Student Achievement

Two Marist College Students earn Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
Franciluz Lizardo ’22 (left) and Gianna Nicosia ’24 (right)

July 5, 2022 – Two Marist students have been awarded competitive national scholarships to study abroad starting this fall. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships were granted to senior Franciluz Lizardo and rising junior Gianna Nicosia. Gilman Scholarships are administered by the U.S. Department of State and focus on student populations underrepresented in college study abroad programs. The grant’s minimum eligibility requirement is that applicants be recipients of U.S. Federal Pell grants. Nearly all recipients are currently enrolled college students embarking on a semester or short-term study abroad program. The Gilman Scholarship covers up to $5,000 in students’ unmet need for these programs.

Nicosia '24 is a philosophy and psychology major with a cognitive science minor and comes from Haledon, New Jersey. She will be studying abroad on Marist’s Florence, Italy campus this fall. After her time as an undergraduate, she hopes to pursue a doctorate and work as a psychologist and professor teaching psychology and working primarily with young adults. In Florence, she will be taking Italian, psychology, philosophy, and an art course. Nicosia is Italian American and thrilled to study in the country of her ancestors.

“Without the Gilman Scholarship, I would have never had the opportunity to study abroad, which is something I have dreamed about since high school,” said Nicosia '24. “After my semester in Italy, I hope to share my experiences with more younger students who are eligible. Wanting to study abroad and not being able to afford it is incredibly discouraging, and I could not thank Gilman enough for the opportunity.”

image of: Florence, Italy. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College
Florence, Italy. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College

Lizardo '22, is a biology/human biology major and psychology minor from Sleepy Hollow, New York. She will study abroad in Madrid, Spain this Fall and will graduate in December from Marist. Her original plan was to study abroad during her junior year, plans that could not be fulfilled due to the onset of the pandemic. She says she’s thrilled to finally get to Spain in what will be her final semester before graduating from Marist.

“This scholarship has allowed me to make this goal of mine happen as I would not have been able to cover the costs necessary to study abroad as a first-generation student,” said Lizardo '22. “This accomplishment would have never been possible without the constant and active support of Pat Taylor and the Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program who introduced me to this amazing opportunity and who helped me throughout the process of applying.”

image of: Cibeles Fountain in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss
Cibeles Fountain in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Eszter Szadeczky-Kardoss

The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is a campus academic support resource designed to assist students who otherwise might not be able to attend college due to educational and financial circumstances. HEOP is jointly sponsored by Marist and the New York State Education Department.

Pat Taylor, Marist Graduate School and Fellowship Advisor, says the students are a shining example of what this scholarship represents.

“Both students exemplify the qualities prioritized by the Gilman Scholarship: initiative, a commitment to fully engage with their host community and the conviction that their abroad experience is essential in preparing them for their long-term career paths.” said Taylor.

About Marist’s Nationally Ranked Study Abroad Program

Marist’s Study Abroad program is ranked second in the nation among master's-granting institutions for semester and academic-year abroad as well as total number of students studying abroad in the most recent Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. The report also ranked the college seventh overall in undergraduate study abroad participation rate. Marist has also received the Senator Paul Simon Award for First Year Abroad programs in Italy and Ireland.

Find out more about scholarship opportunities for Marist’s Study Abroad program here.

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