Gilman Scholarship winners travel to interesting locales this summer to study

Rosemary McCarthy also overseas as a visiting professor for the studies abroad program

6/11/2013 - By: Deanna Hearn
Cuban dancers Cuba is one of USAC’s many locations across the world where students can study abroad.

Four University of Nevada, Reno students have received the summer 2013 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program awards to study abroad, the first time students from the Reno campus have received the awards for the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) summer terms.

The students and the countries in which they are studying include: Xibei Liu, Lüneburg, Germany; Jeanette Martinez, Madrid, Spain; Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Grace Tyler, Bangalore, India.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process. They must use the award to defray eligible study abroad costs including program tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

The Gilman Scholarships help U.S. citizen undergraduates receiving federal Pell Grants participate in study abroad programs worldwide. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the awards are intended to support and better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.

Not only are these students either overseas or soon to be, but so is USAC's Academic Affairs Director and Program Administrator Rosemary McCarthy who is teaching travel journalism in San Sebastián, Spain, as a USAC visiting professor.

"I have always appreciated the role of travel in the student experience and have long admired USAC for what it does in this regard," McCarthy said. "It is devoted to preparing students for global citizenship, for deeper personal growth and for developing a fuller idea of the world beyond our immediate location."

McCarthy assumed her role at USAC in mid-January and says she loves it. "The mission here is to help students study overseas," she said. "It's important because every journey changes you as a person whether you're young or older. As a young person is developing, journeys are critically important, but we like to get faculty traveling, too."

The main purpose of McCarthy's role is to help get students overseas and ensure there are quality academic courses provided through the program.

"I work with program directors and faculty to develop good courses for students," McCarthy said. She and other USAC faculty members are working to develop new internships and introduce service-learning opportunities at several USAC destinations.

USAC is a non-profit consortium of 33 universities nationwide, however, students from non-member universities may also participate in the USAC program. Students from more than 800 universities worldwide have participated on USAC programs during its 30 year history.

Every year, approximately 300 University of Nevada, Reno students travel with USAC and about 3,000 students travel annually through the entire USAC program.

An average of 60 faculty members from universities across the nation also travel to support local faculty who do most of the teaching at USAC locations in countries around the world. McCarthy, who was also a visiting professor in Prague during the 2011 summer session, hopes to visit a number of those USAC program sites in Spain and France during her summer teaching term in San Sebastián.

McCarthy joined the University as a faculty member at the University's Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies in 2002. Before joining the Reynolds School, her career included broadcast news, public affairs and documentary production. She served as interim dean of the Reynolds School and as academic chair for two terms. She has also been a member of the University's General Education Task Force, the Third Year Accreditation Steering Committee and the Faculty Senate.


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