Colorado State University undergraduate student Justin Deutsch was recently awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for Pell Grant recipients. The scholarship provided financial support for Deutsch’s study abroad trip to Mexico over the 2022 winter break to study various overseas ecosystems and natural resource conservation programs and interact with local ecologists.
The nationally competitive Gilman Scholarship aids students in their study abroad endeavors by supplying funds up to $5,000 to put towards a study abroad program.
“Receiving the scholarship allowed me to worry less about the financials. It helped me to be present in the moment,” Deutsch said. “I was able to focus on how I was going to use what I was learning to make the world a better place.”
As part of the application process, Deutsch, a senior majoring in natural resource management in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship Department in the Warner College of Natural Resources, was required to submit a series of short essays answering the question of how he could best use the experiences back in America and internationally in the future.
In his essays, Deutsch talked about his travels to Taiwan in 2019 with the Taiwan America Student Conference, a program focused on fostering relations between college students from America and Taiwan.
He also wrote about job experiences that contributed to his experiences abroad. His current role at the Colorado State Forest Service Tree Nursery is teaching him a lot about growing and using trees for restoration projects, he said.
During the two-week FW373A study abroad course, Deutsch explored the ecosystems and natural resources in Baja California Sur, Mexico. With help from two tour guides well versed in the environment and history of Mexico, the group spent time interacting with diverse groups of people and traveling to different locations.
“The locals were excited to see us and to know there are young people trying to work towards the same goal as they are in terms of sustainability, environmental protection and conservation biology,” Deutsch said.
The personal connections made with the people and environment was one of his favorite parts of the entire experience, Deutsch said. He plans to implement the new knowledge gained by this experience through maintaining culture and making a positive environmental impact.
“Justin is an inquisitive, kind-hearted, hard-working young man who is strongly motivated to make a difference in this world by working in natural resources and doing what he can to contribute to the wise use and management of natural resources,” said Kathryn Stoner, head of the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, who traveled to Mexico with the class.
The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship gave Deutsch the opportunity to create new memories and experience the diverse world of natural resources, he said.
Learn more about this opportunity from visiting the Gilman International Scholarship website. To learn more about study abroad opportunities through the FWCB department, visit the department website.