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Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship School of Community Health & Policy

Two Morgan State University Students Awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Advancing Study Abroad Learning Opportunities

by Morgan State U
June 18, 2024

Prestigious Scholarship Supports International Travel and the Development of Proficiency in Various Languages and Cultures, Enhancing Students’ Academic and Career Prospects


Baltimore—Two Morgan State University (MSU) students—Estelle Georges (sophomore) and Joyce Nagbe (sophomore)—have been selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. Through the highly competitive program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), both will receive funding to participate in international learning opportunities. Each will receive a $3,000 scholarship to study or intern abroad and complete a Follow-on Service Project.

“Our two Gilman Scholarship awardees perfectly embody the array of opportunities this fund presents to its recipients while also providing a platform for students to broaden their horizons and develop a deeper understanding of the world,” said Moriah Ray, director of the Office of Study Abroad in the Division of International Affairs at Morgan. “The Gilman Scholarship allows our students to reach new heights in new places worldwide and bring a new meaning to world-class education.”

Estelle GeorgesEstelle Georges, a sophomore majoring in accounting at the Earl G. Graves School of Business & Management, successfully navigated a rigorous and competitive application process and emerged as the proud recipient of the coveted scholarship. This scholarship enabled her to embark on a transformative academic journey to Seville, Spain, this past spring.

In addition to being a Gilman Scholar, Georges's summer abroad experience is further supported by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), renowned for supporting exceptional student study-abroad opportunities. As part of this immersive program, George was selected for a global internship placement at a distinguished real estate company in Seville. This internship presented an invaluable opportunity to gain hands-on experience and insights into the workings of the real estate profession internationally. She will return to America in July.

Joyce NagbeJoyce Nagbe, a sophomore nursing major in the School of Community Health & Policy, will pursue her studies in Africa. This incredible opportunity will allow Nagbe to embark on a faculty-led experience in Accra, Ghana, hosted by the Department of Teacher Education & Professional Development (TEPD) during the fall 2024 semester. The scholarship will support her educational journey, providing invaluable experiences in a different culture and healthcare setting. Last fall, TEPD faculty members Thurman Bridges, Ph.D., Valerie Riggs, Ed.D., and Simone Gibson, Ph.D., led more than a dozen Morgan students to Ghana to study abroad.

Added Program Director Ray, “When students engage with diverse cultures and environments, it empowers them and enhances their ability to comprehend the complexities of our global society. This kind of experiential learning holds the potential to shape their future decision-making skills in a profound way.”

As scholarship recipients, the students will represent Morgan and American culture and values in diverse international settings while refining their fluency in a specific foreign language. The esteemed Gilman Scholarship is viewed as a gateway for students to secure a long-term career in international affairs through the State Department as it dramatically expands their network and global competencies. The program is designed to cultivate the next generation of American leaders by endowing them with indispensable professional skills, including a global perspective.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) funds the Gilman Scholarship Program, awarding approximately 3,000 scholarships annually to undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens to study or intern abroad.

Its primary goal is to encourage and facilitate greater participation of U.S. students in studying abroad and to emphasize the importance of learning languages critical to the nation's security. This program was established following the enactment of the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000. Morgan’s first Gilman Scholar recipient was in 2021. To date, the university has had six recipients, with the most recent Gilman awardees being Jayla Pope (2023) and Michele Kamara (2022). 

Notably, the Gilman Scholarship has played a crucial role in providing financial support to undergraduate students, particularly those with significant financial need. It has particularly prioritized assisting individuals historically underrepresented in international education. Such groups include first-generation college students, students belonging to ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, attendees of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or other minority-serving institutions, students from community colleges, and those hailing from rural areas, small towns, and U.S. states with lower rates of participation in study abroad programs.

About Morgan

Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 150 academic degrees and certificate programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit


Media Contacts:

Cheryl Stewart or Larry Jones, for Morgan State University PR