NOVA’s Two Gilman Scholars, Yasmin Jalloh and Manuel Santiago, to Embark on Social Impact Work in Europe

June 17, 2022

NOVA is pleased to announce that two students, Yasmin Jalloh and Manuel Santiago, will receive Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarships. This prestigious scholarship will allow both students to study abroad in Europe during the summer 2022 session. Since the program was established in 2001, more than 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent over 33,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 151 countries around the globe.

“We are so proud that two NOVA students are receiving this prestigious award that will allow them to have a worldly learning experience,” said Dr Michelle Brown-Nevers, vice president of student success and enrollment management. “We are excited for Yasmin and Manuel and the contributions they will make on a global scale.”

The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000—or up to $8,000 if also a recipient of the Gilman Critical Need Language Award—to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs.

The late Congressman Benjamin Gilman, for whom the scholarship is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he said, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views but adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”

NOVA’s Office of International Education and Sponsored Programs is dedicated to guiding students in their study abroad experiences. NOVA has had a total of 7 Gilman awardees, with 5 since 2020 alone! To learn more about the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, and other international opportunities, contact Leeza Fernand, Associate Director, Office of International Education and Sponsored Programs at The next Gilman Scholarship application will open in mid-August with a deadline in early October.

Read here for more information on our scholars:

Yasmin Jalloh graduated from NOVA this May. She will be studying psychology at Sabanci University attending in person classes and living on campus as an exchange student. Afterwards, she will be transferring to George Mason University. This study abroad program will give her the opportunity to study in a Muslim majority country, in which will aid her academic and career goal of bringing mental health awareness to Muslim communities.

Gillman Scholar, Manual Santiago

“I really hope I can make a change out there and inspire people to simply try,” said Jalloh. “This is how it started for me. I didn’t have scholarship experience or really know anything about studying abroad. All it took was some genuine effort and an appreciation for the experience of building my application.”

Manuel Santiago wanted to make a humanitarian difference and had already applied to an internship in Germany. He then learned of the prestigious Gilman Scholarship to help him help others, and he applied right away. He will be going as a volunteer and as a United States representative for Moabit hilft, a German organization providing social services to a Ukrainian refugee camp in Berlin. He will be chronicling outreach efforts abroad as a part of the social media team.

His goal is to pursue a career in foreign service and to eventually become a diplomat. He will be in Germany from May 30th to August 2nd.

“For anybody wanting to apply for a Gilman Scholarship, the process may seem long at first, but it is doable and worth it,” said Santiago.

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