Lissette Ortiz receives Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship

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USF College of Public Health undergraduate Lissette Ortiz was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study abroad in Costa Rica during the summer 2015 semester.

“I now know that if I set my mind to something, I can make things possible,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz is no stranger to being a motivated leader. She has served as the Public Relations Chair for Anthropology Club, a sister of Sigma Delta Tau, and a member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. She has also served as a resident assistant on campus.

Lissette Ortiz

COPH undergraduate Lissette Ortiz


As a senior double majoring in anthropology and public health, Ortiz aspires to work for the World Health Organization focusing on maternal and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“I chose public health as my major because I have a strong passion for helping others,” Ortiz said. “I strive to make a difference worldwide.”

Ortiz took part in the Globalization and Community Health Field School program, a 9-week summer program that took place in Monteverde, Costa Rica. This program is designed for students in public health, and other related fields, and provides opportunities to visit health institutions, government agencies and community based organizations. Students conduct research in Costa Rican communities related to a health issue that can be addressed from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

The Office of National Scholarships recruits students to apply for this national merit scholarship, focusing on students who are creative, motivated and academic leaders both in and out of the classroom. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs.

Ortiz is grateful for the opportunities the Gilman Scholarship has provided to her and was excited to learn about Costa Rican culture through an immersive experience.

“I am so passionate about public health and I am excited to one day be able to help those in need around the world,” she said.


Story by Anna Mayor and photo courtesy of Lissette Ortiz, College of Public Health