Gilman Scholar

State Department recognizes UR’s international focus

November 10, 2023


The University of Richmond is a longtime and leading supporter of study abroad opportunities for students. In recognition of that commitment, UR was recognized this month by the U.S. Department of State as a top producing institution for Gilman recipients.

The Gilman program provides scholarships to outstanding U.S. undergraduate students with limited financial means to go abroad.

“This honor highlights the University of Richmond’s commitments to academic excellence, access and affordability, and providing opportunities for our students to study abroad,” said Joan Saab, executive vice president and provost. “The Gilman program is a wonderful fit for University of Richmond students who are deeply interested in global issues and cultural exchange.”

Marco Barcenas-Consuelo studied Portuguese in Brazil as a Gilman Scholar.

The University was honored for the 2021–22 academic year in the small institutions category. During the 2021–22 award cycle, 16 students received Gilman scholarships.

Recent graduate Marco Barcenas-Consuelo was one of the recipients. The cognitive science major from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, also received a supplemental critical need language award through Gilman to study in Brazil.

“I was able to take higher-level Portuguese courses while I was in Brazil,” he said, “and this prepared me to take linguistics classes at the exchange institution in Portuguese with other native speakers.”

Following his Gilman award, Barcenas-Consuelo received a Fulbright Scholarship. Through that program, he is currently teaching courses in translation and business English as a visiting lecturer at the University of Aveiro in Portugal.

Ariana Sosa traveled to Australia, thanks to the support of her Gilman scholarship.

Senior Ariana Sosa studied abroad at the University of Melbourne in Australia through support from Gilman. Sosa, a biology and health studies double major and leadership studies minor from Miami, says her time in Australia was inspiring for her future academic and career pursuits.

Sosa hopes to return to Australia after graduating. “Thanks to the Gilman scholarship, I was able to set a clear goal months before my departure date, allowing me to embrace the culture and reap the benefits of the country I hope to one day call home.” 

As of June 2023, 89 University of Richmond students have been offered Gilman scholarships since the program started in 2001.

“The Gilman Scholars program allows students to study or intern abroad without worrying about the financial burden that could be a barrier,” said Dana Kuchem, director of scholars and fellowships. “Study abroad experiences through this program focus on gaining skills critical to national security and addressing shared global challenges, such as climate change, food security, and global health.”