Jordanna “Jordie’’ Morris, a senior accounting major at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship.
The scholarship will fund Morris’ participation in a Southeastern short-term study abroad trip to France in March.
“I am so thankful to be given this amazing opportunity to experience another culture and country,’’ said Morris, a 28-year-old non-traditional student. “I am a full-time mother and student and work at Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Casino in Pocola. None of this would be possible without the support of my family (parents and boyfriend).’’
A 2012 graduate of Poteau High School, Morris received an associate degree in accounting at Carl Albert State College. She is completing her studies online at SE, while still residing in Poteau.
The trip to France is organized by the Southeastern Honors Program, but open to all SE students, whether or not they are in honors.
The group, which includes 11 current students, two alumni, and a handful of faculty and spouses, will spend 10 days over spring break, flying in and out of Paris, and also visiting chateaux in the Loire Valley, Chartres, Saint-Malo, Mont-Saint- Michel, and the D-Day beaches.
Dr. Meg Cotter-Lynch is the Honors Program Director and Gilman Scholars Advisor, will be among those on the trip.
The recipients of this prestigious scholarship are American undergraduate students attending 441 U.S. colleges and represent all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These Gilman Scholars will study or intern in 95 countries through the end of 2022. This group includes 20 recipients of the John McCain International Scholarship for the Children of Military Families (Gilman-McCain Scholarship), as well as Gilman Scholars supported by the governments of France, Israel, New Zealand, and Wales, and the Luso- American Development Foundation in Portugal.
Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000, or up to $8,000, if also a recipient of the Gilman Critical Need Language Award, to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Since the program’s inception in 2001, more than 34,000 Gilman Scholars from all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories have studied or interned in more than 155 countries around the globe.
The late Congressman Gilman, for whom the scholarship is named, served in the House of Representatives for 30 years and chaired the House Foreign Relations Committee. When honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, he said, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views but 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 Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education.