A. Gilman Podcast
Battling Hurricane Ida and Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Héctor Huyke

Battling Hurricane Ida and Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Héctor Huyke

September 27, 2021

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month from the Gilman Scholarship Program! Alumni Ambassador Héctor Huyke joins the A. Gilman Podcast to discuss how he and his team at FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) prepared for Hurricane Ida, floods, earthquakes, and a multitude of other natural disasters. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Héctor goes into detail about what this time of year means to him and why he hopes future Hispanic and Latinx students take advantage of study abroad. He offers valuable advice on what to look for in your exchange journey, and how you can bring your experience home. 

Héctor Huyke (Spain, used to be a writer, tutor, and journalist in Puerto Rico before Hurricane María. In the aftermath of the disaster, he started working in FEMA’s digital communications team in 2017. Since then he has continued to dedicate himself to serve Latinx communities before, during, and after disasters with a multifaceted and bilingual approach to crisis communications. As part of FEMA’s Digital Communications Team, Hector has contributed to both small and major response and recovery efforts throughout the nation, including hurricanes, wildfires, COVID-19, and earthquakes.

Connect with Héctor through email at hectorjuanhuyke@gmail.com.

From Café au Lait to Java with Daniela Castro

From Café au Lait to Java with Daniela Castro

August 3, 2021

Join the A. Gilman Podcast as we continue to celebrate 20 years of the Gilman Scholarship Program for this special storytelling episode featuring Daniela Castro (France, 2017). In celebration of the Gilman Global Experience Blog officially merging with the Gilman Scholarship website, we invited Daniela to expand on her story featured on the Gilman Global Experience Blog. She shares how her travels and studies in France led her to leave her doctorate pursuits to a career embracing three of the most important languages in the world: French, Math, and Computer Science.

Daniela Castro is a Gilman and Teach for America alumna and current coding instructor with Karlie Kloss’ foundation: Kode with Klossy. Daniela is based in Dallas, TX, and currently holds Master's Degrees from Texas A&M University and Southern Methodist University and a Bachelors of Arts in French and Biomathematics from Florida State University. She will also be competing for the title of Miss Texas 2021 this year. 

Connect with Daniela on LinkedIn or Instagram!

Background Music by Eric Van de Westen

Sound Effects Provided by Gaming Sounds FX

Study Abroad For All with Harriet Browne

Study Abroad For All with Harriet Browne

July 1, 2021

Deciding to take on an international exchange can be an already daunting, exhausting, and stressful pursuit. But on this episode, we are joined by Gilman alumna Harriet Browne, who discusses how embarking on exchange as a student with learning disabilities was an entirely different ballgame. Despite the hurdles discussed, Harriet gives credit to her current travel bug, interest in public health, and entrepreneurial endeavors to her time abroad. Not to mention that staying organized while also utilizing the resources around her was key to her academic and social success abroad. 

Harriet Browne (Dominican Republic, 2010), creator of Anansi Travels is a current Master’s candidate with Emory University. She was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas but her familial and ethnic roots can be traced to Ghana, West Africa, where she takes college students and young professions to explore through Anansi Travels determined to combat the negative stereotypes about the continent of Africa at large. Harriet dreams of one day using her up-and-coming degree in Public Health in an international capacity alongside the U.S. Department of State. She hopes sharing her story will inspire other first-generation students with learning disabilities to embark on exchange.

Connect with Harriet and Anansi Travels on their website or on Twitter!

In this episode, we have covered some of the challenges and triumphs of studying abroad with a disability. We want to make our audience aware that ‘The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange’ is a project of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, designed to increase the participation of people with disabilities in international exchange between the United States and other countries, and is supported in its implementation by Mobility International USA. Learn more: https://www.miusa.org/

To Abroad and Beyond with Manuel Retana

To Abroad and Beyond with Manuel Retana

June 8, 2021

The Gilman Scholarship is all about exploring the next frontier this month with guest Manuel Retana joining us to talk all things this out of this world. Growing up in Mexico only scratches the surface of Manuel’s international experience as he discusses that and his time accidentally enrolling in a Master’s class during his time abroad in Europe and getting lost while traveling on the trains of Denmark. Hear his thoughts on the invaluable benefits of international exchange for STEM students and why exposure to new cultures was a skill he had to develop for his career at NASA.

Manuel Retana (United Kingdom, 2015) is a Gilman alum and former Gilman Ambassador. Currently, Manuel Retana works as a NASA JSC Project Engineer in the area of Environmental Control and Life Support Systems ECLSS for the International Space Station, Orion, and Advanced Exploration Systems. He develops space hardware to allow astronauts to explore and live in space. Manuel is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin. In his spare time, Manuel does STEM/NASA outreach internationally in Latin America, India, and Europe.


Connect with Manuel on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn!

Living as a Spokesperson for Your Country and Your Culture with Jacqueline and Ryan Hung

Living as a Spokesperson for Your Country and Your Culture with Jacqueline and Ryan Hung

May 3, 2021

The feeling of serving as a representative of your entire race and country is an all too familiar responsibility for Gilman Scholars studying abroad as members of the BIPOC community. This May, Gilman alumni Jacqueline (South Korea, 2017) and Ryan Hung (South Korea, 2017) discuss their experiences traveling abroad as Asian-Americans to the same country on two drastically different academic tracks. Hear about how they both prepared for their international exchange, and how their experience growing up in the United States shaped their outlook on their own racial identities and culture predisposed them to racial ignorance and stereotypes that hold no geopolitical boundaries.

Jacqueline is a current software engineer and is the co-host of the How Did We Not Know That podcast. She greatly enjoys surfing and cooking and hopes to become a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Ryan Hung is a multi-talented artist who engages in everything from comedy to dance. He is a current program manager and is soon to start his MA in Performance Studies as a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis.

Connect with Ryan on LinkedIn or email him directly at hungryan@grinnell.edu. Take a listen to Jacqueline on the, How Did We Not Know That podcast available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Don’t forget to check out Jacqueline’s article mentioned in this month’s episode here!

Can the Planet Sustain Study Abroad with Mariana Zapata

Can the Planet Sustain Study Abroad with Mariana Zapata

April 1, 2021

Could traveling the world aid in simultaneously destroying it? Unfortunately, without taking the proper steps towards educating oneself and “paying the cost of admission” as explained by this week’s guest Mariana Zapata (France, 2012), we risk doing just that. Mariana joins the A. Gilman Podcast this month to use this upcoming Earth Day as a chance to reflect on the environmental impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. As a sustainability and travel writer, Mariana discusses how the planet has blossomed as millions of people were asked to stay inside and what that tells us about our habits as humans.

Mariana Zapata is a Colombian-American sustainability and travel writer who has lived and worked around the world in cities like Seoul, Paris, Bogota, and New York. Her writing has appeared in Atlas Obscura, Thrillist, NBC News Shopping, Apartment Therapy, The Writer, Mariott Bonvoy Traveler en Español, and more.

Check out her articles on her website and connect with her via Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

A. Gilman Story: A Military Perspective on Study Abroad with Lindsay Clark and Angel Torres

A. Gilman Story: A Military Perspective on Study Abroad with Lindsay Clark and Angel Torres

March 24, 2021

On this special military-focused episode honoring the late senator John S. McCain, we are joined by Gilman Scholarship recipient Lindsay Clark and Gilman-McCain Scholarship recipient Angel Torres. Learn about how growing up in military families uniquely prepared Lindsay Clark to dive deeply into her cultural immersion while abroad and helped Angel adapt quickly during his time returning from his host country during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Lindsay is an army brat turned paratrooper for the United States Army turned current medical student and went to Madagascar with Gilman in 2017. Angel Torres is a Chemical Engineering student at the University of Puerto Rico and is a part of the inaugural class of Gilman-McCain Scholarship recipients and traveled to Spain with Gilman this year.   

Connect with Lindsay on Instagram and with Angel on Instagram or LinkedIn!  

Creating an Inclusive Women’s Empowerment Movement with Ifrah Akhtar

Creating an Inclusive Women’s Empowerment Movement with Ifrah Akhtar

March 1, 2021

Valiant, trailblazing women like first-generation Rutgers University alumna Ifrah Akhtar (South Korea, 2017) is one of the many reasons why we celebrate Women’s History Month. On this episode of the A. Gilman Podcast, Ifrah joins us to discuss her triumphs and self-discoveries while traveling abroad as a Muslim woman.  She debunks myths about the value of pursuing a degree in Women and Gender studies and how the courses provided her an introspective college experience. The biggest takeaway from this episode is Ifrah’s reflection on the feminist movement in the United States and the changes that need to be made to the women’s empowerment narrative to include more diverse voices and uplift Islamic feminists.

Ifrah Akhtar is a recent graduate from Rutgers University where she studied Religion, as well as Women and Gender Studies. Ifrah had the opportunity to travel with the Gilman Scholarship Program to South Korea in 2017. She was a member of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers,  the creator of the Muslim’s Abroad guide, and is an avid foodie. Now, Ifrah is the editor-in-chief of the digital publication MODEST Magazine which is proud to work towards redefining and promoting modest fashion.

Follow Modest Magazine on Instagram and connect with Ifrah on LinkedIn or Instagram!

Building a Legacy & Redefining Your Normal with Alexis and Justin Black

Building a Legacy & Redefining Your Normal with Alexis and Justin Black

February 1, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day and Black History Month from the A. Gilman Podcast!

It’s all about #couplegoals this month as we have Justin and Alexis Black (South Korea, 2017 and Ecuador, 2018) joining us on the podcast. In this episode, hear Justin and Alexis discuss their experience growing up in the foster care system, studying abroad as inspiration for their careers, and pursuing professional success. Listen in for their best tips for entrepreneurial success after undergrad and what’s next for them. 

Before becoming authors, Justin and Alexis created The Scholarship Expert group, where they connect children in the foster system and first-generation students to financial scholarships. The two of them are also alumni of Western Michigan University and the Gilman Scholarship program and recent authors of their new book Redefining Normal: How Two Foster Kids Beat The Odds And Discovered Healing, Happiness, And Love.

Connect with Justin and Alexis on their websiteFacebook, and Instagram

USE CODE: 50OFFRN for 50% off an autographed copy of Redefining Normal! 




We are hosting a giveaway this month where our listeners can enter to win a FREE COPY of Redefining Normal. You can either win a copy through Instagram, Twitter, or Apple Podcasts. 

For our Apple Podcasts listeners, simply give us five stars and leave a review below and you are entered to win. Interested in a different way to enter the giveaway? Check out the Gilman Scholarship's Instagram and Twitter for more details.

Winners will be announced on February 22nd! 


Telling Your Story and Ours: Gilman’s 20th Anniversary with Josh Berry

Telling Your Story and Ours: Gilman’s 20th Anniversary with Josh Berry

January 11, 2021

Happy New Year and Happy 20th Anniversary of the Gilman Scholarship! In honor of this 20th anniversary, we are joined by Gilman alumnus Josh Berry this month. Josh Berry was one of the first-ever Gilman scholars who traveled to Chile with the program in 2002. Josh is now an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has worked with some of the biggest brands in the U.S. and is a skilled storyteller. In this episode, he talks about his experience filling out a paper application for the scholarship, exploring seemingly dead-ends abroad, and tips on developing storytelling as an essential leadership skill.

Josh grew up immersed in the coastal wilderness of Northern California and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Since graduating, he has worked with major worldwide brands across the retail, automobile, and non-profit industries. His early experience with vast landscapes, profound silence, and intense weather influenced his work as a filmmaker and activist. Don't hesitate to check out the two films mentioned in this episode: The Survival of a Shark Man and Sydney!


Connect with Josh on his website, byjoshberry.com!

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