Two Murray State students receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad this spring

By Shawn Touney | Jan 30, 2023

MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University is pleased to announce that Tamryn Woolfork and Megan Yochum are two recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring of 2023. 

Megan Yochum

Megan Yochum, one of two recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring of 2023.

Yochum, a senior and communications disorders major, is a first-generation college student from Newbern, Tennessee who enjoys working, traveling and reading. The Communication Disorders Spring Break Program in Ireland will be a culminating experience as she wraps up her bachelor’s degree requirements. 

“This program is extremely important to me because it will allow me to look at speech therapy from a different cultural perspective,” said Yochum. “We will be observing speech language pathologists in many different settings in Ireland. It will also allow me to see a part of the world that I wouldn’t normally have access to. I hope to diversify my knowledge in speech therapy and gain some cultural competence from my experiences. The Gilman Scholarship has made all of it possible for me!”

Yochum’s follow-on service project, a requirement that all Gilman scholars complete after their program, will be to create an informational brochure about the Gilman Scholarship. 

“I will share my experiences and provide resources others students may need to learn more about the scholarship,” said Yochum. “Seize the opportunities and travel!”

Tamryn Woolfork

Tamryn Woolfork, one of two recipients of the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad during the spring of 2023.

As a psychology major with a Japanese minor, Tamryn Woolfork of Marion, Arkansas was inspired to pursue studying abroad for a semester in Japan after her experience traveling there as a high school student. 

“I have always had an interest in Japan and its culture, and as I entered high school, I began to think about becoming a psychologist or a therapist,” said Woolfork. “While in Japan, I gained an understanding of cultural differences between America and Japan, one of these being the way mental health is viewed. After that, I knew I wanted to do psychological work in Japan. To achieve that, I knew I needed to become fluent in Japanese.” 

The Japanese instructor at Murray State, Professor Yoko Hatakeyama (Hatakeyama-sensei, as she is known to her students) recommended that Woolfork study at Doshisha University as a “nichibun-sei,” or a Japanese language and culture student. 

“I wouldn’t be able to study abroad this semester if I had not received the Gilman scholarship,” said Woolfork.

As a first-generation underrepresented minority student, Woolfork plans to partner with Murray State’s Office of Multicultural Initiatives, Student Leadership and Inclusive Excellence for her follow-on service project. She hopes her project will “not only help other students of color realize that study abroad is not unattainable, but also will provide resources and assistance in finding study abroad scholarships, such as the Gilman, and creating competitive scholarship applications.” 

The recipients of this prestigious scholarship are American undergraduate students attending 536 U.S. colleges and represent 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Gilman Scholars will study or intern in 91 countries through April 2023. 

The Gilman Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is supported in its implementation by the Institute of International Education (IIE). 

To learn more about the Education Abroad program at Murray State University, visit

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