Six Eagles Earn Department of State Scholarships to Study Abroad, ‘Make a Difference’

Woman with a bike
One of six Embry-Riddle students to earn Gilman Scholarships this year, Amanda DePue traveled to Berlin as part of the program. There, decorated bicycles like the one pictured here were scattered throughout the city. During the program, she also traveled to Prague, where she and classmates went on a tour of the Prague Airport to observe the facility's operations management. (Photo: Amanda DePue)

Six Embry-Riddle students have been selected this year to receive Gilman Scholarships, which will fund opportunities for them to study internationally.

Amanda DePue, a senior majoring in Technical Management, is a working single mother with two children. Her Gilman Scholarship allowed her to travel to Prague and Berlin for two weeks at the end of May. As part of her trip, she took a class in Operations Management, offered by the Embry-Riddle Study Abroad and Global Engagement Program.

“I have to juggle my career, my children’s needs and my education on a daily basis,” said DePue, who attends Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus. “This specific program not only encompasses a mandatory course requirement, but also visits two locations that I have been dreaming of seeing.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program awards selected students with up to $5,000 to study or intern in other countries, providing the students “with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity,” according to the program’s website. 

For Tyler E. James, also a single parent, traveling to Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt will allow him to study special topics in humanities for two weeks as he earns his bachelor’s degree in Leadership, with a minor in Space Studies. James is a veteran and is using his GI Bill benefits to attend Embry-Riddle Worldwide. He will be the first in his family to earn a college degree, and he plans to pursue his master’s in Space Operations after he completes his bachelor’s degree.

“The program is only two weeks, which makes it much more doable for a working parent and full-time student,” said James. “I am most excited for our tour and briefings at NATO headquarters in Brussels.”

Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Campus freshman Victoria Melendez will travel to Academic City in Dubai to take courses in electrical engineering. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Melendez dealt with not having water or electricity at her house for months at a time while growing up, after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the island. Now a Mechanical Engineering major on the biomedical systems track, Melendez wants to make a difference in others’ lives.

“The career combines innovation with biology and the human body,” said Melendez. “When I thought about being a biomedical engineer … it dawned on me that I had a real chance of making a positive impact.”

Olivia Theige, a senior in the Global Security and Intelligence major on Embry-Riddle’s Prescott Campus, will also travel to Dubai, although she will be studying Arabic. She says her ideal career would be in working in intelligence, focusing on issues in the Mideast.

Jacques-Alice Auguste, who grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, just graduated from Embry-Riddle Worldwide in Homeland Security and is continuing in a master’s program in Human Security and Resilience. She will travel to Germany and Austria. Auguste says she has chosen the field of diplomatic affairs because she wants to “make a substantial difference in the world."

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