Gilman Scholarships will send UO undergrads to study worldwide

EUGENE, Ore. -- (June 25, 2013) -- Katelyn Occhipinti will be following in her family's footsteps when she travels to India to study public health this summer. Her grandmother, mother and father have all traveled there and a visit to India has been one of her personal goals.

Thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program, Occhipinti can achieve her dreams.

The program was established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and provides awards for U.S. undergraduate students receiving federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.

Occhipinti will join five other UO Gilman recipients for summer travel, and nine who will fly in the fall.

The high number of Gilman scholars places the UO eighth in the nation, with University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Central Washington University and California State University-Monterey Bay.

Dennis Galvan, vice provost for international affairs, said the UO’s national ranking in Gilman scholars “speaks to the quality of education of our university and the support all applicants receive from our office.”

The UO Study Abroad Office manages more than 190 study and internship programs in 90 countries worldwide. More than 1,200 students study or intern abroad each year through faculty-led, provider programs or professional internships.

Occhipinti believes an internship in another part of the world is essential to broadening her educational experience.

“It means so much to me to have the opportunity to travel abroad,” she said. “I anticipate that it will impact my professional development, facilitate my personal growth and foster a global perspective of healthcare.”

In India, Occhipinti will participate in a pair of five-week rotations. The first is in Dehra Dun and focuses on the philosophy behind traditional and indigenous forms of medicine and how these practices interact with western forms of treatment. The second explores public health in New Delhi.

“In New Delhi, I will have the opportunity to learn about culturally dictated challenges, including efforts geared toward stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well as the dynamic between public and private health institutions,” Occhipinti said.

This summer, other UO Gilman recipients will participate in study abroad programs and internships in Japan, China, Uruguay, India, Cambodia and Ghana. In fall, UO recipients will head to India, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Indonesia and Sweden.

See the full list of UO Gilman winners.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

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