Gene and Kathy Jongsma

The Jongsma Family Global Gateway Scholarship

The Jongsma Family Global Gateway Scholarship has been established with a generous gift from Gene (B.S. 1964, Ed.D. 1971) and Kathy Jongsma, who studied and taught at IU (1969-1971). This scholarship encourages IU education majors to become global citizens through the Global Gateway for Teachers program, an experience that provides teacher education majors with international immersion in host nation schools and communities worldwide, affording them the opportunity to engage in study abroad that speaks directly to their professional preparation for the teaching force.

Both Gene and Kathy spent nearly 50 years serving in a variety of domestic and international educational settings and have come to value the benefits of cross-cultural experiences. They feel blessed to be able to support prospective teachers who are seeking to student teach abroad.

Because of strict program requirements, teacher education majors have fewer opportunities to participate in traditional study abroad programs; however, for future educators, gaining international and intercultural experience is critical. Immersion into the lives of members of diverse cultural groups, coupled with structured learning and reflection requirements in both school and community contexts, can result in significant professional and personal learning that far exceeds the goals of most conventional student teaching experiences which often take place in the community surrounding the university or in the student teacher’s hometown.

“The Jongsmas generosity will enable carefully selected individuals to realize what otherwise may only have been a dream,” said Laura Stachowski, Director, Global Gateway for Teachers. “Their gift presents a life-transforming opportunity for student teachers to gain the international and intercultural experience that contribute to a larger scope of the world in which they and their future pupils live. Their overseas experiences launch our graduates on a trajectory of transformation that continues to influence their personal perspectives and professional practices, thus broadening the worldview of the children they teach for years to come. When one considers the multiplier effect, the impact of the Jongsmas’ gift is phenomenal.”