Three students selected to receive highly competitive scholarship

Contact: Jeanne Baron
Headshots of the three scholarship recipients.

LaLonde, left, has already visited Mount Nemo during his studies in Jordan. McKenzie, middle, and Putnam have yet to start their overseas experience.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A highly competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship has been awarded to three Western Michigan University students to study abroad during the spring 2019 semester.

Only about one-quarter of those who applied, 800 out of 3,400 applicants, received an award for the spring 2019 scholarship round. Seven students from WMU applied for the round and three were selected, making for a notable award success rate of 43 percent.

The University's Greyson LaLonde, On'trell McKenzie and Meriah Putnam were selected for the scholarships.

Gilman Scholarship

The Gilman Program offers scholarships for U.S. citizen undergraduate students to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. The U.S. Department of State awards the Gilman Scholarship as part of a larger government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and interning abroad, helping them gain skills critical to national security and prosperity.

Spring 2019 recipients

  • Greyson LaLonde is a junior from Traverse City majoring in psychology. He will spend Dec. 28 to March 15 studying Arabic at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Amman, Jordan.
  • On'trell McKenzie is a sophomore from Kalamazoo majoring in biomedical sciences. He will spend Feb. 6 to June 9 in South Africa at the University of Cape Town.
  • Meriah Putnam is a senior from from Lapeer majoring in integrated supply chain management. She will spend Feb. 1 to June 28 studying business at HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Gilman at WMU

Applying for a Gilman Scholarship is a competitive process that requires some advising. Dr. Lee M. Penyak, WMU director of Study Abroad, serves as the University's advisor for the Gilman International Scholarship Program and many other federal study abroad scholarship programs.

Those interested in applying for the scholarship should contact Penyak at For more information, visit WMU's Gilman Scholarship website. To learn about the University's study abroad programs and services, visit the Study Abroad website or call (269) 387-5890.