Dean Hitz hosts reception honoring GSE supporters and scholarship recipients

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The evening of October 4, 2016, Dean Randy Hitz hosted the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) Dean’s Reception. This annual event honored the school’s 2016-17 scholarship recipients, and the generous supporters of GSE scholarships and programs. There were many smiling faces as donors and students met and discussed the future of education and counseling.

Four GSE scholarship recipients spoke, sharing their paths to the GSE, their careers, and how scholarships are having a significant impact on them. Thank you to the following students for sharing their time and stories at the event:

Aria Benner
Recipient of the Nancy Benson Scholarship and the Keith and Paula Stanovich Scholarship
Aria is in the Inclusive Elementary Educator Program, and will graduate in 2017. She plans on working as either a general or special education teacher in a public elementary school, with a focus on inclusion of students with diverse abilities and backgrounds.

Wesme Pilab Beltran
Recipient of the GSE Residency Fellows Scholarship
Wesme is in the Secondary Graduate Teacher Education Bilingual Residency Program, and will graduate in 2017. He looks forward to teaching ESOL to high school students.

David Shiryayev
Recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Education
and the Renaissance Foundation Graduate School of Education Scholarship
David is in the Secondary Graduate Teacher Education Program, pursuing endorsements in math and Russian. He anticipates graduating in 2017, and looks forward to teaching math, science and Russian at a local high school.

Myrna Salinas
Recipient of the Brakke-Daggett-Petti Family Educational Leadership Endowed Scholarship
Myrna is in the Initial Administrator License Program, and will graduate in 2017. She hopes to impact diverse communities by leading schools with instructional equity at the center of the work.

Dean Hitz was pleased to present Marta and Ken Thrasher with the 2016 Light the Future Award for philanthropy. Marta and Ken Thrasher have been deeply engaged with PSU and the GSE for many years. Marta completed the Graduate Teacher Education Program in the GSE, and both support programs and students focused on families, children and youth. Through the Marta and Ken Thrasher Scholarship, the couple has made possible nearly 100 scholarship awards to aspiring teachers.

For the 2016-17 academic year, the GSE awarded $339,552 in private, philanthropic scholarships. Scholarships are very important to GSE students, as the numbers make clear:

  • The average cost for an education or counseling licensure and master’s program in the GSE is $28,000.
  • For 2016-17, the average GSE scholarship award will be $3,329, which is only 12% the average cost of attendance for these students.
  • The GSE has averaged 51 scholarships per year over the last four years, for a student body of around 1,000 students. The majority of GSE students have significant financial need, and education and counseling graduate students can’t work during the field experience portions of their programs.
  • Because an average starting teacher salary is approximately $38,000, the debt to income ratio for those who wish to teach in preK–12 classrooms becomes a huge roadblock to entering and staying in the teaching profession.

Scholarship support is increasing, with the average award size more than twice what it was in 2012. But with state support still far below historic levels, there is a significant need so the GSE continues to prioritize scholarship fundraising. Thank you to all of our generous supporters who are helping GSE students on their paths to becoming educators and counselors!

If you are interested in discussing options for establishing or supporting a GSE scholarship, please contact Jaymee Jacoby, GSE director of development, 503-725-4789, or make a gift to support scholarships here.

To view a complete photo gallery from the GSE Dean’s Reception, or to purchase images, visit Andie Petkus Photography.

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