Allegheny College junior Marisol Santa Cruz has been awarded a $4,000 Gilman International Scholarship in order to help defray the costs of her participation in an Experiential Learning Seminar trip to India in May 2019.
“After conducting extensive archival research in the summer of 2018 under the supervision of Professor Ishita Sinha Roy, I was on a mission to complete my goal of being able to study abroad,” says Santa Cruz, who is from Santa Ana, California.
Santa Cruz will be accompanying a group of students and faculty members to India from May 13 to June 3 to study India’s experiments with globalization across its 5,000-year history. As the group treks across the Indian subcontinent, the coursework will investigate how historical sites and narratives provide the “theatrical” backdrop to contemporary media events. They also will study and explore how heritage arts and crafts are being revived by global markets, while tribal villages are organizing their own forms of cultural survival. The course is titled “India: Restaging History as a Media Event.”
“As a Gilman scholar, I will conduct a follow-up service project that will help other students apply for study away programs and help them acquire the funding to participate in these opportunities,” says Santa Cruz, a communication arts major and computer science minor.
“My vision in life is to see more Mexican women, like myself, studying internationally as they take the initiative to open up opportunities for others,” Santa Cruz says. “Through the Experiential Learning Seminar experience, I’ll be transmitting my experiences back to the community through a research paper, presentation, a virtual journal and videos.”
Santa Cruz will bring diverse and fresh perspectives to the India learning experience, says Patrick Jackson, director of fellowship advising.
“Marisol’s application was really interesting because of all the diverse perspectives she’s trying to understand and incorporate with one another. She’s a Mexican-American woman thinking about India through the lens of the work she did last summer on historical women here in Meadville through the Crawford County Historical Society,” Jackson says. “I think with this kind of background, Marisol is liable to come home with all kinds of interesting things to say and with a lot of creative ideas that she might put into action in any number of ways. Her application was classic liberal arts: open-minded and ready to connect things that don’t immediately seem like they go together. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say when she comes back.”
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, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages (those deemed important to national security).