Classics Minor Awarded Prestigious Gilman Scholarship

April 30, 2024
Photo of Valentina Ayala-Dean

Valentina Ayala-Dean, a psychology major with a minor in classics, has been awarded the competitive Gilman Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State, to help fund her study abroad with Explore Italy—Spring Break this semester. About 25% of applicants are selected for this nation-wide scholarship.

In addition, she is a recipient of the David T. Parry Founders Scholarship from the Fund for Education Abroad; the Cynthia White Travel and Study in Italy Award; and the Helen S. Schaefer Scholarship. All these scholarships combined will fund her study abroad trip.

Valentina writes:

“As a first-generation student with a rich cultural background encompassing Black, Asian, and Hispanic descent, my journey towards studying abroad was shaped by my proactive approach, resourcefulness, and an unwavering commitment to education. Delving into my Classics minor during my sophomore year fueled my desire to explore global perspectives and immerse myself in diverse cultures. Determined to overcome financial challenges, I embarked on a quest for funding, actively seeking answers, utilizing available resources, and fearlessly pursuing opportunities.

The College of Humanities played a pivotal role in enhancing my awareness of study abroad programs, connecting me with faculty members who guided me through the process. My motivation to study abroad was intricately tied to the enrichment of my education, a pursuit I deemed worthwhile for personal and academic growth. I would like to express my gratitude to all who believed in my efforts to travel to Italy this spring break, as their support has been invaluable in making this endeavor a reality.”

Congratulations, Valentina!