CFCF awards $45,000 in scholarships

December 20, 2022

The Cedar Falls Community Foundation has awarded nine $5,000 scholarships from the Robert Eller Study Abroad Endowment to support UNI students studying abroad during the Spring 2023 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: Joan Duea (chair), Paul Rider, Diane Curtis, Gary Shontz, and Michael Prahl, and Cedar Falls Community Foundation Executive Director Sally Kleiss Timmer. Nine students were chosen to receive scholarships for Spring 2023 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.”

Each student has been introduced below:

Kate Murphy, is Public Relations and Journalism major, with a minor in Psychology from Indianola, Iowa. Kate will study in the Czech Republic in Prague and is excited to take hands-on media courses and learn what it’s like to work in journalism internationally. After graduation, Kate plans to work as a travel reporter.

Alex Wilmer is a Biology major from Cedar Falls, Iowa. Alex will study at the American College of Greece, in Paraskevi, Greece. He is looking forward to immersing himself in Greek culture while also taking classes to advance his academic career in biology.

Macey Overturf is a Spanish Teaching major from Urbana, Iowa. Macey plans to study at the University of Oviedo in Spain. She is looking forward to immersing herself in the Spanish language, so she can better engage her future students.

Abbey Case is a Spanish Teaching major with a minor in TESOL and Spanish/English translation from Garner, Iowa. Abbey plans to study Universidad Veritas in San Juan, Costa Rica. She plans to have a career as a Spanish teacher to elementary aged children and believes her time abroad will give her experiences and knowledge she can share with her future students.

Alex Perrin is a Social Science Teaching major from Thurman, Iowa. He will be studying at the University of Newcastle in Australia. He has never been outside the United States and is looking forward to bringing valuable perspectives from his time abroad to his future classroom as a teacher.

Olivia Brunsting is an English major and music, Spanish translation, and professional writing minor with a certificate in Literary Publishing from Orange City, IA. She will be studying at Soonchunhyang University in Asan, South Korea. She is looking forward to learning more about the Korean culture and learning the Korean language in her time abroad.

Sydney Lee is an Elementary Education major with a minor in Special Education from Ankeny, Iowa. She will be studying at the Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy. She has never traveled abroad and is excited to learn the culture and explore the area around Florence. She expects to grow from this experience and looks forward to sharing it with her future students.

Jasmine Zeleke is a Social Work major with a minor in Family Studies from West Des Moines, Iowa. She will be studying at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. She has never traveled aboard and looks forward to witnessing the difference in the education system in South Africa and learning about the history and way of life in that country.

Hannah Horn is a Social Studies Teaching major from Manson, Iowa. She will be studying at IMC University of Applied Sciences in Krems, Austria. Hannah plans on working in an American International secondary school post graduation. She is looking forward to the professional development of learning about the European academic experience while abroad so she will be better prepared to engage with future students in that setting.

“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 about their study abroad experiences,” said Sally.

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 or contact 319.243.9170 or