We’re so proud of the growing number of Richmond students winning competitive national — and international — fellowships. Our students have always been high achievers, but now with a dedicated director of scholars and fellowships, more organizations are noticing and rewarding them. 

This week we celebrated this year’s fourth winner of a Gilman scholarship, Rylin McGee, ’19, after three others were named earlier this fall. The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding, and scholars receive up to $5,000 to study abroad. 

McGee’s award will fund a study abroad experience this spring in Irkutsk, Russia, where she’ll be completing a special program focused on environmental studies — which perfectly aligns with her international studies major (with a focus on development and change) and double minor in Russian studies and math. Got all that?

“The city provides a unique venue to study how Russia's history of industrial development is changing the local environment,” McGee explains. “Beyond pursuing my academic interests, I am excited to improve my language skills, experience a completely different culture, and explore the land.”

McGee’s award also represents Richmond’s commitments to both study abroad and to access and affordability — two areas that help attract and cultivate the most talented students.

“This award allows a wider range of students access to international opportunities, which serve a formative role in students’ understanding of themselves and the world around them,” said Dana Kuchem, director of the Office of Scholars and Fellowships. “Rylin has distinguished herself from thousands of applicants across the country in being selected as a Gilman Scholar.”

Congratulations, Rylin! We can’t wait to see what your semester abroad brings you. 

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