Donnellan earns Gilman scholarship
Cornell College junior Miranda Donnellan has earned the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, and will spend the spring 2016 semester studying in South Korea. The scholarship offers grants for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad.
Donnellan, who is majoring in classical studies, will study Korean at Ewha Womans University in Seoul. Because Korean is one of the languages the State Department classifies as critical need, she earned a total award of $8,000. The Critical Need Language Award, which adds $3,000 to the $5,000 Gilman Scholarship, is highly competitive, with only 60 students earning it during the 2013-14 academic year, compared to more than 2,500 Gilman Scholarships awarded during the same period.
Donnellan, of Austin, Texas, said she’s been fascinated by the Korean language and Korean culture since her first year of high school. She had already written a proposal to spend the second semester of her junior year in the country, and received approval from Cornell, but needed the extra funding the Gilman Scholarship provides in order to make her plan a reality.
She heard about the scholarship program from Cornell senior Jeannene Clark, who spent fall 2014 studying Arabic in Jordan with the help of a Gilman Scholarship. Donnellan worked closely with Laura Farmer, writing studio director and Fellowship Director at Cornell College, to prepare her essays.
“We walked through the entire application,” Donnellan said, “and planned every step of the two essays I had to write and how to make them stand out.”
One of the program’s requirements is to plan a follow-up project to be completed when the student returns to the United States. Donnellan is going to use a smartphone app to create 3D scans of small objects that are important in Korean life, from the present and the past, and when she returns will create 3D prints of the objects in the college’s Academic Technology Studio. She’ll create an exhibit of those prints that includes context about each object and its role in society, she said.
Donnellan is the sixth Cornell College student since 2012 to earn a Gilman Scholarship. Last year, three students, Yesenia Hernandez, Jeannene Clark, and Hana Martin, earned Gilman Scholarships that allowed them to spend a semester studying off campus.