have been selected to be prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholars.

Linda Sancen, Ger Thao, Bee Yang, Gao Lou Yang, and Pa Zau Yang, all students at UW-Madison, are among more than 850 undergraduates from 324 colleges and universities across the United States awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for study abroad during the fall 2013 semester or 2013-14 academic year.

Each Gilman Scholar receives up to $5,000 to apply towards study abroad program costs.  The program aims to diversify the population of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go.  Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in an international internship for academic credit are eligible.

Among the UW-Madison students and selected for 2013-14 scholarships are CeO Scholars:

  • Linda Sancen of Chicago, a senior in management and human resource, was awarded a scholarship to study at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in China;
  • Ger Thao of Green Bay, WI, a senior with an undeclared major, was awarded a scholarship to study at National Taiwan University in Taiwan;
  • Bee Yang of Green Bay, WI, a senior in psychology, was awarded a scholarship to study at Yonsei University in South Korea;
  • Gao Yang of Kronenwetter, WI, a sophomore in human development and family studies, was awarded a scholarship to study at Korea University Exchange in South Korea; and
  • Pa Yang of Madison, WI, a senior in Asian American Studies, was awarded a scholarship to study at Yonsei University, South Korea, in Fall 2013.

Since 2001, more than 13,350 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholars representing 1,186 U.S. Institutions have studied in 131 countries.

“Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates,” says Benjamin A. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee.

“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,” Gilman says.

“International education is one of the best tools for developing mutual understanding and building connections between people from different countries,” says Allan Goodman, president and CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE), which administers the program. “It is critical to the success of American diplomacy and business, and the lasting ties that Americans make during their international studies are important to our country in times of conflict as well as times of peace.”

In addition, CeO stuent Pa Zau Yang also was awarded an IAP Scholars award for the fall semester in South Korea.

Other CeO scholars from UW-Madison who have recently received Gilman scholarships include: Andrea Bonaparte, who was selected to study in Venezuela; and Claire Stamborski, who was selected to study in China.

CeO is a unit student services program operating under the office of the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer/Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement.

Portions of this article were excerpted from information gathered by Kerry G. Hill. For more informtion on UW-Madison Gilman Scholars, go to: