GSE awards over $180,000 in scholarship funding for 2015–16

graduationSupport for GSE scholarships grows

Philanthropic support for the Graduate School of Education (GSE) totaled more than $2.4 million in fiscal year 2015 (which ended June 30). Of this, almost $1.6 million was committed to student support, much of it as planned or endowment gifts for scholarships. The GSE is proud to be supporting future teachers and counselors with 54 scholarship awards made for the 2015–16 academic year, totaling $183,250. The average award has nearly doubled from $1,700 in 2012 to $3,339 in 2015.

Scholarships impact futures

Scholarships provide important support, not only for the student recipients but for the many individuals whose lives these future educators, administrators, and counselors will impact throughout their careers.

In the words of one GSE scholarship recipient, “I know the Graduate Teacher Education Program at PSU will be my launch pad as I pursue this goal, and your generous contribution to my education serves as more than a financial boost; it is a vote of confidence to make a daily impact on the young minds that I will one day have the privilege to teach.”

Thanks to those of you who generously support GSE scholarships! Continue reading

2015 Dean’s Reception honors GSE supporters and scholarship recipients

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Dean Randy Hitz hosted the Graduate School of Education’s (GSE) annual Dean’s Reception on May 13, honoring supporters of GSE scholarships and programs, as well as scholarship recipients. This year’s event was held in the beautiful Lincoln Hall Glass Tower—a brand-new venue in PSU’s oldest building.

Four GSE scholarship recipients spoke at the event about how scholarships are impacting their lives and future careers. Thank you to the following students for sharing their time and stories at the event:

Huidian Peng
2014–15 recipient of the Renaissance Foundation GSE Scholarship
Huidian is in the first year of the Graduate Teacher Education Program and plans to complete the program in 2016 in order to pursue a career teaching high school math and Chinese.

Lindsay Brown
2015–16 recipient of the Pivotal Scholars Fund
Lindsay is entering the Graduate Teacher Education Program this summer and plans to complete the program in two years in order to pursue a career teaching high school math.

Dana Gieszler
2015–16 recipient of the Graduate School of Education Scholarship and the Art Terry Scholarship
Dana is a candidate for the Counselor Education Program in the clinical mental health track. She is also receiving her graduate certificate in addictions counseling. After graduation she will be working toward her licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor. She plans to work as a bilingual mental health therapist at the alternative high school where she is currently employed.

Jayme Causey
2015–16 recipient of the Renaissance Foundation GSE Scholarship
Jayme is entering the Graduate Teacher Education Program this summer and comes to Portland State University through the Portland Teachers Program. He plans to complete his teacher preparation program in one year in order to pursue a career in middle school language arts and social studies and, eventually, high school English.

Brad Zenger, founder of Ecoworks Foundation, spoke at the event about why Ecoworks is a proud supporter of the Pivotal Scholars Fund for Math/Science Teacher Education. He encouraged others to support the Pivotal Scholars Fund match.

For the 2015–16 academic year, the GSE awarded $183,250 in private, philanthropic scholarships. This year’s scholarship recipients will be announced this summer.

Scholarships are very important to GSE students, and the numbers make this clear:

  • The average cost for a licensure and master’s degree in an education or counseling program in the GSE is approximately $28,000
  • Average PSU graduate student loan debt is $36,000
  • An average starting teacher salary is approximately $45,000
  • The GSE has approximately 1,000 students, and 54 scholarships were awarded in 2015, with an average award of about $3,339
  • Thanks to philanthropic supporters, the number of scholarships awarded in the GSE is increasing every year, and the average award has doubled since 2012

Momentum is building, and scholarship support is increasing, but given program costs, and with over 1,000 GSE students, our current scholarship program still does not come close to meeting our students’ needs. We will continue to prioritize scholarship fund-raising in the GSE, and thank 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 on May 13, or to purchase images, visit Andie Petkus Photography.

Friends and family of Dilafruz Williams establish scholarship

Marysville PFAD 002 (Large)The friends and family of Dilafruz Williams have established the Dilafruz Williams Leadership for Sustainability Education Scholarship. Williams, PhD, is professor in the Leadership for Sustainability Education program in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP), Graduate School of Education (GSE), at Portland State University. She served as ELP department chair from 2004 to 2007.

The Dilafruz Williams Leadership for Sustainability Education Scholarship will have an annual award of approximately $1,000. This scholarship will be awarded to students in the GSE’s Leadership for Sustainability Education program who exhibit leadership, dedication to social justice and environmental sustainability, and interest in scholarly pursuit of sustainability education. Preference will be given to those applicants who support learning gardens in the Portland Public School District and demonstrate commitment to children and youth in poverty. The scholarship is merit based, and financial need is a consideration.

The first Dilafruz Williams Leadership for Sustainability Education Scholarship will be awarded in the spring of 2015. Interested students are encouraged to complete the scholarship application now. The deadline for applying is February 1, 2015. Continue reading

2014 Annual GSE Dean’s Reception

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Dean Randy Hitz hosted GSE’s annual Dean’s Reception on April 22, honoring scholarship supporters and recipients. Several students shared stories about how scholarships have changed their lives and are helping them to successfully pursue their careers in education.

Scholarships are very important to GSE students, and the numbers make this clear:

  • The average cost for a Licensure and Master’s in Education or Counseling program is approximately $28,000.
  • Average PSU graduate student loan debt is $36,000, and an average starting teacher salary is $45,000.
  • Of approximately 1,000 GSE students, 32 received scholarships in 2013, with an average award of about $2,200. Thanks to philanthropic supporters like many of you, that average was up from about $1,700 in 2012.
  • This year we will award approximately 50 scholarships, with an average award of approximately $3,300.

Although we are not yet meeting the need of our students, momentum is building in our efforts to increase scholarship support.

If you are interested in discussing options for establishing or supporting a GSE scholarship, please contact Jaymee Jacoby, GSE Director of Development at jjacoby@pdx.edu or 503-725-4789.

To view a complete photo gallery from the event or purchase images, visit Andie Petkus Photography.

New $25,000 gift endows Sandy Kaplan Scholarship

Joe KaplanThe GSE has received a new gift of $25,000 from Professor Emeritus Joe Kaplan to endow the Sandy Kaplan Scholarship, a fund established in memory of his first wife, Sandy. He has been supporting this scholarship annually since 2007, but this gift to endow it will ensure the permanent continuation of the scholarship for the future.

The Sandy Kaplan scholarship is intended for a student in a GSE teacher preparation program who has multicultural experience. Preference is given to students who intend to work with children or youth for whom English is a second language. Continue reading

GSE student receives national Polish American scholarship

Renata Dajnowska

Renata Dajnowska hosts the annual Polish Carnival, a fundraiser for her Polish Cultural Enrichment Program at PLBA “Polish School”.

The American Council for Polish Culture has announced five winners of the $5,000 Pulaski Scholarship* across the US. One of the awardees is GSE student Renata Dajnowska, who is currently in the Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction program. The scholarship is awarded to American students of Polish descent who have completed one year of graduate level study in an accredited American university.

Continue reading