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Congratulations to Our 2021 Gilman Scholars


June 9, 2021

We are pleased to announce that four CoAS students have received Gilman Scholarships to support study or co-op abroad in 2021. Drexel University had 16 students selected overall, which is a new recipient record for Drexel. The prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supports American undergraduate students pursuing study abroad and international internships.

Congratulations to Manmeen Kaur, Elana Sargent, Jade Umstead and Brenda Vong! Umstead was also the recipient of a Freeman-ASIA Award.

Manmeen Kaur

Manmeen Kaur

BS Criminology and Justice Studies '22
Gilman Scholar to France

Manmeen Kaur is a criminology major with a double minor in French and psychology. Currently, she is completing a co-op with the Immigration Law Office. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and complete her master's in business administration. Ultimately she wants to create an organization that can help women and children in the future. She believes that women and children are the most vulnerable and most important population.

Elana Sargent

BS Biological Sciences '22, Honors
Gilman Scholar to the UK

Elana Sargent is a third-year biology student on the pre-med track, minoring in business administration. She is originally from Massachusetts and wanted to come to school in Philadelphia to experience living in the city. With the aid of the Gilman Scholarship, she will now get the opportunity to explore the vast city of London and the surrounding United Kingdom, with its rich culture and history. There she will be able to grow and expand her knowledge by studying subjects outside of her major. With a background in carpentry and construction design, Elana is looking forward to seeing European architecture up close, while also developing cultural empathy and global communication skills that will be useful in her future in medicine.

Jade Umstead

Jade Umstead

BS Criminology and Justice Studies '22
Gilman Scholar to South Korea

Jade Umstead is a second-year student pursuing a bachelor's degree in criminology and justice studies with a focus in justice informatics, a minor in film and television, and is working towards achieving a language certificate in Korean. Upon graduating, Jade hopes to become a documentary filmmaker exploring issues of social injustice. In the fall of 2021, she will be studying abroad in South Korea at Seoul National University. While in Korea, Jade is looking forward to participating in the Korean Language Program, making connections with Korean filmmakers, and exploring the fashion districts.

Brenda Vong

Brenda Vong

BS Environmental Studies and Sustainability '23
Gilman Scholar to Germany

Brenda Vong is a junior majoring in environmental studies and sustainability with a minor in German. Her teachers from middle and high school, professors at Drexel University, and those in her co-ops all helped her figure out what she wanted to do in the future. Her passion is for helping communities learn, protect, and connect with their environment. Environmental studies and sustainability was actually not a major topic of interest to her as a kid, almost non-existent, and so she originally majored in biology. Her family came from Cambodia and are happy to see her take this opportunity that she otherwise would not have if still living in Cambodia. As she sees herself improving and discovering new ideas, she learned more about study abroad.She is grateful to have this opportunity through the Gilman Scholarship and is excited to study at the School of Social Sciences at Mannheim to gain an deeper understanding in sociology and to continue to improve on her German speaking skills.


Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 or up to $8,000 if also a recipient of the Gilman Critical Need Language Award, to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. Since the program’s establishment in 2001, over 1,300 U.S. institutions have sent over 33,000 Gilman Scholars of diverse backgrounds to 151 countries around the globe. The program has successfully broadened U.S. participation in study abroad, while emphasizing countries and regions where fewer Americans traditionally study. The complete list of students who have been selected to receive Gilman Scholarships this cycle, including students’ home state, university and host country, is available on the website

The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE).

Meet all of the 2021 Drexel University Gilman Scholars, and read Gilman’s press announcement for this year’s awards.