UNI NEWS SERVICES - Rebekah (Bekah) Craighton, a senior at Hampton Dumont High School in Hampton, Iowa, has been awarded the Sally Gearhart Strottman Memorial Scholarship in Elementary Education at the University of Northern Iowa. The UNI College of Education awards this scholarship to an incoming freshman from Northeast Iowa who will pursue a degree in elementary education. 

This year’s recipient was among four finalists for the $10,000 scholarship, which is renewable for a total of four years. Craighton was surprised with a formal presentation of the award by UNI College of Education Associate Dean Stephanie Schmitz on Feb. 9. 

“It’s such an honor to receive this scholarship. I was shocked when I was told about it. It’s going to be an amazing next four years! Go Panthers!,” Craighton said upon hearing the news. 

The scholarship honors the late Sally Gearhart Strottman, a 1970 alumna of UNI’s College of Education. She was a former educator in the Waverly-Shell Rock school district. 

“Bekah will be a great teacher someday. She will teach with empathy, love and integrity,” said one of her references in her application. The reference also noted Craighton’s ability to thrive in the classroom while also holding leadership positions in extracurricular activities and community involvement. Her activities include serving on the state council for 4-H and advocating for the availability of mental health services for students. 

The scholarship is made possible through a generous gift to the UNI Foundation.