LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Lock Haven University student Thomas Lazzarevich has been awarded a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship in the amount of $5000. Lazzarevich, a sophomore history major from Trevorton, Pa., will attend Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, where he will study Russian language and Ukrainian culture. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The Gilman International Scholarship Program is sponsored by the by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). In offering grants for U.S. undergraduates to study abroad, the program seeks “to prepare students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world.”
Gilman award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process. During the fall 2010 application cycle, the Gilman Scholarship Program received over 3,000 applications for 1,000 possible awards. According to Rosanna Campbell, assistant director of international studies, “This makes Thomas the seventh LHU students to receive a prestigious study abroad award since 2006.” She added, “I am very happy for Thomas, who will spend an entire academic year in Ukraine, as well as excited about LHU’s continued successful record in this program.”
Lazzarevich is a graduate of Line Mountain Junior/Senior High School in Herndon, Pa. Between his junior and senior years in high school, he went to Australia for the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney. “My experience in Australia only helped to increase my desire to study abroad in college,” he said.
His interest in international study was a main factor in Lazzarevich’s college choice. “One of the main reasons that I decided to attend Lock Haven University was the fact that it has such an excellent study abroad program,” he said. He was also encouraged by family members who had studied abroad. These were two cousins, his brother’s fiancée and his other brother’s wife, Jessica Ernest, who had also attended LHU.
“Once I started college,” said Lazzarevich, “I began to research what country I wanted to study in.” Assistant Professor Brian Ardan urged him to think beyond the “usuals” and to consider “more exotic and under-visited countries.” Eventually, Arden invited him to dinner at his home, along with two Ukrainian students. “After that dinner I knew that Ukraine was the place that I wanted to go.”
Lazzarevich is preparing himself for an exciting year. “I don't really know what the future has in store for me and I have no plans, but I'm really hoping that Ukraine has something new to offer that will decide my life,” he said. “I'm definitely open for a life-changing experience.”
He also expressed his gratitude to the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship Program. “I would really like to thank the Gilman Scholarship program for the generous scholarship that they awarded me. Without the money that I received I don't think that I would be able to afford this experience.”
Lazzarevich is the son of Peter and Elizabeth Lazzarevich.
Further information about the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is available at www.iie.org/gilman.