National Scholarship Award Gives Student “Key” to the City of Light

“Je veux grillé!” said Jessica Colon, a liberal arts major at QCC, upon learning that she was selected as a recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship award in the amount of $3,000 for participation in the summer Study Abroad program to France, beginning June 8. The Gilman Scholarship Program reviewed more than 2,700 applications for 700 awards.

Jessica, who became enamoured with the French language while in high school, is also one of seven QCC students to receive Study/Travel Opportunities for CUNY Students (STOCS) scholarships awards. The CUNY STOCS Award Committee reviewed 211 applications and selected 68 CUNY students to receive awards, totaling $73,500.

The six-week long trip to France will include excursions to Paris, Versailles, Lyon, and the Loire Valley. Other activities will include cooking lessons, food tasting, kayaking, and French conversation roundtables.

“Cross cultural exchange helps provide life-long tools for success in and out of the classroom,” said Lampeto (Bette) Efthymiou, DSO/Manager for International Student Life, Center for International Affairs, Immigration and Study Abroad.

Since enrolling at QCC in the fall of 2011, Jessica has been an outstanding student with abounding enthusiasm and a can-do attitude. She was named to the Dean’s List during her first semester and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society last fall.

Jessica embodies the service learning pedagogy. “I know how to connect with people and am sensitive to the need for varied teaching approaches, such as tactile learning experiences.” Jessica is also a member of the Women’s Group, one of several services within the College’s Counseling Center, a division of the Department of Student Affairs.

She aspires to become a middle school teacher and, upon graduation, plans to continue her studies through Queensborough’s Dual Joint program in Liberal Arts and Sciences and Education with Queens College.

Her most treasured connection is to her six-year-old daughter, Kaitlin. They reside in Astoria, along with Jessica’s mother, aunt and two brothers. “The greatest challenge for me is being away from Kaitlin for an extended time and so I’m very grateful that my family will be there to watch her and keep her safe.”

Jessica added that she plans to share her study abroad experiences in the fall of 2013 with freshman students in ST-100: Introduction to College Life. “I hope my “joie de vivre” is contagious!”

Faculty advisor, Dr. Federica Goldoni of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, will accompany the QCC students for the duration of the trip.