Belmont University junior Cecilia Y. Tregelles was recently selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Tregelles, an entertainment industry studies major and music business minor in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business, will study abroad and participate in an international internship at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, during the 2013-2014 academic year.
Dr. Mimi Barnard, Belmont’s assistant provost for Interdisciplinary Studies & Global Education, said, “In recent years Belmont has demonstrated increasing intentionality for internationalizing the institution – that means expanding students’ real and virtual worldviews and their understanding of how they see themselves as global citizens. We are thrilled that Cecilia has this prestigious opportunity, for her own development and experience, and also because of what it means for our students and faculty.”
Tregelles is the first Belmont student to study at Sogang University through an exchange program negotiated between the two universities last year. “I’m honored to be a Gilman recipient and thrilled to finally be moving toward my goals of working in the Korean music industry. I’m also very excited to bring what I learn back to share with the Belmont community and expand our knowledge of culture and international music.”
A native of Apollo, Pennsylvania, Tregelles is a member of Belmont’s Japanese Club, Alpha Chi Honor Society and a Bible study on campus known as Awakening.
Shelley Jewell, director of Belmont’s Office of Study Abroad, noted, “Belmont recognizes the vital importance of providing our students with thoughtful exchange opportunities in Asia. The success of these programs hinges on mutual exchange from both institutions. Therefore, we are so glad that Cecilia will be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to immerse herself in Korean culture and languages as well as we are to welcome students from Sogang University here to our campus.”
The award honors Benjamin A. Gilman, a former chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee who retired in 2002 after serving 30 years in the House of Representatives. To be eligible for the award, students must demonstrate financial need by receiving a federal Pell Grant for their current studies. Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs. Tregelles received the full amount.
Congressman Gilman said, “Study abroad is a special experience for every student who participates. Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience. It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community.”
The Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in Houston, Texas.