First-generation student wins study-abroad award

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University student Loundyne “L.D.” Hare has received the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study abroad in Spain this summer.

It is one of about a dozen “distinguished scholarships” that WSU helps students target, apply for and acquire ( The Gilman helps students participate in a study-abroad experience. Hare is the 47th Cougar since 2006 to receive this scholarship.

Leader and role model

“I’ve barely been outside of Washington so I’m excited to learn about the cultural practices and ways of life in Spain,” said Hare. “I hope to improve my Spanish language skills. And I think I’ll learn a lot about myself through this experience.

“I’d say that not a lot of African-American students go abroad, so for me it’s a liberating thing,” he said. “I can come back and be a role model by showing others that the opportunity to study abroad largely encompasses self-growth.”

A junior from Tacoma, Wash., Hare is majoring in comparative ethnic studies and business entrepreneurship with a minor in popular culture. He plans to earn a Ph.D. in cultural studies and own a business – possibly a youth-development business that serves the disenfranchised.

He is a mentor in the WSU Office of Multicultural Student Services, a College Success Foundation Scholar and was the fall 2016 WSU Black Student Union president.

Academic, career boost for first-generation students

Hare will participate in the WSU First-Generation Abroad one-month faculty-led program to Seville, Spain with 23 other students. Each will earn six college credits while pursuing academic, cultural and service experiences and personal- and professional-development opportunities. They will take a short trip across the Straits of Gibraltar to explore Morocco in northern Africa.

“First-generation students (those whose parents did not complete college) are largely absent from study-abroad programs, so First-Generation Abroad is a chance for them to take advantage of all that study abroad has to offer,” said Sharon Ericsson, Hare’s advisor, program co-director and assistant director of the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC), part of WSU Undergraduate Education.

“The professional development and global engagement skills they will gain can have a direct, positive impact on their grades, graduation rates and employability,” she said. For more information, visit