Summer in South Korea for GCC Student

Danielle Cannella Wins Gilman Scholarship to Cover Costs

Batavia, NY- The summer after GCC freshman Danielle (Dani) Cannella graduated from Williamsville East High School in suburban Buffalo, she traveled abroad for the first time. Her trip to Germany through an Education First (EF) Tour, gave her the “first taste of how old things are. There was so much history. It was awesome. I would go back in a heartbeat.” Cannella is going abroad again, but this time she’s traveling to Asia thanks to a Gilman Scholarship she successfully applied for through GCC’s Global Initiatives office. She will study in Deagu, South Korea from June 29 - July 26, 2014.

Cannella is pursuing the South Korea trip through SUNY Oswego. “Being a part of SUNY opens up many opportunities for our students beyond what we offer,” James Goodwin, director of Global Initiatives at GCC said. Cannella has been intrigued with South Korean culture since discovering several South Korean programs on television. “They have a really good attitude towards Americans,” she notes. “We’re there for them, protecting them from North Korea.”

She’ll take one class, Understanding Asian Civilization, at Kyungpook National University in Deagu. “It will be taught by a visiting teacher, so it will be in English,” she said. “I don’t know any Korean.” She has studied German, Spanish and Latin, and will participate in extracurricular activities that will expose her to Korean language and Tae Kwon Do. She’ll also have time to explore Korean sites, like the Hyundai factory. “I really admire the work ethic of any Asian culture. So I want to absorb some of that,” she said. She also looks forward to authentic Korean food. “I cannot wait to have kimchee,” she said. “I’ve had it at restaurants and I love it, but I’m so ready to have the real thing.”

Cannella began her studies at GCC in fall 2013. She started as a Vet Tech major, but has decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She’s majoring in Liberal Sciences with a chemistry focus and expects to graduate in fall 2016, then continue her studies at SUNY Geneseo and eventually Cornell. She has a very specific career goal. “I really want to work for the Navy as a veterinarian that cares for dolphins and sea lions which they use for search and rescue and mine detection.”

At GCC, Cannella is a member of Earth Club and recently participated in the New York Business Plan Competition with the GCC team that’s proposing a Batavia Loop Bike Trail and Bordering Business Development plan. The team won the “Team Spirit Award” in the Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit Category.

A work study student, Cannella is employed in the Global Initiatives office at GCC as well as at Family Video in Batavia. With limited financial resources, winning the Gilman Scholarship was essential for her to make this trip. “I found out I got it when we were on the way to Albany for the Business Plan Competition and I just started screaming.”

The Gilman International Scholarship Program is named after retired New York Congressman Benjamin Gilman and seeks to expand opportunities for undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies or credit-bearing, career-oriented internships abroad. It’s sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S. Department of State. ECA works to foster mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries around the world. More information about the Gilman Scholarship is available here:
Look for blog posts from Dani about her trip on the GCC campus blog at “I’m super excited. I’m not nervous at all. The only thing that scares me are the airports where there’s so much activity. I just have to make sure I’m in the right place, and I don’t miss my shuttle.”
For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email:

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Editor’s Note:
A photograph of Danielle Cannella is available here: