Fifteen Notre Dame undergraduates named summer or fall Gilman Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

Gilman Scholarship Logo Feature

Fifteen University of Notre Dame students have been awarded summer or fall Gilman Scholarships to study abroad, contributing to a University record 23 Gilman Scholars for the 2019-20 academic year.

An additional four Notre Dame students have been named summer or fall alternates for the award.

“The Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE) is thrilled to see that more and more students are receiving Gilman Scholarships every year,” said Elise Rudt, national fellowships program coordinator with CUSE. “In addition to students' hard work, this increase is surely due to outreach efforts on behalf of the Office of Financial Aid and Notre Dame International, and we are grateful to all of our partners for helping students push toward this campus milestone.” 

The U.S. Department of State, which administers the Gilman program, typically announces summer and fall scholars separately, but combined the cohorts this year because of delays related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Summer recipients count toward the 2019-20 academic year; Fall recipients count toward the 2020-21 academic year.

The 23 recipients for the 2019-20 academic year breaks the previous record of 15 set during the 2018-19 academic year.

Winners have until 2021 or later to use the award because of cancellations and restrictions related to the pandemic. That includes recent graduates who were unable to participate in programs over the summer. Students who decline the scholarship will still be counted as winners.

Summer winners of the award are:

  • Oliver Aceves, Auburn, California — class of 2023, mechanical engineering major.
  • Emily Hunt, Hanover Park, Illinois — class of 2023, biological sciences major and accounting minor.
  • Rayyan Maqbool, New Orleans, Louisiana — class of 2021, psychology major and Hesburgh Program in Public Service and collaborative innovation double minor.
  • Colin McDonald, Tiffin, Iowa — class of 2023, computer science major.
  • Isabel Niforatos, Albuquerque, New Mexico — class of 2021, psychology major and English minor.
  • Abraham Ortiz Santibanez, Fullerton, California — class of 2023, mechanical engineering major.
  • Hristina Rivera, Clarendon Hills, Illinois — class of 2023, mechanical engineering major.
  • Patricia Salazar, Santa Ana, California — class of 2023, civil engineering major and energy studies minor.

Fall winners of the award are:

  • Abigail Abikoye, Bowie Maryland — class of 2022, biological science major and poverty studies and anthropology double minor.
  • Rachel Dinh, Tempe, Arizona (recipient but declined) — class of 2022, anthropology and pre-health double major and theology minor.
  • Giovanni Folkes, Brooklyn, New York — class of 2022, psychology major and innovation and entrepreneurship minor.
  • Hayleigh Rockenback, Tucson, Arizona — class of 2022, sociology major and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor.
  • Wendy Ruan, Bellmore, New York — class of 2021, science pre-professional major and Chinese and Asian studies double minor.
  • Sebastian Sewera, Elk Grove Village, Illinois — class of 2022, science pre-professional major and history minor.
  • Jasmine Sindelar, Niles, Michigan — class of 2022, science-business major.

The Gilman Scholarship is a grant program that supports students of limited means to study or intern abroad. Students receive as much as $5,000 in financial support, plus as much as $3,000 for the study of a critical language, for qualifying programs.

For more information on this and other scholarship opportunities, visit

Contact: Erin Blasko, assistant director of media relations, 574-631-4127,

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on August 12, 2020.