Cedar Falls Community Foundation Awards $20,000 in Scholarships

March 28, 2022

January 2022

he Cedar Falls Community Foundation has awarded six $6,000 scholarships from the Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment to support UNI students studying abroad during the Spring 2022 semester.   

The Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment was established by emeritus UNI Education Media Specialist Robert Eller to foster the educational, professional, and personal growth of undergraduate students at the University of Northern Iowa by providing funds to support study outside the United States for students whose previous travel and study experiences abroad had been limited.  Applications are accepted through the UNI Study Abroad Center and reviewed by a committee of University of Northern Iowa Emeritus Association members:  David Duncan (chair), Paul Rider, Joan Duea, Diane Curtis, and Gary Shontz, and Cedar Falls Community Foundation executive director Sally Kleiss Timmer.  Six students were chosen to receive scholarships for Spring 2022 from the Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment.   

Sally Kleiss Timmer, Executive Director of the Cedar Falls Community Foundation, said, “The committee was presented with another round of outstanding student applicants.  We are impressed with the quality of UNI students, not only in their classroom work, but their community engagement and passion for their chosen fields and we are happy to assist them in their desire to experience life in another country.”    


Madeline Hinz, a Spanish and Political Science major from Garner, Iowa, will be studying at the Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Madeline is excited to build her Spanish speaking skillset during her time in Costa Rica.  She is planning a future as a professional translator.  Madeline has only previously traveled to Peru while in high school. 


Olivia Arnold, an elementary education major from Johnston, Iowa, will at the American College of Greece, in Athens, Greece. Both of Olivia’s parents studied abroad and she is excited to follow in their footsteps.  Olivia is interested in expanding her understanding of cultural awareness and using that to connect with future students in a diverse classroom setting.  She is inspired to create her own experiences that can encourage others to study abroad and step outside of their comfort zone.  


Jace Bell, an environmental science major from Solon, Iowa, will study at the Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Jace is interested in the unique opportunity to study areas of tropical marine biology, ecology, and environmental policy in Costa Rica.  He believes the academic courses he will take there will lead him on a successful path towards graduation and applying to graduate school in ocean sciences. Jace has previously traveled to Costa Rica and Antigua, Guatemala.  


Katherine Greenwood, a Public Relations major from Lamoni, Iowa, will study at the University of Oviedo in Oviedo, Spain.  Katherine has a dream of becoming bilingual, and is excited for the study abroad experience to help her reach her goal. She hopes to work for an international adoption agency after graduation, and believes studying aboard will help her combat ethnocentricism that can happen when working in this role. Katherine wants to learn how to effectively communicate and work with people from different cultures and to expand her world view. Her only experience travelling outside the US was briefly visiting an exchange student in Germany while in high school. 


Sami Zimmerman, a Spanish Teaching major from Cedar Falls, Iowa, will study at the Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rice as well. Her time abroad will allow her to develop her Spanish speaking skills and learn about another culture. She’s also looking forward to becoming more culturally competent. Sami’s previous travel experience is limited to one family trip to the Bahamas.  


Rachel Bass, a biology major from Waterloo, Iowa, will also study at the University of Oviedo. She hopes to become a psychiatrist, and believes learning to speak Spanish fluently will allow her to work with patients who do not speak English. She is also looking forward to the personal growth that can come from studying abroad. Rachel has never traveled outside of the United States.  


Sally Kleiss Timmer, said, “Robert Eller wanted to give Iowa students the opportunity to travel and study abroad for all the benefits that brings to personal growth and independence.  The Foundation is honored to help fulfill Mr. Eller’s legacy and assist these students with a study abroad experience.  Upon their return, the students will present to the UNI Emeritus Association about their study abroad experiences.” 

Applications for the Robert Eller Study Abroad Scholarship are available by contacting the Study Abroad office at the University of Northern Iowa.    

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation is a nationally accredited community foundation, managed by a Board of Directors made up of Cedar Falls residents.   

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation accepts and manages estate gifts and donations to fulfill donor wishes, assisting donors to achieve their charitable legacy.   

The mission of the Cedar Falls Community Foundation is to inspire and connect individuals, families and organizations to enhance our community, support non-profits, elevate educational opportunities, and build legacies through philanthropy.  The Cedar Falls Community Foundation strives to be a champion of local philanthropy and a trusted, empowering partner to donors who are passionate about enriching the community of Cedar Falls.   

For more information about the Cedar Falls Community Foundation, please visit  

www.cf-communityfoundation.org  or contact 319.243.9170 or director@cf-communityfoundation.org.