Five Students Win Prestigious Scholarships via State Department Programs

Five Stony Brook students were recently honored with highly competitive scholarships from the U.S. Department of State that will enable them to study, intern, conduct research, and engage in intensive language study overseas during the summer of 2017.


Gilman Scholarship recipients, left to right, Michelle Olakkengil, Magaline Alcindor, Brittany Wong and Andrea Persaud.

Magaline Alcindor ‘17, Michelle Olakkengil ‘17, Andrea Persaud ‘18, and Brittany Wong ‘18 were awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. All four will be participating in SBU study abroad programs: Alcindor will be heading to Tanzania, Olakkengil and Persaud to Madagascar, and Wong to Dongguk University in South Korea. These students will be studying a range of topics from global health to women’s studies. The Gilman Scholarship aims to increase the diversity of the population of American students studying abroad and of their chosen destinations. Priority is given to applicants seeking to study outside the English speaking world and Western Europe.


Kennedy Ezumah ’17, recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship.

Senior Kennedy Ezumah was recognized with another prestigious award, the Critical Language Scholarship, to study Hindi in Jaipur, India through intensive coursework and a home-stay with an Indian family. Ezumah, who majors in Civil Engineering, plans to leverage the skills he will gain to eventually create a consulting firm focused on rapidly developing countries like India. The Critical Language Scholarship funds American students to study foreign languages of high importance to the U.S. government at a variety of sites overseas.

Jennifer Green, External Fellowships Advisor in the Office for the Integration of Research, Education, and Professional Development (IREP) emphasized the importance of strong partnerships: “Our collaboration with Study Abroad and Exchange to create a robust schedule of information sessions and peer essay review workshops ensured not only that SBU students were submitting competitive proposals, but also that the application process was a meaningful professional development activity.”

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