Two students receive Gilman Scholarship for study abroad experience
Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019
MANHATTAN — Two Kansas State University students will take their learning abroad for the fall 2019 semester with the help of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
Elshaddai Abamegal, senior in mechanical engineering, Olathe, and Kayla Craigmile, sophomore in anthropology, Spanish and international studies, Shawnee, were awarded the prestigious scholarship for up to $5,000 toward an education abroad experience. Congressionally funded and established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the Gilman Scholarship Program helps U.S. undergraduate students at two-year or four-year colleges or universities participate in study abroad programs worldwide.
Abamegal will travel to the Czech Republic where she will take engineering and Czech language courses. She is a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon and has served as secretary and president of the university's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. She has interned with Spirit Aerosystems Design Engineering and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company Process and Mechanical Integrity Engineering.
In addition to the Gilman Scholarship, Abamegal is a K-State Cancer Research Award and Koch Impact Scholarship recipient. Her undergraduate research included cancer research on the validity of estimation of secondary cancer from patients exposed to radiation, controls research to calculate the minimum coefficient of static friction required to successfully mobilize a miniature cart and education research on the trends of academic mindsets behind engineering students who cheat on assignments and tests. A 2016 graduate of Olathe North High School, she is the daughter of Teshome Ditamo and Ayda Homa, both of Olathe.
"Moving to the United States from Ethiopia, I learned that I had a love for traveling, but thought that studying abroad was a luxury I wasn't able to afford," Abamegal said. "Because of the Gilman Scholarships, I am able to have the international experience I've always wanted and I am forever grateful."
Craigmile will go to Greece where she will take Greek language, archeology, tourism and hospitality, and philosophy courses. She is actively involved in Student Alumni Board, Rotaract Club, International Buddies, Anthropology Club — where she'll be treasurer when she returns in spring 2020 — and is a member of the University Honors Program and its ambassadors. She has served as social chair for the Asian American Student Union and has been a member of the Shamrock Committee for Kappa Delta sorority. She also works as a Spanish tutor at the Academic Achievement Center and as a teacher's assistant for Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.
In addition to the Gilman Scholarship, Craigmile's awards and honors include the Mark Chapman Scholarship, Martin Ottenheimer Adventurous Anthropology Award, Patti Johnson Wilson Foundation Scholarship, Dr. Carlos Castaneda Memorial Scholarship, Modern Language Scholarship, Alumni Wabash Cannonball Scholarship and the Prins-McBride Travel Award. She volunteers her time reading with elementary students through Schools of Hope. She is a 2017 graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and the daughter of Scott and Tammie Green.
"I chose this program because the location and coursework provide me with invaluable opportunities to explore and pursue my majors in anthropology and international studies, Craigmile said. "As one of my professors once said, 'traveling can make you a better anthropologist, and anthropology can make you a better traveler.'"
The next Gilman Scholarship application deadline is Oct. 2 for students planning to go abroad during the spring 2020 semester. Students also may apply for the scholarship and receive an early decision if they are planning to go abroad during summer 2020, fall 2020 or academic year 2020-2021.
A Gilman Scholarship Workshop will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept 5, in Room 206 of the K-State Student Union and a Gilman Scholarship Webinar at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, for students interested in learning more about the prestigious scholarship and how to get started with the application process. Contact Sara Boro, Education Abroad advisor, at email@example.com for any additional questions.