Student News

UK College of Design Student Awarded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Erik Osorio-Cruz
Erik Osorio-Cruz

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2022) — University of Kentucky College of Design student Erik Osorio-Cruz has been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this summer. The scholarship will fund studies in Florence, Italy for the architecture major.

The Gilman Scholarship is a congressionally funded scholarship sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and administered by the Institute of International Education.

The scholarship supports students who have been traditionally underrepresented in study abroad, including but not limited to, students with high financial need, community college students, students in underrepresented fields such as the sciences and engineering, students with diverse ethnic backgrounds, and students with disabilities.

Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the award to defray the cost of tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare.

Osorio-Cruz is excited about the opportunities the Gilman Scholarship will make possible in advancing his studies.

“I chose architecture as my major because I have interest in drawing and designing. I have always wondered how a building can be a piece of art or sculpture. This major can impact the future and societies and I want to be one of them who can make a difference in the world through design.”

Osorio-Cruz graduated from Maine East High School in Park Ridge, Illinois. At UK he is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in architecture to further his understanding of design. Osorio-Cruz participated as a UK College of Design Ambassador, secretary for the UK National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAS) and a member of the UK American Institute of Architecture Students. He credits his mentor Ruth González Jiménez, the Latino student community specialist at the UK Martin Luther King Center, as the reason why he is still at school and for teaching him how to be a good student. 

Upon completion of his undergraduate degree from the School of Architecture, Osorio-Cruz plans to continue his education and apply for graduate school.

The Office of Nationally Competitive Awards assists current UK undergraduate and graduate students and recent alumni in applying for external scholarships and fellowships funded by sources (such as a nongovernment foundation or government agency) outside the university. These awards honor exceptional students across the nation. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with the office, housed in the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence, well in advance of the scholarship deadline. Staff is available for in-person and virtual appointments to discuss opportunities for the 2021-2022 academic year and beyond.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.