Sean Erin Howie, a University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown sophomore biology major from Hershey, Pa., has been awarded $5,000 from the Gilman Scholarship Program to support her plans to study abroad in South Africa. She was chosen from among more than 2,500 applicants to receive one of the nearly 1,200 awards.
Ms. Howie will spend the 2012-13 academic year in Cape Town, South Africa where she will study genetics and animal physiology with field excursions to view African wildlife. She also will learn about the day-to-day realities of HIV/AIDS research, a field she plans to enter following graduation. While in Cape Town, Ms. Howie also plans to volunteer with Nurturing Orphans of AIDS for Humanity and the Footfall for Hope Center which promotes wellness for underprivileged youth through soccer. Ms. Howie notes that through her experience abroad, “I will gain a greater knowledge of world affairs and how others deal with the issues they face. Ultimately, I hope that this broadened global perspective honed by a variety of first-hand experiences will help me better address the needs of underserved children in local communities back home and also help me build the bridges for future international work in other countries.”
The Gilman Scholarship Program, established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, offers awards for undergraduate study abroad. This scholarship provides awards for U.S undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at two-year or four-year colleges or universities to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are planning to study abroad. The program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go by supporting undergraduates who might otherwise not participate due to financial constraints.
Celebrating its 85th anniversary this year, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College,” by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization" for 2011. Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.