Texas Tech University

University Students Earn Prestigious International Award

Lucy Greenberg

July 8, 2021

Gilman International Scholarship

Twelve Texas Tech students received the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.

Texas Tech University students have been recognized by the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program since 2012. Through the Gilman program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Texas Tech has been cited for its success in increasing the number of students sent overseas, showing the greatest growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) study abroad scholars. 

This year, 12 Texas Tech students were selected to receive this highly competitive international award.  

“We are proud of the many Red Raiders who received a Gilman scholarship this year,” said Whitney Longnecker, director of study abroad in Texas Tech's Office of International Affairs (OIA). “This prestigious award enables students of limited financial means to participate in a study abroad program – something students may not be able to do without the award. Awards like the Gilman scholarship allow Texas Tech to ensure study abroad is a reality for all students, regardless of their background or finances.” 

Established in 2001, the Gilman program works to increase the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduates who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. More than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent more than 28,000 Gilman scholars to nearly 150 countries around the globe. 

Trenity Wall was one of the 12 students awarded at Texas Tech this year.  

“I chose to study abroad in Spain because I am currently pursuing a degree in Spanish and wanted to be able to further immerse myself in the language,” Wall said. “I also wanted to expand my worldview and be involved in a culture that is different than my own. The Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla was the perfect place for me to accomplish both goals.”  

This year, many of the recipients have adjusted their travel plans due to COVID-19. Some students will travel abroad to countries that are deemed safe, others will take part in a hybrid experience, while others will experience study abroad virtually. 

Texas Tech has been recognized as a leader among U.S. higher education institutions in making international study and internships more accessible and inclusive for students of all backgrounds. The university boasts more than 50 study abroad locations, two international campuses and more than 300 study abroad programs.

Studying abroad helps students grow resumes and develop professional skills. It also cultivates global awareness.

“I think every student should study abroad so they can gain a better understanding of what makes each culture unique and how together, they form our diverse world,” Wall said. “We cannot understand another culture until we are in it.”  

This year's Texas Tech Gilman scholarship recipients and their study abroad destinations are: 

  • Allyson Bird, Paris, France
  • Andrew Mares, Barcelona, Spain  
  • Arish Lalani, Rome, Italy  
  • Elizabeth Wilson, Florence, Italy  
  • Haley Caswell, Sevilla, Spain  
  • Juanita Benjamin, Tokyo, Japan
  • Kelli Margozewitz, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Litzy Guzman-Lopez, Australia  
  • Samuel Adetunji, Nicosia, Cyprus  
  • Sophie Riojas, Sevilla Spain
  • Trenity Wall, Sevilla, Spain  
  • Zoe Kirkland, Prague, Czech Republic 

The grand total investment received by Texas Tech students in this latest Gilman award cycle was $50,000.