Quilling receives competitive study abroad scholarship

By Nick Erickson, Staff writer

Murray State’s Anissa Quilling, senior vocal music major from St. Louis, was selected to receive the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and the ability to study abroad in Mexico this summer.

The Gilman scholarship provides students up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad programs.

Quilling said the scholarship covered half of the cost, while her Murray State grants and scholarships covered the remainder.

Quilling, who will graduate with her bachelor’s degree this August, said the scholarship process was competitive.

“I received a lot of help from Robyn Pizzo in the study abroad office,” Quilling said.

Quilling said she was required to write two separate essays in addition to the application.

“One was a statement of purpose, and the other was a project proposal,” Quilling said. “I’ll complete the proposal while abroad in Mexico this summer and present it once I return.”

Quilling has high aspirations for her stay in Mexico, planning to immerse herself in the music culture for her project.

“My project consists of recording the authentic music in the city, like at the weekly festivals,” Quilling said. “ I will then create voice exercises that relate to the style of music and singing that I experience and record.”

Quilling said she plans to further her education after studying abroad in Mexico.

“After I graduate from MSU, I will attend Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri,” Quilling said. “There, I will complete the Master of Arts in Teaching program with an emphasis in music education.”

A prestigious scholarship is not the only thing Quilling has received. People have been showing her continual support and praise for her achievements, especially her loved ones.

Kamaria Simmons, Quilling’s best friend of six years and St. Louis native, said she admires Quilling’s humble nature in light of all her achievements.

“Ever since I have known her, she has been extremely talented and ambitious,” Simmons said. “Her spirit is so gentle, so loving, and she wants others to have as much success as she does.”

Michael D’Ambrosio, music professor and Quilling’s academic adviser for the past four years, said he has faith in her endeavors.

“She holds herself to a high standard and represents both the Music Department and the university with grace and dignity,” D’Ambrosio said. “I look forward to seeing what she is able to achieve after her time with us has passed.”

Though her time at Murray State will soon come to an end, Quillings sees many opportunities in the future.

“I am so thankful for this opportunity,” Quilling said.