WT Student Wins State Department Scholarship to Study in South Korea

Chip Chandler Feb 15, 2023
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WT Student Wins State Department Scholarship to Study in South Korea

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — A West Texas A&M University student will spend a semester studying at one of the most prestigious universities in South Korea thanks to a generous scholarship from the U.S. Department of State.

Jacqueline Nevarez, a senior business major from Amarillo, will fly to Seoul on Feb. 20 to begin a four-month intensive slate of international business classes at Yonsei University, one of the nation’s Top 3 schools.

“I wanted to study in South Korea because it has grown from a poor country to one of the most highly developed economies in the world in just 60 years,” Nevarez said. “I want to learn from them and bring ideas back to the U.S. that I can integrate into whatever company I work for after graduating.”

Nevarez, who’ll be in Seoul through June, expects to graduate in December from WT’s Paul & Virginia Engler College of Business.

Nevarez won a $4,000 Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship in December from the State Department. The Gilman Scholarship enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to national security and economic prosperity, according to the State Department.

The Gilman Program broadens the student population that studies and interns abroad by supporting undergraduates who might not otherwise participate due to financial constraints. The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries or areas and world regions. The program also encourages students to study languages, especially critical need languages, those deemed important to national security.

Nevarez is the ideal student for the program, said Carolina Galloway, director of WT’s Study Abroad program.

“Since Jacqueline’s first visit to our office, it was clear that she was going to do everything in her power to make her dream of studying abroad a reality, despite the challenges or barriers, and we are confident she will be successful in her program,” Galloway said.

Nevarez, a Caprock High School graduate and first-generation college student, is a single mother of a 13-year-old daughter, Jesselin, who was born while her mother was attending Amarillo College.

“I was only 18 when I had her, so I ended up putting a pause on higher education,” said Nevarez, now 31.

That pause ended when she was laid off in 2020.

“I thought maybe it was time to go back to school, and I only had one semester left to finish my degree in business administration from AC,” Nevarez said.

She transferred to WT in January 2022, and she said she’s thrilled that her studies here will afford her the chance to continue her education overseas. In addition to the Gilman Scholarship, Nevarez was awarded a $5,000 scholarship from WT’s Study Abroad program in addition to assistance provided by the Engler College of Business and WT Office of Financial Aid.

Dr. Anne Macy, WT’s Gene Edwards Professor of Finance, said Nevarez is an engaged student whose life experiences allow her to understand finance from a different perspective than most of her peers.

“I am very excited about Jacqueline’s opportunity to study abroad,” Macy said. “Instead of being worried by the unknown, she is excited at the potential. South Korea is a dynamic country but has a very different language and culture. Nothing scares Jacqueline. She has already faced challenges, which taught her to trust herself. Going to college in Seoul is just another chance to test herself.”

Galloway said she hopes Nevarez’ story will inspire other students who may be hesitant to consider studying abroad due to cost.

“Our goal is for students to become aware of the different scholarships that exist, which can help offset the financial requirements,” Galloway said. “These scholarships are designed to remove barriers and provide students with the opportunity to study abroad, regardless of their circumstances.”

Nevarez hopes she’s an example for her fellow students.

“I hope other students follow my lead and just go for it,” Nevarez said. “Study Abroad gives you a deep awareness and understanding of other cultures, and we all need that in this globalized society.”

Offering intellectually challenging, critically reflective and regionally responsive academic programs, including Study Abroad, is the University’s primary mission, as laid out in the long-range plan WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.




About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.