Two Appalachian undergraduates receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad

Two Appalachian State University seniors in the College of Fine and Applied Arts have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study or intern abroad during spring 2019. Kira Brisotti, a building sciences major from Greensboro, is studying in Italy, and Felicia Sutton, an art and visual culture major from Charlotte, is studying in Costa Rica.

The Gilman International Scholarship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, offers grants of up to $5,000 to allow U.S. undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to participate in credit-bearing study abroad programs and career-orientated internships. The program seeks to support students that might not otherwise participate due to financial barriers.

Brisotti and Sutton are among 800 undergraduate students from 152 colleges to receive the prestigious Gilman Scholarship in spring 2019.

Brisotti is thankful to have the opportunity to study architecture and business in Florence.

“Some of the world’s oldest and most famous works of architecture are located in Italy, and I am excited about the opportunity to visit and study many of these structures first-hand during my time abroad,” she shared. “Because of the Gilman Scholarship, this opportunity [has become] my reality and I could not be more grateful.”

Sutton is also grateful for the opportunity to study something she loves – art – in a new location.

“As someone who is passionate about community-building and strengthening through collaborative public art projects, I think that this experience will provide me with unique skills that will enrich my future endeavors,” she shared.

For more information about the Gilman Scholarship Program and how to apply, contact Nationally Competitive Scholarships at or visit

by Joanie Andruss

About Nationally Competitive Scholarships at Appalachian

Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at

About the Department of Art

One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Art at Appalachian State University prepares students to explore art, identity, expression and creative problem-solving while challenging them to go beyond their previous limits by discovering new connections to culture. The department offers degrees in art and visual culture, art education, graphic design, studio art, commercial photography and graphic arts and imaging technology, with minors in art history, studio art, commercial photography and graphic arts and imaging technology.

About the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment

One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment at Appalachian State University features an integrated array of programs spanning the fields of sustainable design and technology.  Its mission is to foster a strong and vibrant culture of inquiry, discovery and innovation that integrates theory with application, problem seeking with problem-solving, local issues with global perspectives and technological progress with environmental stewardship. It offers bachelor’s degrees in sustainable technology and building science, and a master’s degree in technology.

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts

Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Felicia and Kira
Published: Mar 19, 2019 1:56pm