Notre Dame recognized as top producer of Gilman Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

Gilman Scholars 20 Years

The University of Notre Dame has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as a top producer of Gilman Scholars over the past 20 years among “medium” institutions based on enrollment.

Eighty-seven Notre Dame students have received Gilman Scholarships since 2001, including a record 44 for the 2020-21 academic year and a record 38 for the 2021-22 application cycle (summer, spring, fall).

That’s good for 15th place overall among institutions with between 5,000 and 15,000 students.

Students who apply for the Gilman do so in concert with the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), which promotes the intellectual development of Notre Dame students through scholarly engagement, research, creative endeavors and the pursuit of fellowships.

Elise Rudt is the primary adviser for Gilman applicants with CUSE.

“In my role as national fellowships senior program manager, I have seen the tremendous efforts of applicants over the years, and want to emphasize that becoming a Gilman top-producing institution is due to their superb narratives, persistence and deep commitment to international opportunities,” Rudt said. 

She continued, “This recognition also serves as a great endorsement for the guidance of fellowship advisers and the introduction of fellowship process courses on Sakai, and now Canvas. These resources demystified a hidden curriculum of fellowship and grant applications and took our campus from three Gilman winners in fall 2017 to 44 in spring 2021. It is our honor to continue providing these services to future applicants.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Gilman program, named for the late congressman Benjamin A. Gilman of New York, a staunch proponent of exchange programs for American students of all backgrounds to study abroad. 

In honor of the occasion, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs compiled a list of the 20 top producing Gilman institutions in four categories: small (fewer than 5,000 students), medium (between 5,000 and 15,000) and large (15,000 or more) institutions and associated-awarding institutions.

Colleges and universities in 27 states, plus D.C. and Puerto Rico, are represented, as well as 33 minority-serving institutions.

Established by an act of Congress in 2001, the Gilman Scholarship provides support for students of limited means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.

Scholars receive as much as $5,000 for program costs, plus an additional $3,000 for the study of a critical language.

The program supports Notre Dame’s commitment to global education and the common good.

“We have a very high percentage of students studying abroad, and the Gilman Scholarship allows many students who may not have the resources to go abroad the opportunities to do so,” said Hong Zhu, senior director of global education at Notre Dame. “We have seen many students over the years whose lives have been changed through study abroad, and the Gilman Scholarship played an important role.”

For more about this and other fellowship opportunities, visit

Originally published by Erin Blasko at on November 01, 2021.