Faith Pirlo is intrigued by the language and culture of Russia. Justin Moore wants to learn more about the history and culture of Japan to better serve his country.
Both are recipients of the 2010 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. The scholarship program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad to students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two- or four-year college or university.
“Many WVU students are prime candidates to apply for this outstanding award from the U.S. Department of State. I am excited that two Mountaineers, Justin and Faith, were selected for the honor this year,” said Lisa DeFrank-Cole, director of the ASPIRE program.
Pirlo, a senior from Morgantown, was awarded $4,000 to spend the fall semester in St. Petersburg, Russia. The triple-major in international, Russian, Slavic and East European studies will be studying the language and culture of Russia at St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University.
“I have been studying Russian for four years now and decided that this was the next step towards completing my long-term goal of being fluent in Russian,” said Pirlo, who hopes to someday teach Russian at the high school or college level.
Pirlo was drawn to the Russian language because of its alphabet – at 33 characters long, she became motivated to tackle it. She is also interested in learning more about Russian foreign policy, history and culture.
Moore, a junior international studies and political science student from New Columbia, Pa., was awarded $5,000 to study in Japan. Also a recipient of the David L. Boren Scholarship for international study, Moore will be spending a year in the country.
He will study Japan’s language, writing system, history and culture at the Toyo University in Tokyo.
“I am extremely proud and I am glad that I can represent WVU on an international scale,” he said.
In the future, Moore would like to work in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Approximately 6,428 students across the United States have used the Gilman Scholarship to study in 111 countries. The program encourages students to choose non-traditional study abroad destinations, especially those outside of Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is funded through the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
For more information on the Gilman Scholarship program, visit
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