Norwood Awarded Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad Spring Semester in Wales

Hannah Norwood
Hannah Norwood

Gordon Junior Earns First-Time Honors for College

BY: KATHERYNE A. FIELDS,  Gordon State College Director of Marketing

Growing up in Griffin, Hannah Norwood wanted to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and college – plus she had a dream to travel the world as well.

Norwood, a junior history major at Gordon State College, was recently named the recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs highly competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. She is Gordon’s first student on record to receive the $3,000 award.  

According to the award letter, The Gilman Program offers grants for U.S. undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue credit-bearing academic studies or career-oriented international internships intended to better prepare students to thrive in the global economy. More than 47 percent of Gilman scholars are first-generation college students.

Norwood, who graduated from Spalding High School in 2018, will attend Aberystwyth University in Wales for Spring Semester 2021, which begins in January and ends in May. She is interested in political science and history courses and planning to take a full load at Aberystwyth for courses will transfer credit to Gordon. Her scheduled will be confirmed when she arrives in the United Kingdom for classes.

“I was pleasantly surprised to be accepted for the scholarship” Norwood said. “The courses they offer are amazing. I practically drooled over the course catalog trying to decide. They offer debate clubs and guest speakers, lectures and diplomats from Parliament who visit the campus, and I plan to get involved in all of that.

“This is the college experience I’ve always wanted. I always wanted to study abroad and have the opportunity to experience a different culture and hear foreign languages. I saved as a high-school senior and got to go to Italy and Croatia with my school I decided then I wanted to travel as a career, and become a foreign-service officer, a diplomat.”

Gordon State’s Director of Career Services and Gilman Scholarship liaison Dr. Tonya Moore said she was proud of Norwood for applying and earning the competitive national scholarship.

“Hannah took the initiative to modify her options to study abroad during challenging times,” Moore said. “I am confident that she will represent Gordon well while meeting friends abroad.”

Associate Professor of Sociology and Campus Representative for the University System of Georgia Goes Global Program Dr. Christy Flatt said. “Hannah is a motivated student. This experience will be one she will always remember. It will make history come alive for her.”

In light of a global COVID-19 pandemic, Norwood said her mother was excited as well as apprehensive about the opportunity to travel abroad.

“I had to look up statistics for in that area,” Norwood said. “COVID and crime are stronger where we live than they are there. It calmed her, and she trusts me to use my head and be safe.”

Norwood said the Welch government requires self-quarantine for two weeks for international travelers once she arrives and a dorm is established for that purpose. The study abroad program also requires international insurance to include health, accident plus emergency evacuation.

Norwood serves as a circulation assistant for the Griffin-Spalding County Library, and spends time after work researching nearby places to travel as well as the weather for Wales. She said she is prepared for winter and spring that features a colder-temperature, light snow and a lot of rain.