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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

Gilman Scholarship Will Allow CWU Student to Study India’s Traditional Health Systems

Haley Durand, Central Washington University senior and Banjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipientCentral Washington University senior Haley Durand has been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study in northern India for six weeks this summer.

The dual major in Biological Sciences and Psychology was one of approximately 1,500 Gilman Scholars selected during the October 2021 application cycle and will receive the maximum award of $5,000 for her education abroad program, sponsored by SIT Study Abroad.

While in India, Haley will study traditional health systems in the country — including Ayurveda, Tibetan (Amchi), folk medicine, yoga and naturopathy — as well as the “social, economic, and cultural paradigms that provide a context for health care” in that part of the world.

“This scholarship and [program] as a whole are understandably going to change my whole life; I’ve never been more eager to experience anything in my life as I am for visiting the divine traditional medicine lands of India,” said Haley, a Yakima native who plans to continue her education in Counseling and Naturopathy after graduating. “I want to be the change in the allopathic healthcare by bringing authentic experiences and knowledge back to the states [sic] to share with others who are on a similar path.”

Established in 2001, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education. Requiring applicants to receive the Federal Pell Grant, the Gilman Scholarship Program is designed to broaden the US student population that “studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints.”

“The Gilman Scholarship is highly competitive, with several thousand applicants each cycle. Haley should be proud,” said Steven Cook, CWU’s Associate Director of Education Abroad. “Her success is the result of taking the time to complete thoughtful, compelling essays and clearly communicating her story, who she is and how her experience abroad will benefit her in the future.”

The Gilman Scholarship also supports students who are historically underrepresented in education abroad programs, including but not limited to first-generation college students, veterans, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities and students attending minority-serving institutions. Since its beginning, the Gilman Program has awarded over 34,000 scholarships.

As part of the Gilman Program’s goal to encourage students to study in diverse destinations, those studying a Department of State-designated Critical Need Language may be eligible for an additional award, providing a potential total financial benefit of $8,000. CWU offers instruction and degree programs in the qualifying languages of Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Japanese and Russian.

Aside from the financial awards, Gilman Scholars are connected to an extensive alumni network and are eligible for non-competitive eligibility hiring status for federal employment.

Haley says she couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity.

“I am more than ecstatic to [participate in this program;] I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to bring some of the Eastern medicine to our westernized society. … I am on a mission to heal myself and bring natural remedies like yoga, meditation, and a healthy diet into my life daily. I hope to share all my knowledge and understanding of the mind, body, soul connection once I get back from [India],“ she said.

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