PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A Plymouth State University junior Marketing major is the first recipient of a new scholarship dedicated to studying abroad. Allison Wallace, a native of Boxford, Mass., was chosen for the Estes Study Abroad Scholarship, which was created this year by Gisela and Paul Estes, two retired Plymouth State faculty members who wanted to support a study abroad experience for a PSU student in a German-speaking country. They created the scholarship because of their deep belief in the personal value of cross-cultural immersion as part of one’s higher education. Their gift was matched by the American Institute for Foreign Study to offer significant financial support for Wallace’s semester at the University of Salzburg in Salzburg, Austria.
“I’m very fortunate to have this opportunity,” Wallace said. “I want to make the most of this experience. Working in a German – speaking country is one of my long term goals. I want to become part of the German culture and become fluent in the language while I’m there because it will help me grow as a student and hone my professional skills.”
Wallace will leave for Austria in February, 2014.
According to Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen, the study abroad experience uniquely prepares students for the global marketplace into which they will graduate.
“The Estes have been involved with many international efforts on campus,” said Steen. “Their gift is a personal statement about the importance of cross-cultural experience as part of a college education, and we are extremely grateful that they want to make that possible for more Plymouth State students.”
Debra Regan, PSU’s Global Education Office Director, said the scholarship is a huge boost to students seeking a study abroad experience.
“Many of our students find it challenging at best to pool together the financial resources needed to study abroad,” Regan said. “Gifts, such as the one donated by Paul and Gisela, enable students to take advantage of these opportunities. We were then surprised and thrilled for Allison when our study abroad partner, AIFS, offered to match it!”
Professor emeritus of mathematics Paul Estes taught at Plymouth State University from 1971 until 2008. He served for three years as a U.S. Army Signal Officer in Butzbach, Germany where he met his life partner, Gisela Behrendt, in 1961. Professor Estes traveled extensively in Germany, became fluent in German and is passionate about everything German: the people, the language, and the culture.
Gisela Behrendt Estes was born in East Prussia, Germany and fled with her family from the Russian Army at the end of WWII. She grew up in what later became West Germany. When she met Paul, she was teaching German in an elementary school. Gisela and Paul were married in in 1963; their daughter Heide was born the following year. The family later relocated to the United States.
Once the family arrived in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1971, Paul taught mathematics and Gisela taught German at Plymouth State. Gisela led an effort that encouraged and assisted students to study, work, and live in Germany and Austria. Paul and Gisela said they are thrilled their gift is helping a PSU student study abroad.
“We hope this scholarship will enable young people from different cultures to form lasting friendships, enriching their lives and promoting peace on earth.”For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org