Four more WSU students land prestigious Gilman Scholarships for 2017 summer study abroad in Spain; one alternate named

MEDIA: April Seehafer, WSU Distinguished Scholarships Program director, 509-335-8239,

Sharon Ericsson, WSU Academic Success and Career Center assistant director, 509-335-6000,

Eva Navarijo, WSU First Scholars Program director, 509-335-3167,

Christine Oakley, WSU International Programs director of Global Learning, 509-335-8180,

View this article as published on the WSU News website

PULLMAN, Wash.—In addition to a student named earlier, four more WSU students have won nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad in summer 2017. A fifth student was named as a Gilman alternate.

The awardees from WSU are among 1,200 American undergraduates from 354 colleges receiving Gilman awards for summer.

WSU’s newest Gilman Scholars are: Anaderi Iniguez, a biology major from Pasco; Rose Kibala, a communications major from Reno, Nev.; Kimberly Marquez, a business management major from Wapato; and Renata O’Connell, a business administration major from Bellingham. They are all headed to Spain, but on three separate trips.

Anaderi Iniguez
Kimberly Marquez
Renata O’Connell

Gilman alternate for summer is Yvette Meza, a senior social sciences major from Royal City. She will study philosophy in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and learn more about that culture.

Yvette Meza

Seville with WSU’s First-Generation Abroad

Marquez and Iniguez, along with previously announced summer Gilman awardee Loundyne “L.D.” Hare, will spend a month as three of 23 WSU students living and studying in Seville, Spain, through WSU’s First-Generation Abroad Program. This advisor-led experience will include university classes, immersion in cultural and language experiences, and regional learning trips, including one across the Strait of Gibraltar to Morocco.

Marquez was raised on the Yakama Reservation in Wapato; her older sister taught her the value of education and being open to opportunities to broaden her life and academic experiences, such as studying abroad.

“Study abroad has always been a distant dream until I acquired the correct educators and resources who supported me and pointed me in the right direction,” she said. As a management major, she believes the experience will help her have better interpersonal and professional skills, making her a more valuable future employee.

Iniguez agrees that experiencing another culture will positively impact her future as an epidemiologist, studying diseases and communicating information to help communities take action to stop the spread of diseases. “I hope to recognize that there is more than one way to solve a problem, and I feel confident that my study abroad will broaden my ability to think critically and creatively.”

Valencia with the Carson College of Business

O’Connell is studying abroad in Valencia, Spain on a WSU Carson College of Business faculty-led program. At the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, she will take two courses on global trend forecasting and international special topics taught by WSU faculty.

“The Gilman Scholarship will allow me to pursue a career in Spain and open my eyes to the different business practices and cultures in that part of the world,” she said, noting she is fluent in Spanish and also has ties to the country.

Barcelona on an Internship

Kibala is headed to Barcelona, Spain, to be a communications intern at Nau Ivanow, a non-profit performing arts organization. Her internship seminar course and Spanish for business professions course are through IES Abroad-Barcelona.

“Follow-on” Followups

The Gilman program requires award recipients to complete a “follow-on service project” when they return to the U.S. to increase awareness of study abroad and of the Gilman Scholarship.

In her application, Kibala described her follow-on project as one involving her talents as a media production student. She plans to create a video of her journey as well as a series of weekly postcard pictures with a story. Her hope is to “inspire all students… I’d like to use myself as an example that it is possible and that a lack of financial resources shouldn’t be a deterrent.”

Marquez plans to share photos and descriptions of her study abroad with participants in the Native American Student Center to “help paint a better picture for Native American students and create more curiosity to study abroad.” She intends to conduct workshops throughout the academic year, and also present at a weekend conference for Native American high schoolers on campus.

Inideri plans to promote study abroad, and information about the financial support available from a Gilman Scholarship, to a variety of student audiences associated with the First Scholars Program, the First-Generation Abroad program, Global Cougs 101 classes, and the Distinguished Scholarships program. She will also share photos from her own experience in Spain, and notes about how she applied for her passport, got around airports, and applied for scholarships.

Sixty WSU Gilman Scholars

WSU’s four new Gilman Scholars bring to 60 the number of students who have received the award since 2006. Gilman awards are funded through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. Dept. of State.