Prisp Scholarship Essays

Joseph M.
Murrysville, PA

"The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin."

If you’re having trouble imagining what that looks like, think of an orangutan falling down the stairs. Trying to brush its teeth. With a violin.

This quote is one of my favorites, and although I’m not a husband, it is an unfortunately accurate depiction of my love life.

Thick, matted fur draped onto thick, matted arms sporting thick, matted fingers. Especially ill-suited to handle the delicate instrument of a woman’s heart.

Don’t start off a conversation with, “What’s your favorite kind of bread?”

Don't use pet names like “honeysuckle snapdragon” or “my spicy chalupa.”

She’ll say, “Joe, I feel like you’re using cheap humor to avoid talking about important topics.”

“Your mom uses cheap humor to avoid talking about important topics,” is how you shouldn’t respond.

The most unfortunate thing about this display of bumbling ineptitude is it isn’t being used on women with equal bumbling ineptitude. They are fine women. They will go places in life.

“Joe, I got accepted into UPenn!”

“That’s where Donald Trump went. Please reconsider.” Incorrect.

“Joe, I got into Brown!”

“Hmm, I feel like if a college is named after a color it will be sub-par.” Wrong.

Don’t ask yourself: why would he say these things? Is he an idiot? Why does he know where Donald Trump went to college?

Tell yourself instead, his emotions are too strong to express themselves in conventional ways.

That’s what I do.

Examples of Follow-on Service Projects

Gilman Scholars have proposed and carried out a wide range of Follow-on Service Projects. As long as the applicant’s proposal will meet the goals of the Follow-on Service Project, there is no right or wrong projects. However, we encourage all applicants to propose a unique Follow-on Service Project that highlights their individual background, experiences, talents and skills. Listed below are some examples of projects Gilman Scholars have carried out. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we look forward to continuing to receive unique, individual proposals from all applicants. Remember, all projects must promote international education and the Gilman Scholarship.

K-12 Outreach

  • Conducting presentations on their country of study to local classrooms.
  • Working with a local teacher to connect with a U.S. classroom while abroad, via photos, letters, emails or Skype sessions, sharing information about their host country, experience abroad and the Gilman Scholarship.
  • Organizing and/or working with their university K-12 outreach program, to present and share information on their experience abroad and the Gilman Scholarship.
  • Participating in their local high school College Night to share information on study abroad opportunities and scholarships.
  • Working with/giving presentations on study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship to high school language or area studies classes.
  • Working with/giving presentations on study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship to programs that mentor high school students, such as Upward Bound.

Academic Department Outreach:

  • Development of a study abroad information page for the department or major website that lists a suggested academic timeline encouraging students to incorporate study abroad into their degree, in consultation with their department and study abroad office.
  • Organizing information on study abroad programs that offer coursework and academic credit in their field of study and links to Gilman and other scholarships and financial aid information that support these opportunities.
  • Presentations on study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship at academic club or honor society meetings.
  • Development of a brochure or informational flyer specific to the student’s academic department or field of study that is then posted in the study abroad office.
  • Serving as a mentor/peer advisor to potential study abroad students in their field of study.
  • Submitting an article to their academic department newsletter on their experiences abroad and the Gilman Scholarship either while the student is still overseas or upon their return.

Campus Office Outreach:

Students often propose to work with a specific on-campus office including the Diversity/Minority Services offices, Disability Services offices, Career Centers, Financial Aid offices, Student Leadership offices, and other campus offices. Examples of these projects include:

  • Promoting and encouraging study abroad opportunities and the Gilman Scholarship through presentations to student clubs and organizations and through office organized events
  • Posting information on the Gilman Scholarship Program in specific campus offices
  • Adding a web page to the office website that highlights study abroad opportunities, the Gilman Scholarship and information that would be of help/interest to students
  • Serving as an office representative at campus fairs and events by sharing information on study abroad and the Gilman Scholarship

Study Abroad Outreach:

This is the most common type of Follow-on Service Project students propose and can be very beneficial to increasing study abroad participation at your home institution. Consider consulting with the study abroad office to address any challenges or needs your home institution faces in order to offer support through your project and positively impact your campus and peers.

  • Volunteering or working in the study abroad office as a Peer Mentor/Advisor to potential study abroad students, sharing information about the Gilman Scholarship.
  • Representing the study abroad office and Gilman Scholarship at presentations/information sessions on study abroad.
  • Ensuring the study abroad office website has a Scholarship Information page and that a link to the Gilman Scholarship Program’s website is provided.
  • Submitting an article on their experiences abroad and Gilman Scholarship to the Study Abroad office newsletter for distribution or publication, either while they are still abroad or upon their return.
  • Developing an informational flyer/brochure on university-specific financial aid procedures for study abroad and available scholarships, including the Gilman Scholarship which is then housed in the study abroad office.
  • Participating in/organizing a Study Abroad Alumni society which assists returned and potential study abroad students, sharing information about the Gilman Scholarship.
  • Serving as a resource person for a specific country/program/field of study that would advise/assist potential study abroad students, sharing information about the Gilman Scholarship.

Other Outreach:

  • Submitting a weekly or monthly article on their experiences overseas to their campus or hometown newspaper while the students are abroad, thereby sharing information with a wide range of readers and including information on the Gilman Scholarship
  • Submitting an article or series of articles on their experiences abroad and the Gilman Scholarship to their campus or hometown paper upon their return to the U.S.
  • Working with another local organization to share information on study abroad and the country they studied in with their members
  • Presenting on study abroad opportunities and the Gilman Scholarship Program at Freshman Orientation or in First-Year Experiences courses thereby encouraging students to consider study abroad earlier rather than later.
  • Hosting a photography exhibit on their campus or in their community, sharing about their experience abroad, international opportunities that exist and the Gilman Scholarship
  • Presenting art created in or focused on their host country on their campus or in their community, including information on international education and the Gilman Scholarship.

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