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WVU student to study in South Africa on Gilman Scholarship

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London Orzolek.
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A West Virginia University student with aspirations of becoming an anthropologist will spend the spring term in South Africa as a Gilman Scholar. London Orzolek, a junior majoring in anthropology and women’s and gender studies, is from Wheeling.

The Gilman Scholarship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs within the State Department to foster mutual understanding between Americans and people in other countries. Orzolek will spend the semester at Stellenbosch University, one of WVU’s global exchange partner schools. She will take classes in race, poverty, inequality and development, and Xhosa, a local language.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Orzolek said. “These classes pertain to my major and will help me prepare for graduate school.”

An Honors College student, Orzolek plans to earn a doctoral degree and become an applied anthropologist. As an undergraduate student, she has been conducting research on college-going culture and its impact on first-generation students. She is the president and founder of the Anthropology Club, a member of Pi Beta Phi Women’s Fraternity and a McNair Scholar.

“The Gilman Scholarship program is focused on getting students to experience international experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in,” said Ryan Claycomb, professor of English and faculty advisor for the Gilman Scholars. “This scholarship will facilitate a transformative opportunity for London to learn about the history, people and culture of South Africa.”

Forty-nine WVU students have earned Gilman Scholarships since its inception in 2004. The ASPIRE office helps students with their applications. The deadline to apply for next round of Gilman Scholarships is March 6, 2018.  Students can make an appointment to talk to the staff about the opportunities available to them.



CONTACT: Amy Cyphert
director of ASPIRE; 304.293.4836.

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