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Three Villanova Students Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships

Three Villanova Students Awarded U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Three Villanova University students have been selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study or intern abroad during the spring semester. All three students—Pablo Guzman ’19, Abbey Smith ’18 and Fares Sukkar ’18—study in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

Gilman Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of other cultures, countries, languages and economies—making them better prepared to assume leadership roles within government and the private sector. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education.

“Once again, Villanova students have successfully competed for one of the prestigious, national academic scholarships,” said University Provost Patrick G. Maggitti, PhD. “Having three Gilman scholars in one year is yet another sign of Villanova’s position among the most prestigious universities in the country. It reflects well not only on these students, but on our faculty and the academic excellence of the institution as a whole. The entire Villanova community is incredibly proud of Pablo, Abbey and Fares and wishes them the best of luck during their time abroad.”

Pablo Guzman ’19 CLAS, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is studying Philosophy and Art History. Guzman will spend the spring semester in Tokyo, Japan in the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) Arts and Science Program. Guzman wants to effect change through endeavors in contemporary art and is the co-founder of his own fashion label.

Abbey Smith ’18 CLAS, of Walpole, Mass., is pursuing a degree in Sociology, with minors in Spanish and Peace and Justice. Smith will study in Peru, researching the effects of globalization on the country's education system. She plans to pursue a career in social work.

Fares Sukkar ’18 CLAS, of Nutley, N.J., is a Political Science major, with minors in Spanish, Humanities and Peace & Justice. Sukkar will study international relations and multilateral diplomacy in Geneva, Switzerland, through the School for International Training. He is involved on-campus as a Resident Assistant, a member of Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity and was a former student Chair of the UNITAS Pre-Orientation Weekend.

“Experiential learning and the development of a global perspective are key elements of a Villanova liberal arts education,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “I’m extremely proud of Pablo, Abbey and Fares, whose success in winning this prestigious and highly competitive scholarship exemplifies the values we cultivate in CLAS.”

Villanova students receive numerous national scholarships and awards for their academics and leadership. In 2016, the University had 14 Fulbright recipients, in addition to a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Villanova’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowship (CURF) manages and supports the application processes for nationally competitive opportunities. Click here for more on CURF.

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities.  Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges.  For more information about ECA programs, initiatives, and achievements, visit

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas.  An independent, nonprofit organization founded in 1919, the Institute is the world’s most experienced global higher education and professional exchange organization.  IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide working with more than 1,200 member institutions and over 6,000 individuals with a commitment to the internationalization of their institutions.  IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government and private sources. These programs include the Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowships administered for the U.S. Department of State.  The Institute is a resource for educators and institutions worldwide (, publishing the Open Doors Report and operating and  search engines for study abroad program and study abroad scholarships.