SBCC announced as a 20-year Top Producer of Gilman Scholars

SBCC announced as a 20-year Top Producer of Gilman Scholars
November 19, 2021

SBCC announced as a 20-year Top Producer of Gilman Scholars

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Nov. 19, 2021) - On Oct. 27, 2021, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced the 20-year anniversary of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program and its Top Producing Institutions over the past two decades. Santa Barbara City College was listed as a Top Producer of Gilman Scholars in the Associate Colleges category. A total of 23 students from SBCC have received Gilman awards since 2001.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, with the support of the U.S. Congress, is reshaping study abroad to make it more accessible and inclusive for American students. The Gilman Program broadens the U.S. student population studying and interning abroad by providing scholarships to outstanding undergraduates who, due to financial constraints, might not otherwise participate. Since the program’s establishment in 2001, over 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent more than 28,000 Gilman scholars to nearly 150 countries around the globe.

SBCC alumna Destiny Acevedo was a Gilman awards recipient and participated in the Spring 2019 program to Bali, Indonesia. “When I was selected as a scholarship applicant, I immediately started crying of happiness,” said Acevedo. “I was so proud and smiling for days knowing I was one of a few that was chosen and would be able to attend the program of my dreams. Studying abroad was the most memorable experience of my life.”

SBCC Study Abroad Program Advisor Nicole Walther commented, “We are proud to help make the dream of studying abroad become a reality, especially for low-income and disproportionately impacted students. I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to find out that students have been selected for scholarships after they have put in the hard work and time applying for them. It shows resilience. The scholarship is very competitive, so it’s a real accomplishment to be selected for an award and they should be so proud of it!”

In the past, SBCC has also been recognized for Gilman Program success in the “Greatest Growth” category for “Most Unique Destinations” and “Racial and Ethnic Students.”

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Study Abroad programs had to be postponed in order to keep students, faculty, staff and locals abroad safe. By working closely on a regular basis with service providers and consulting authorities such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) CCIE risk assessments, the Forum for Education Abroad and staying informed about what other programs do, SBCC has been able to move forward with the first post-pandemic program to Rome in the spring of 2022.

Three summer programs and two fall programs in 2022 are also being planned. Students will be able to travel to Dublin, Ireland, to study International Business and Marketing with professor Julie Brown; to Tokyo, Japan, to study Film Studies and Communication with Professor Mika Garard and Professor Michael Stinson; and to Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands to study Art and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) with Professors Raeanne Napoleon and Stephanie Dotson. A twice-postponed program to London, England, will be led by Professor Melanie Eckford-Prossor, offering courses in English, History and Art History. Professor Michael Stinson, who had to postpone his program to Paris and Rome from the previous Fall, will take students abroad to learn about Film Studies, Photography, Art History, and Italian Conversation.

The Gilman competition is administered at Santa Barbara City College through the SBCC Study Abroad Program and Study Abroad Program Advisor Nicole Walther. The SBCC Study Abroad Program was one of the first among community colleges in California to develop comprehensive semester abroad programs, developing an outstanding reputation, and achieving state and national recognition for excellence and quality of programs. The programs are faculty-led and change every year. The subject-specific programs allow faculty to bring their lectures to life with relevant excursions in the destination country and offer experiential learning to SBCC students. The program scope and variety are a reflection of SBCC’s commitment to internationalize the curriculum and the recognition of the value of international experience and expertise as components of a modern education.

As the recent Department of State and Department of Education Joint Statement of Principles in Support of International Education noted, “All Americans need to be equipped with global and cultural competencies to navigate the ever-changing landscapes of education, international business, scientific discovery and innovation, and the global economy.”

The diverse Gilman Scholars alumni often go on to pursue impactful careers in the government, non-profit, and private sectors. More information can be found at the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship website. The website also includes a full list of the institutions by category and additional information on the Gilman Program’s 20th anniversary.