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Monday, September 23, 2013

SU Junior Earns Gilman Scholarship to Study in Ghana

Erin KnuthSALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University junior Erin Knuth has earned the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during fall 2013.

A psychology major and art/West African studies double minor from Huntingtown, MD, Knuth is taking five courses at the University of Ghana. She and junior Theo Williams of Salisbury are the first SU students to attend the West African campus.

“The culture, people and history of Africa fascinate me,” Knuth said. “I would like to live, volunteer and work here at different parts of my life.”

Knuth’s Ghana experience did not begin as planned because the university’s professors were striking and not attending their classes. Now that the strike is over, she is enjoying her two psychology courses, two African studies courses and Swahili language class. She lives in an international student hostel on campus.

The Gilman application requires the creation of a follow-up service project to encourage recipients to promote international education and the scholarship program at their home institution. Knuth’s proposal includes presenting to three student organizations centered on mental health and volunteerism.

For Knuth, the Gilman scholarship, valued at up to $5,000, made an otherwise impossible trip a reality. 

“I see the Gilman scholarship as an opportunity for students to expand their horizons in a way that they would never be able to otherwise,” Knuth said.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education, the award aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the places they travel. Knuth is the 15th SU student to earn a Gilman Scholarship since 2008.

To be eligible, students must receive a Federal Pell Grant. Programs must be at least four weeks. Preference is given to minorities, first-time travelers and those studying outside Western Europe and Australia, or enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Applications for spring 2014 Gilman scholarships are due by October 1.

For more information and an application, visit the SU Center for International Education website at or contact Brian Stiegler at  Or visit the SU Nationally  Competitive Fellowships Office at  


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