Hawkins named WKU’s first Gilman-McCain Scholar

Hawkins(Submitted Photo)
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 11:18 AM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Western Kentucky University student Tramaine Hawkins of Hopkinsville was named the institution’s first Gilman-McCain Scholar, a designation awarded to 100 undergraduate child and spousal dependents of active or activated U.S. military personnel for study abroad per academic year.

The John S. McCain International Scholarship for Military Families (Gilman-McCain Scholarship) awards $5,000 for students to study or intern abroad.

In summer 2023, Hawkins will use his Gilman-McCain Scholarship to study healthcare administration in Tanzania, a country in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, through the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS).

Hawkins is a senior majoring in health care administration with a minor in business administration, and he is pursuing certificates in long-term care administration and applied data analytics.

“This opens a lot of doors to endless possibilities for me and my career as a healthcare professional,” said Hawkins. “This experience will connect my undergraduate degree to my postgraduate goal of earning a master’s degree to address health inequalities here in America, like the disparity in healthcare literacy among African Americans and low-income populations.”

Hawkins’ chosen study abroad program, KIIS Tanzania, provides a practicum that features hands-on and observational experiences in settings like hospitals, HIV clinics, community settings, and orphanage homes.

He will study alongside future nurses, doctors, social workers, and healthcare administrators, providing the opportunity to bridge the gap between different to create a more proficient and equitable healthcare system.

The Gilman-McCain Scholarship is open to military dependents who receive any Title IV federal financial aid at the time of application or during their study abroad program or internship.

Eligible federal financial aid includes Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized and Perkins loans, plus Federal Pell, Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG), and TEACH grants, as well as the Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program.

Hawkins encourages every eligible student to explore international study despite any doubts they have.

“I was afraid to put myself out there, and I almost missed the chance to take advantage of the opportunity, even though it was within reach,” said Hawkins. “I didn’t want to have any regrets after graduating; I wanted to apply and see if I could get the funding to make it happen.”