Record number of Notre Dame students awarded Gilman Scholarships to study abroad

Author: Erin Blasko

Gilman Scholars Logo Feature

Four University of Notre Dame students have been selected as Gilman Scholars for the summer 2018 academic cycle, tying a University record for the most Gilman Scholars in a single academic cycle.

Among the selected students:

• Freshman Olivia Jazbutis, of Vernon Hills, Illinois, will study in Rome through Notre Dame International. Jazbutis is a declared neuroscience and behavior major in the College of Science.

• Sophomore Maria Gomez, of El Paso, Texas, will study in Jerusalem through Notre Dame International. Gomez is a science and business major, with a supplemental major in French, in the College of Science.

• Sophomore Bendu Konneh, of Hurst, Texas, will study in Costa Rica. Konneh is a neuroscience and behavior major in the College of Science.

• Freshman Julius Boateng, of New York City, will study in London through Notre Dame International. Boateng is a declared computer science major in the College of Engineering.

They join Edwina King, a junior accountancy and Spanish major from Minneapolis, Minnesota, who was selected as a Gilman Scholar during the early summer application cycle. King will study in Spain through Notre Dame International.

The Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) helped guide the students through the application process. The center promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame undergraduates through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships.

“The Gilman Scholarship, like the Freeman-ASIA award, the Boren Scholarship, the Critical Language Scholarship and the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, make it possible for outstanding students to pursue meaningful international study and research, whether through an excellent Notre Dame International program or a thoughtful independent project,” said Jeff Thibert, the Paul and Maureen Stefanick Director of CUSE.

“We congratulate our summer 2018 Gilman recipients,” Thibert said, “and we look forward to working with more students on their applications for these exciting international funding opportunities in the months and years ahead.” 

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Gilman Scholarship helps American undergraduate students of limited financial means study or intern abroad with up to $5,000 in financial assistance for program costs plus additional funding for the study of a critical language overseas.

The scholarship is named for the late Benjamin A. Gilman, a congressman who served as chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee and who, when honored with the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2002, commented, “Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternative views, but adds an enriching social and cultural experience.”

In addition to Jazbutis, Gomez, Konneh and Boateng, sophomore Kylie VanArsdale, a political science and classics major in the College of Arts and Letters, has been selected as an alternate for the summer 2018 academic cycle. Regardless, the Mesa, Arizona, native plans to study in Poland through Notre Dame International.

For more information on this and other fellowship opportunities, visit

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on May 08, 2018.