Ramos-Maya '24 First Hawk to Win Gilman-McCain Scholarship

Gianny Ramos-Maya ’24 didn’t think she’d ever have the chance to study abroad. “I’ve always wanted to go to Africa,” she said. “But it’s expensive. I never thought I’d be able to afford it.”

But this fall, at the encouragement of staff in the Global Education department, she applied for the John S. McCain International Scholarship for Military Families, also known as the Gilman-McCain Scholarship. Her father, Giovanny, served in the Army as a humvee mechanic for 20 years, and the scholarship provides $5,000 to assist a student from a military family in studying or interning abroad.

“I sent all my materials back in October, so by December, I assumed I didn’t get it,” she said. “I checked my email after my last final, and there was the email, telling me I got the scholarship. I was over the moon!”

Ramos-Maya is the first student from Hartwick to win the national scholarship, named for the late Senator John S. McCain.

She’ll spend her J Term in Senegal studying West African culture and arts. “I want to get my medical illustration certification after graduation, so seeing other countries and other cultures will be helpful.”

In addition to her coursework, during J Term she’ll also meet with other Gilman-McCain scholars and go to the U. S. Embassy. And when she returns to campus, she’ll do her service project, working with Biama Charles, director of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, to create a group for students who are active military or dependents.

The group will offer peer education and support, as well as provide information about benefits available to such students, including the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon program.

“It was hard growing up with my dad in the military,” she said. “But I want to create a safe space for these students to talk about it, as well as educate others about what it’s like to be in a military family.”

Gianny Ramos-Maya '24

January 10, 2023
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