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Honors and Awards

Biology Undergrad Honored as NC State’s First Gilman-McCain Scholar

Sarah Sebastian

Sarah Sebastian, a junior majoring in biology, was recently selected as a Gilman-McCain Scholar. She is the first NC State student to receive the scholarship, which is awarded by the U.S. Department of State to children of active duty military to study abroad.

Because of COVID-19-related travel restrictions, Sebastian will have the opportunity to defer her award towards a future term abroad or virtual international program.

“I am excited to be NC State’s first Gilman-McCain Scholarship winner, and I hope this encourages more students to apply to the Gilman-McCain Scholarship Program,” Sebastian said. “The Gilman-McCain Scholarship has given me the opportunity to learn about other cultures through a first-hand experience and has enhanced my interest in lifelong learning.”

NC State Military and Veteran Services partnered with the Study Abroad program to help Sebastian and other students apply for the Gilman-McCain Scholarship.

“The study abroad office has been a great partner this year in allowing our staff and students to learn more about the Gilman-McCain Scholarship for children of active duty service members,” said Juliann Kasza, coordinator for Military and Veteran Services. “We are excited Sarah is the first recipient from NC State to receive the Gilman-McCain scholarship for dependents of active duty service members, and plan to raise awareness about this and other opportunities for our military dependents moving forward.”

Kasza added that Military and Veteran Services works to support all military-connected students on campus. Last year, there were 856 veterans and 1,462 dependents among the Wolfpack student population.

“Our military dependents have served and sacrificed alongside their family members, so we are honored to provide assistance to positively enhance their educational experience,” Kasza said. “We have started specific programming for the spouses and children of veterans, and look forward to continuing to expand on these opportunities in the future. Additionally, our dependents are able to take advantage of any of our other programs and services we offer, such as community building events, professional development, transition assistance, and advising.”The Gilman-McCain Scholarship is a congressionally funded initiative of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and named after the late Senator John S. McCain from Arizona. With the support of the U.S. Congress, this scholarship honors the senator’s legacy of public service by enabling children of active duty military to develop the leadership and career readiness skills and global perspective to pursue careers of service and contribute to preserving the principles and alliances that are critical to an international order based on the rule of law, human rights, and democracy.

This post was originally published in DASA.