The Stone Center is proud to announce that Zoë Ortiz, one of our undergraduate Latin American Studies majors, has been awarded the Gilman Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year. The Gilman Scholarship Program is a federally-funded international education program that financially supports exceptionally qualified students from the United States who plan to study abroad during their undergraduate tenure. Zoë, along with ten other undergraduate students from the Newcomb-Tulane college, will apply the award towards a study abroad program in the upcoming academic year.
We reached out to Zoë to ask her some questions about her educational background, her intentions with studying abroad, and her future plans!
What made you decide to study Latin American Studies?
Being from Southwest Florida, I have always been interested Latin American cultures as they have heavily influenced the area. Upon coming to Tulane I felt like I had so many interests all vaguely related to humanitarian work and social justice. After talking to different advisors and professors they encouraged me to take LAST 1010 and I instantly fell in love with the interdisciplinarity of Latin American Studies. I love being able to make connections between my Latin American Studies classes to other courses I am taking!
What other academic areas are you interested in/have experience in?
I am a part of the Altman Program in International Studies and Business so in addition to Latin American Studies, I am earning a degree in Marketing and my target language is Spanish. I have really been able to see the intersection of these throughout my internship this summer doing social media work for a small non-profit called Latina Republic.
Where do you plan to study abroad and why?
I will be spending the fall semester in Madrid, Spain and the spring semester in Lima, Peru. I was originally intending to spend my entire year abroad in Latin America, but due to COVID-19 restrictions it was safer to spend fall in Spain rather than Colombia as I had planned. I am excited to learn about traditional Spanish culture and history in the fall and hopefully be able to draw connections to the legacy of colonialism present in Latin America today.
How will this scholarship improve your abroad experience?
Being a part of the Altman Program means committing to spending my entire junior year abroad. As excited as I was at this prospect I always had lingering worries in the back of my mind about financing my junior year adventures. Now I can feel more secure in making plans to tour museums and spend my free time observing architecture and seeking out the best food in the city rather than working so much. Receiving the Gilman Scholarship is such an honor and I am so excited to be part of this prestigious network of people now!