Madisyn Fox, a freshman from Caldwell, and Christopher Neil, a junior from Kenna, have been named Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipients for the 2020 summer. They are the eighth and ninth Wesleyan students to win the distinctive scholarship in the past decade.
The Gilman Scholarship is a program of 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).
Fox is a physics and political science double major and is a Wesleyan Service Scholar. She is also minoring in the Honors Program and is an at-large member of Student Senate. The Greenbrier East High School graduate is also a Wesleyan Presidential, West Virginia PROMISE Scholar, and a NASA Research Fellowship recipient. She is the first freshman at Wesleyan to be named a Gilman Scholar.
“I am pursuing an international experience because I want to develop my world view and establish meaningful global connections,” Fox said. “Growing up in a small town in West Virginia, I was never given the chance to appreciate and understand other cultures, and I hope to take full advantage of this rare opportunity.”
Neil, a Ripley High School graduate, was the 2017 Wesleyan and WV Metro News West Virginia Scholar winner. He is a biochemistry major and a member of the Bobcat Marching Band drumline. Neil is also vice president for retention at Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and a member of the College’s Honor’s Program and Chemistry Department’s Benzene Ring. He is also an active member of the Calvary United Methodist Church.
Neil, who plans to pursue medical school after graduating from Wesleyan, will study in China this summer.
“I chose China because it offers a great course in comparing traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine,” he said. “I thought it would be perfect for me since my ultimate goal is pediatric cardiology. Plus, I want to push myself to go outside of my comfort zone and China seems to be an ideal location for that experience.”
The Gilman winners increase Wesleyan’s U.S. Department of State international scholarship total to 25 over the past 12 years. The College had three Gilman winners last year including Caitlin Cottrell, a political science and international studies double major from Elizabeth, Marcus Larrson, a political science and history double major from Solna Sweden, and Alexander Bradley-Popovich, an applied physics and political science double major from Clarksburg. In addition to the nine Gilman recipients, Wesleyan can also boast of 14 J. William Fulbright Scholarship winners, a George Mitchell Scholar, and a U.S.-Arab Critical Language Scholar.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship enables students with limited financial resources to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. IIE has administered the program since its inception in 2001. The congressionally funded program is named after the late Congressman, Benjamin A. Gilman from New York, who served as a member of the House of Representatives for 30 years, chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee.
To be eligible for a Gilman Scholarship, applicants must be a citizen of the United States:
• an undergraduate student in good standing at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States,
• receive a Federal Pell Grant at the time of application,
• be in the process of applying to, or accepted for, a study abroad or internship program of a least three weeks in a single country
• eligible for academic credit from the student’s home institution, and
• apply for credit-bearing study abroad programs in a country with an overall Travel Advisory Level of 1 or 2, according to the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisory System.