Central College News

Two Central College Students Named Gilman Scholars

Featured: Two Central College Students Named Gilman Scholars

January 11, 2024

Central College congratulates Lily Bardwell and Veronica Johnson on receiving the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships to study in Murcia, Spain, during Spring 2024.

“The Gilman Scholarship Program is a national, highly competitive scholarship,” says Cyndi Boertje, assistant director of experiential learning. “Approximately one in four applicants are selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship. We’re so proud of Lily and Veronica earning this achievement.”

Bardwell is an English and Spanish double major in the Class of 2025, from West Des Moines, Iowa. After graduation, she plans to work for a non-profit or governmental agency that assists the Spanish-speaking population.

“Spain is so diverse in its culture,” Bardwell says. “I want to learn about the holidays and the unique communities. I want to experience its beautiful history and architecture with its amazing blend of generations. I want to experience modern-day Spain and talk to as many people as I can.”

Johnson is a Spanish major in the Class of 2026, from Carroll, Iowa. She intends to be a Spanish teacher after graduation.

“This experience will allow me to improve my language skills and make me a more effective teacher as I will be more comfortable with the content,” Johnson shares. “It will also allow me to learn about the culture and be able to share personal experiences in a Spanish-speaking country with my future students, inspiring them to want to expand their horizons as well.”

These women worked with Central’s off-campus experiences program staff to complete the application and curriculum requirements.

“The Gilman Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints,” Boertje says. “The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions.”

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program enables American students to gain proficiency in diverse languages and cultures, skills that are critically important to their academic and career development. The Gilman Scholarship supports students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to our national security and economic prosperity. For more information go to www.gilmanscholarship.org.