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Record number of WVU students named Gilman Scholars

International flags fly at the WVU Mountainlair

WVU students representing a variety of majors will study on five continents thanks to a Gilman Scholarship.

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 A record number of West Virginia University students are traveling the world in 2018 as Gilman Scholars. The 14 students, all West Virginia residents, represent a variety of majors and will study on five continents.

“Our commitment to a global education extends to all of our students,” said Ryan Claycomb, faculty advisor for the Gilman Scholars and interim director of the Humanities Center. “Travel can be a transformative experience and this scholarship helps students who may not have otherwise had the opportunity.” 

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables talented students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to national security and economic prosperity. Since it began in 2004, 63 WVU students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships. 

WVU’s Gilman Scholars and their countries are: 


London Orzolek, Wheeling, junior anthropology and women’s and gender studies major and Honors College student, South Africa;


Azaleah Davis, Robson, senior biomedical engineering major, Taiwan; 

Devon Henry, Hedgesville, junior animal and nutritional sciences major, Australia;

Elizabeth Herrick, Morgantown, senior history and religious studies major and Honors College student, Vietnam and Cambodia;

Timofei Kharisov, Hinton, senior international studies and Russian major, Japan;

Elizabeth Matthews, Martinsburg, a sophomore mechanical and aerospace engineering, major and Honors College student, Germany;

Annie Petitto, West Milford, junior elementary education major, Uganda; 

Aarthy Shah, Vienna, senior biomedical engineering major, Ecuador;

Isabella Tennant, Fairmont, junior secondary education major, United Kingdom; 

Taija Thomas, Fisher, junior psychology major and Honors College student, Spain; 

Josephine Valentine, Shepherdstown, senior elementary education, Spain; 

 Elizabeth Young, South Charleston, senior history and geography major, France; 


Sadie Janes, Bridgeport, junior political science major and Honors College student, United Kingdom;

Tucker Miller, Given, junior political science and economics major and Honors College student, Botswana.

A 15th student, Chase Loving of Beckley, was awarded the scholarship but declined. 

Students who are interested applying for the Gilman or other nationally competitive scholarships should visit WVU’s ASPIRE website or email for an appointment. Applicants are certified by the Office of Global Affairs and Financial Aid. 



CONTACT: Amy Cyphert
ASPIRE Director; 304.293.4836

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