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Rio Grande City Native Earns International Scholarship, Headed to Italy

Eighteen UTRGV students from across the Rio Grande Valley, including Yaritza Anita Arredondo of Rio Grande City, have been awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to fund their studies abroad this summer. Destinations include China, Peru, Japan, South Korea, France, Italy, Ireland and Spain, where students will study arts and sciences in a hands-on environment that provides submersion into the language and culture. This year marks the highest number of Gilman Scholarships awarded to UTRGV students since the first UTRGV applications were submitted in 2017. That year, 12 UTRGV students were awarded Gilman scholarships, with the number increasing to 16 in 2018. The Gilman Scholarship Program is a part of the state’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and enables students to gain knowledge in languages and customs when limited finances otherwise would prevent these educational opportunities. To help those interested in studying abroad, UTRGV’s International Programs & Partnerships within the Office of Global Engagement holds workshops for students and their guardians to provide information about study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship. Alan Earhart, director of International Programs & Partnerships, said UTRGV efforts to help students find funding for experiences abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year has been important to the university’s core commitment to student success. “This year, the awards are 18 Gilman scholarships for about $65,000,” he confirmed. “In the UT System, we are second for the number of scholarships awarded, after UT Austin.” This is the second consecutive year UTRGV has held that position in the UT System for most Gilman Scholarships. Earhart said the department is pleased with the results Gilman applicants have, and hopes to better those results next year. “The International Programs and Partnerships office, together with the Honors Program at UTRGV, have promoted the Gilman Scholarship heavily over the past three years,” he said. “My goal is to soon capture $100,000 in Gilman Scholarships each year for UTRGV students.” GILMAN SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS:


  • Hortencia Montemayor, graphic design, Pharr.

  • Alejandra Ramirez, psychology, Brownsville.


  • Mario Lujano, history, Alamo.

  • Yaritza Yaharia Marin, Mexican American studies, Weslaco.

  • Emma Martinez, chemistry, San Juan.


  • Jaquelin Duenez, social work, Hidalgo.

  • John Marroquin, computer science, Edinburg.

  • Derick Reyna, history, Mission.


  • Gabriel Figueroa, exercise science, Rio Hondo.

  • Maricruz Flores, electrical engineering, Edinburg.

  • Claire Hsjeh, psychology, McAllen.

  • Rodrigo Padron, biology, McAllen.


  • Samantha Garcia, psychology, Pharr.

  • Felipe Karr, mass communication, Weslaco.


  • Yaritza Anita Arredondo, political science, Rio Grande City.

  • Monica Varela, art, Edinburg.


  • Alexandra Salinas, mechanical engineering, Mission.


  • Luz Del Carmen Resendez, criminal justice, Brownsville.


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