Awards will fund summer study abroad and internships in five countries

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
UNH recipients of Gilman Scholarship

2015 Benjamin A. Gilman scholarship recipients, from left to right: Tamir Blum, Elinor Purrier, Matthew Kimball, Jacqueline Sullivan, Nicholas Lajoie

Five University of New Hampshire students have received the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which supports global internships or study abroad during the summer term.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to be applied towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program is designed to give students the chance to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies and become better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector. 

Tamir Blum, Matthew Kimball, Nicholas Lajoie, Elinor Purrier and Jacqueline Sullivan were among just 1,000 undergraduate students nationally to receive the award.

Tamir Blum, a junior mechanical engineering major from Newington, N.H., will conduct robotics research with professor Kazuya Yoshida, a renowned Japanese roboticist from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. He will develop and integrate software and hardware solutions for/on the Google Lunar X-Prize Hakuto rover system.

Matthew Kimball, a junior Russian and international affairs major from Rochester, N.H., will spend eight weeks traveling through Russia, with stays in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Vladivostok. A Marine Corps veteran, Kimball hopes the trip will prepare him to work for the United States government in facilitating healthy communication between the Russian Federation and the United States.

Nicholas Lajoie is a freshman physics major and German minor from Concord, N.H. Lajoie will spend the summer in Berlin, Germany, staying with a German family and participating in an intensive study of the German language. He is particularly interested in learning about Gustav Hertz, a German experimental physicist, during his time abroad.

Elinor Purrier is a sophomore and a star member of the UNH cross-country and track teams. A Montgomery, VT, native, Purrier will spend five weeks in Italy with the UNH in Italy program. The program’s focus on Italian food and the Mediterranean diet complements Purrier’s nutrition and wellness major.

Jacqueline Sullivan, a sophomore zoology and Spanish double major from East Longmeadow, Mass., received the early-decision Gilman scholarship. A member of the University Honors program, Sullivan will travel to Costa Rica this summer for the UNH San Joaquin de Flores program. She’ll live with a Costa Rican family, take courses in Spanish and learn about the rich variety of animal life in Costa Rica’s many tropical and cloud forests. 

The UNH Office of National Fellowships provides information, counsel and editorial support to highly motivated students applying for national and international fellowships and scholarships like this one. For more information about the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, or for application support, contact Jeanne Sokolowski at or 603-862-0733. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit are eligible to apply.