Southwestern psychology major Sarah Shearin ’21 has been awarded a 2020 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The highly competitive scholarship provides up to $5,000 for undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens and Federal Pell Grant recipients to study abroad, which, as the program website states, “provid[es] them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity.”

Shearin, a first-generation college student who transferred to Southwestern in fall 2019, originally applied for the funding with the intention of using the scholarship to participate in SU Amsterdam in summer 2020. However, as so many students can attest, COVID-19 caused this year’s study abroad programs to be canceled, postponed, or transitioned to an online format. It was a crushing disappointment, Shearin admits, but she hopes that she’ll be able to attend the 3-1/2-week program in summer 2021, which will be led by Professor of Psychology Traci Giuliano and will focus on the theme of sexuality and culture. “I will be more than thrilled if it happens,” Shearin says.

Awarded since 2001 and named for a U.S. congressman from New York, the Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education. It serves to encourage U.S. students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world. For more information on the Gilman International Scholarship Program, visit