UC Davis Among Top Producers for Gilman Scholarships for Programs Abroad

Brianna Pinto on the Panama Canal
Brianna Pinto, shown here in Panama, is one of the growing number of UC Davis students who successfully compete for Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to help pay for programs abroad. (Courtesy photo)

By Julia Ann Easley, Strategic Communications

"During a web presentation about the Panamanian rainforest, children from a fourth-grade class in New York City asked University of California, Davis, sophomore Brianna Pinto if she’d ever seen the Panama Canal. She turned her laptop camera to her office window to show a cargo ship on the canal.

“All of the kids yelled in awe, expressing exactly how I felt every time I walked outside here,” said the wildlife, fish and conservation biology major.

The San Diego resident, who just spent three months tracking fruit-eating mammals on Barro Colorado Island in the canal waterway, is among the thousands of UC Davis undergraduates who study, research and intern abroad. And like Pinto, dozens receive financial support through the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program.

UC Davis was recently recognized as a top producer of Gilman scholars for 2016-17 with the third highest number — at 47 — among universities with more than 15,000 undergraduates.

For this coming summer and fall, about 150 UC Davis students — about 50 percent more than last year — applied for the grants of up to $5,000. Named for the late congressman from New York, the Gilman grants are awarded to outstanding undergraduates who receive federal Pell Grants and, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate in global learning opportunities.

Supporting students in applying for the Gilman grants is among the ways UC Davis is helping more students of diverse backgrounds experience a global education — from introducing shorter intersession seminars abroad to creating intercultural experiences locally. Global Affairs at UC Davis is championing “Global Education for All” as one of the Big Ideas for the university’s next comprehensive fundraising campaign."

Read the full story at UC Davis News.