Above: Favour Orji, dual UW Bioengineering and Sociology major. Photo: ASUW

Favour Orji, a UW senior working on a dual degree in bioengineering and sociology, has received the highly competitive Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad.

The merit-based Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a prestigious national fellowship funded by the U.S. Department of State. Named after the late New York Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, the scholarship aims to expand access to international study and internship opportunities to students of limited means.

Due to the global pandemic, the Gilman in-person programs must start sometime in 2021, and Favour is hopeful that she will be able to complete her study abroad experience before she graduates in 2021.

She hopes to participate in the Engineering Australia: Introduction to Engineering Innovation in Health study abroad experience, or a similar study abroad program in the future.

“Engineering Australia: Introduction to Engineering Innovation in Health study abroad would have functioned as a catalyst to expand my understanding and network of healthcare professionals and researchers who are working to improve patient care and health outcomes for those who need it most,” Favour says. “The Engineering Australia study abroad would provide me with a unique opportunity to explore the mystery and beauty of Australia while studying the fundamental philosophy of need-based design engineering. As a budding bioengineer, the need-based design project will provide me the opportunity to apply the series of engineering knowledge I have acquired to the real world.”

Originally from Aba, Nigeria, Favour currently lives in Kent, Wash., and she is also a 2020 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar.

Favour is active in a number of service organizations. She is a 2019-20 mentor as part of the UW Leaders program of the Associated Students of University of Washington (ASUW). Mentors in the UW Leaders program receive and provide leadership development and practice opportunities.

She was elected to the ASUW Board of Directors and served as Director of Diversity Efforts in 2018-19. She also served as vice president of the African Student Association (ASA), activities coordinator for the ASA, and she served on the Campus Climate Working Group.

Outside UW, Favour also volunteers as event coordinator for the Seattle chapter of Umu Igbo Unite (UIU), a nonprofit group that works to promote the culture of and professional networking among Igbo Nigerians.