Pandora White named Benjamin A. Gilman Alumni Ambassador

Alcorn State University alumna, Pandora White has been chosen to advise the next generation of international scholars.

White, a Fayette, Mississippi native who earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 2013 was selected as the 2018-2019 Benjamin A. Gilman Alumni Ambassador. White is a former Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient, which is awarded to undergraduates to help aid them during their studies abroad.

White's duties include informing undergraduates about the scholarship, how to apply, and offering guidance to interested students. She's also responsible for building an alumni network that has traveled all over the world working in various disciplines. 

As White prepares for her new role, she reflected on her undergraduate years and being a Gilman Scholarship recipient at Alcorn. The opportunity opened countless doors for White to fulfill her dream of traveling and helping others.

"I'm very excited to be a Gilman Alumni Ambassador," said White. "I've been to over 26 countries, and I rarely see another person from the South. I'm from Fayette. When I talked about going to other countries, people looked at me like I was crazy. It wasn't something that a lot of people were doing. However, it was what I was doing. Through help and guidance from the Office of Global Programs at Alcorn, I was encouraged to apply for the Gilman Scholarship. Before I completed my scholarship, I had never been on a plane, and the whole idea of going to another country seemed daunting. So now to be able to go out and tell students who are just like me that there is a way to study abroad makes me extremely happy." 

White plans to encourage students to cherish the moment, become better in their studies and crafts, and expand their minds by experiencing other cultures.

"Enjoy your time abroad. Engage with the local populations and try new things. The purpose of studying abroad is to help broaden your horizons."

White currently is finishing a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. After graduation, she plans to continue her research in health while pursuing an educational career that includes developing study abroad courses for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) students.