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3 WKU students selected as Gilman Scholars

3 WKU students selected as Gilman Scholars

Three Western Kentucky University students were awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study abroad during the fall 2017 semester or academic year.  Whitley Gregory of Nicholasville, Kelsy Leppo of Lexington, and Bradley Orr of Guston will receive scholarships of up to $8,000.

Gregory, a senior elementary education major, is the daughter of Julie Gregory.  She will complete her student teaching in Germany during the fall 2017 semester.

“I am very excited about this opportunity I have to grow more knowledgeable about teaching and different cultures,” Gregory said. “Public schools are quickly becoming very diverse atmospheres, and this study abroad trip will give me experiences that will allow me to be comfortable with every student I encounter as a teacher.”

Leppo, a third-year agriculture major and student in the Mahurin Honors College, is the daughter of Kimberly Keller and Paul Leppo.  She will study at Massey University in Palmerson North, New Zealand.  She chose Massey University for its courses in animal agriculture and New Zealand for its use of precision agriculture.

 Orr, a second-year Asian religions and cultures and international affairs major and student in the Chinese Flagship program and Mahurin Honors College, is the son of Karen and Kenneth Orr. He will study at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, during the 2017-18 academic year.  Orr chose Yonsei University and South Korea in order to learn the Korean language and about the Korean culture, which he can utilize in his future career in the U.S. Department of State.

Each Gilman Scholar worked with the Office of Scholar Development at WKU in preparing their Gilman Scholarship application and with the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning to find the best academic program abroad to fit their goals.

 “Whitley, Kelsy and Bradley were successful in the Gilman competition because they each clearly articulated why they wanted to go abroad and how that experience would impact their future careers,” Cory Dodds, Coordinator of Nationally Competitive Opportunities in the Office of Scholar Development, said.  “They will return to Kentucky with greater knowledge of languages and cultures that will only make them more competitive in an increasingly globalized workforce.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, more than 3,400 Gilman scholarships will be awarded this academic year for undergraduate Pell Grant recipients to study or intern abroad. The program is intended to increase the number of students traveling to nontraditional destinations and increase diversity in study abroad by funding students of underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities; students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and students with disabilities.

About the Office of Scholar Development: The Office of Scholar Development is committed to helping WKU students in all majors and degree programs develop the vision, experience and skills to be independent, engaged scholars. OSD welcomes the opportunity to work with students interested in nationally competitive scholarships.

About the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning (SAGL): SAGL serves the WKU community by engaging students, faculty and staff in diverse, educational and cultural experiences through faculty-led, exchange, consortia and other study abroad opportunities. For information about the Office of Study Abroad, visit The office can be contacted via e-mail at or by phone at (270) 745-5334.

Contact: Cory Dodds, (270) 745-5043.

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 Last Modified 5/2/17