MCC study abroad coordinator selected as Gilman International Scholarship Advisor Ambassador

Yvonne wearing a royal blue shirt and a dark suit jacket. Yvonne Schmidt, MCC study abroad coordinator, is one of only 20 nationwide selected to serve as an inaugural Gilman International Scholarship Advisor Ambassador. MESA, Arizona – Jan. 12, 2022 – Yvonne Schmidt, MCC study abroad coordinator, is selected by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as one of only 20 to serve as an inaugural Gilman International Scholarship Advisor Ambassador.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a U.S. cultural exchange awarding up to $5,000 to American undergraduates with financial need and from diverse backgrounds for study abroad. The scholarship is administered by the U.S. Department of State and Affairs Committee and its implementation is supported by the Institute of International Education. Since its inception in 2001, more than 34,000 scholarship recipients from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories have studied or interned in more than 155 countries..

“I am very honored and excited to be representing MCC at the national level as a voice for community colleges for the next two years,” said Schmidt. “It’s very rewarding to be working with colleagues from across the nation to provide insight and more access for Pell Grant (need-based grants for low-income students) recipients to participate in life transforming study abroad experiences.”

The goal of the new advisor ambassador program is “to strengthen the partnership between the Gilman Scholarship Program and the higher education community, elevate the profile of the Gilman Scholarship among critical external audiences, offer higher education perspectives to the program, and provide guidance to faculty, advisors and administrators who seek to increase Gilman participation on their campuses,” Schmidt explains that advisors will also participate in national-level outreach efforts.

Since 2014, 22 Maricopa County Community College District students have been awarded Gilman scholarships to participate in MCC’s study abroad programs, of those, 11 were MCC students.

The other 19 new advisor ambassadors, comprised of professionals from study abroad offices, financial services, honors colleges and other student service positions, are from Georgetown University, University of Iowa, Boise State University, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, University of Hawaii-Hilo and other schools across the country. They are receiving training from the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and Gilman Program staff.

A Gilman International Scholarship Advisor for more than a decade, Schmidt has been involved in program promotion, assisting students with application essays and providing Gilman administrative support for awardees. She also served as a national Gilman Selection Panelist scoring scholarship applications from across the country in 2021 and assisted MCC to achieve Top Producer for Students with Disabilities status in 2018-2019. An International Tour Management Institute Certified Tour Guide/Tour Director, Schmidt is currently working toward becoming a certified Gallup Global Strengths Coach for international and study abroad students.

At Gilman’s invitation, Schmidt is collaborating with the organization on a proposal she will co-present at the Community College International Development Conference in New Orleans in March 2022.

“All Americans need to be equipped with global and cultural competencies to navigate the ever-changing landscapes of education, international business, scientific discovery and innovation, and the global economy.

Learn more about the MCC Study Abroad program at

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Contact: Dawn Zimmer,, 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)--

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Wednesday, January 12, 2022