NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Alyssa Medina, a biology major at The College of New Rochelle (CNR) has been selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad in Costa Rica this summer.
“At CNR we work very closely with each of the students as they go through the study abroad application process,” said Silvana Bajana, director of Latino and International Initiatives. “I am thrilled that Alyssa was selected as one of the undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the U.S. to receive the scholarship.”
Medina, of the Bronx, who aspires to a career in veterinary medicine, has volunteered for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign and at a veterinary office in the Bronx. In Costa Rica, she will take courses in Spanish and environmental studies at Veritas University located in the country’s capital, San José. “By studying in an area of such high biodiversity,” she said. “I will be exposed to the interactions between land vertebrates and people living in cities, whose cultural values impact the surrounding rainforest.”
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Medina is also a recipient of CNR’S Russell and Deborah Taylor Foundation Scholarship, which covers half of the costs associated with study abroad.
“I had always wanted to study abroad, but never felt that I would be able to,” Medina said. “Once I came to CNR, my peers and the study abroad office encouraged me to pursue the opportunity, and I started to feel that studying abroad was possible.”
The scholarship is named for U.S Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, who retired in 2002 after serving in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education.
“The opportunity to live and learn in a vastly different environment is a transformative experience for any student,” noted Bajana.
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