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Mississippi College

MC Student Kendra Williams Receives Gilman International Scholarship

May 4, 2012

An international studies major at Mississippi College, Kendra Williams will soon get the opportunity to study in Wuhan, one of China’s biggest cities, and experience its many cultural attractions along the Yangtze River.

Making the journey possible this summer, Williams is the recipient of an award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Over 2,300 scholarships of up to $5,000 were awarded this academic year for USA undergraduates to study abroad.

Launched in 2001, the congressionally funded program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance, and international airfare.

A Tupelo resident, Williams begins her journey to China June 1. Excursions this summer will also take her to Beijing and other nearby attractions.

Beth Stapleton, who chairs the Mississippi College Department of Modern Languages, announced the award this week.

“Kim is the first MC student to win this award and she will experience marvelous things as a result of it,” Stapleton said. “We are so excited for Kendra!”

The award opens up doors for Kendra to study in Wuhan, MC’s summer program in China. The tenth biggest city in the world, Wuhan is the capital of the Hubei Province. Some refer to the Chinese city as the USA’s Chicago because of its key role in the country’s economy and transportation system. Others call it the Water City due to its location on the Yangtze and Han rivers.

Receiving the Gilman award is quite an honor, Williams said. “It is a great opportunity for me.”

Her Chinese professor at Mississippi College, Ran An praised his student from Lee County. “Kendra is a very deserving student for the award. She works very hard in her classes and meets with a Chinese conversation partner each week on her own time.”

By getting the chance to study in China, “she will grow very much this summer,” he said.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is administered by the Institute of International Education through its office in Houston, Texas. The program targets students with high financial need. Nearly 10,000 scholarships have been awarded since the program began 11 years ago.

Mississippi College has ties to many nations around the globe. Baptist-affiliated MC is home to nearly 300 international students from more than 30 countries.