News Release: McDaniel Junior Earns Gilman Scholarship to Study Abroad in Dijon, France

McDaniel College Office of Communications and Marketing masthead.
February 28, 2017

Feb. 28, 2017

Contact: Cheryl Knauer



Diaz of Reisterstown, Md., is among 850 recipients from across the nation selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Jocelyn Diaz, a junior at McDaniel College from Reisterstown, Md., has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Dijon, France. 

A triple major in business administration, accounting economics and French at McDaniel, Diaz is among 850 recipients from across the nation selected to receive a $2,500 scholarship. She plans to study at the International Center for French Studies (CIEF) at the University of Burgundy for 12 weeks during the summer of 2017, where she will take courses, as well as fulfill Gilman-required volunteer and service projects. 

“Cooking is one of my hobbies, and one of the things that interests me the most about Dijon is the thriving gastronomy for which it’s known,” said Diaz. “More specifically, I want to learn more about Dijon mustard. I want to learn about its history, and its usages. I also would like to learn about its importance in Dijon, France, and the world.” 

An advisory board member for the college’s Global Bridge Program for U.S.-based students who were born or grew up abroad or are bicultural or binational, Diaz was born in in El Salvador and came to the United States at the age of 11. 

She said, “When I was little and growing up in El Salvador, I would dream about learning many languages and traveling the world. It’s still hard to believe that this can happen to me, a Hispanic girl who wasn’t even born in the U.S. The Gilman Scholarship was made for students like me. Students who come from a group of people to whom these types of things do not usually happen.” 

Also at McDaniel, she is president of the Campus Catholic Ministry and is past president of both the Hispano-Latino Alliance and Palabras to Words, a student organization that tutors native Spanish speakers in English. She serves as resident assistant and an outreach specialist with the Wellness Center at McDaniel, as well as a French tutor. She has volunteered with the college’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Diaz is currently interning at Strauss and Associates, P.A., CPA, in Owings Mills, Md.  

Diaz is among five McDaniel students who have earned Gilman Scholarships as juniors at the college. Others include 2012 graduates Rhaelynn Givens, who studied in Budapest, Hungary, and Izabella Baer-Benchoff, who traveled to Amman, Jordan; Hayoung Kim, a 2013 graduate, who studied in Beijing; and Serra Berry, a 2015 graduate, who traveled to Costa Rica.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, sponsored by the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides grants to U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to enable them to study abroad. The program aims to diversify the group of students who study abroad and their destinations, as well as prepares students to assume significant roles in an increasingly global economy and independent world. For more information, visit

For more information about McDaniel College, visit   

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Editor’s Note:  Image of Jocelyn Diaz is available for download.

McDaniel College, founded in 1867 and nationally recognized as one of 40 “Colleges That Change Lives,” is a four-year, independent college of the liberal arts and sciences offering more than 70 undergraduate programs of study, including dual and student-designed majors, plus 25 highly regarded graduate programs. Its personalized, interdisciplinary, global curriculum and student-faculty collaboration develop the unique potential in every student. A diverse, student-centered community of 1,600 undergraduates and 1,400 graduate students, McDaniel offers access to the resources of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., and is the only American college with a European campus in Budapest, Hungary.

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