COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Maddy Norgard, a sophomore majoring in political science and history at Mississippi University for Women, was awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship as part of the Euro Scholar Program to study abroad.


“I was very excited to find out about this scholarship. I got the notification just a few weeks before I left for Finland, so it came as a big relief. Since my other scholarships covered the program fees for my program, the Gilman will be used to pay for my day-to-day living expenses and any additional registration fees or incidental costs I may have while on this trip,” said Norgard.

EuroScholars is a unique research abroad program for highly talented undergraduate students from U.S. and Canadian institutions looking for an international research experience. EuroScholars offers research projects at seven internationally renowned European Research Universities in almost any discipline.

The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad. A Gilman Scholarship enables American students to gain proficiency in diverse languages and cultures, skills that are critically important to their academic and career development. It supports undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. This program has been successful in supporting students who have been historically underrepresented in education abroad, including but not limited to first-generation college students, students in STEM fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending community colleges and students coming from U.S states with less study abroad participation.

The selection process for the scholarship is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, relation of travel to academic preparation and career goals, letters of recommendation from study abroad advisers and acceptance into a study abroad program.

Norgard is using her scholarship to study abroad at the University of Helsinki in Finland. She is spending four months doing research at the Center of Excellence and Reason and Religious Recognition in Finland. She will focus on a few research projects during this semester. The first project is about applying ideas of liberation theology to different global historical conflicts and determining how the use and promotion (or lack thereof) of liberation theology impacted those conflicts. Another project will be focus on the global methods of conflict resolution, but isn't solidified yet.

“I'm part of an international center of mainly post-doctoral researchers who can review my work and give me guidance that will be invaluable to determining my future career. This program is giving me the opportunity to dip my toes into the world of academia and determine whether or not that is something I would like to pursue in the future,” said Norgard.

To learn more about the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship, visit

Sept. 15, 2017
Contact: Urusha Silwal
(662) 497-8028
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