Two SCC Students Earn Gilman Scholarships

Sebastion Harsh and Susana Schmidt are the first Southeast Community College students to earn the prestigious Gilman Scholarship which enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. They left on Saturday, May 18, for an 11-day study abroad experience in Italy where they will learn about its art, culture and history.

“This is our first year being eligible for this highly competitive scholarship and we are excited to have two recipients in one application cycle,” said Nicole Trevena Flores, chair of the social sciences, global education and psychology programs as well as the global education coordinator. “Global education can open the doors to a multitude of opportunities and fosters confidence, analytical skills and problem-solving.”

Harsh is from Lincoln, Nebraska, and is enrolled in the Academic Transfer program with plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to major in global studies. He is looking forward to seeing the world since the farthest from Nebraska he has traveled is Kansas.

“I’m a voracious reader and have read about all these different places around the globe,” Harsh said. “I have this amazing opportunity thanks to the Gilman Scholarship and the help of the brilliant people around me. This trip will give me the confidence to know this is something I can do if I just apply myself. If you are committed to it, SCC can open a lot of doors for you.”

Schmidt grew up in Bolivia, South America, but currently lives in Lincoln. She is in the Baking/Pastry program in the Great Plains Culinary Institute and is looking forward to the food aspect of the trip to Italy. After graduating from SCC, she plans to start a business out of her kitchen after she receives a cottage license.

“I think this trip will broaden my view of the culinary world,” Schmidt said. “I have learned a lot about food and how to run the front of the house. I hope to learn more about the culture and the main foods eaten there. I can’t wait to see if pizza and Alfredo and the assumed Italian foods eaten here are truly Italian or not.”

The Gilman Scholarship is a congressionally funded program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Named after the late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman from New York, the program was established by the International Opportunity Act of 2000. Applicants must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant during the time of application or provide proof they will be receiving a Pell Grant during the term of their study abroad program or internship. Since 2001, over 41,000 scholarships have been awarded out of more than 154,000 applicants.

Jennifer Snyder
Communications Specialist