Financial Assistance AvailableDepartment of Education

The Falksen Endowment for Global Educators, funded by Marilyn '68 and David Falksen, is available on a by-need basis for EDU majors who want to be a part of Global Educators! Ask the Education Department faculty and staff if you want to know more about this funding opportunity.

Falksen Biography

Having grown up on a farm in southern Minnesota, Marilyn Hempftling (now Falksen) came to Gustavus feeling a bit overwhelmed and nervous but also excited about the adventure ahead of her. As she became familiar with the campus and met other students, several of whom became life-long friends with whom she maintains regular contact, her nervousness quickly dissipated. Gustavus created a window for her to explore the world beyond the rural community in which she grew up and introduced her to people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints. Gustavus also instilled in Marilyn the idea that one should live a life of purpose, and this goal encouraged her to work in the public sector. After graduation, Marilyn taught in a small town in southern Minnesota for five years and worked in private industry and for the Minnesota State Government before she moved to Washington, DC, to work for Congress and eventually for the Department of Justice. Her career, which gave her a unique look into the inner workings of political life, taught her that learning about people with ideas, backgrounds, and experiences different from one’s own and listening to these people is key to working successfully in a diverse country and world. Her belief that education can have a positive impact on the development of the skills needed to understand other points of view has led her to make the decision to endow the Global Education Program at Gustavus Adolphus College. This program encourages student teachers to travel abroad and in the United States to places with different cultures and socio-economic conditions, where they are challenged to develop their skills to teach those with challenging and unique backgrounds. This experience will help Gustavus student teachers develop the valuable skills of reaching out to others and listening to and understanding other points of view, rather than merely dismissing them as irrelevant. This program is a way to help the student teachers from Gustavus learn from the diversity of ideas and cultures in the world. It is her sincere hope that these experiences will broaden their ideas about this world and how to approach and solve important problems and that they, in turn, will be able to pass on to their future students the importance of learning about and trying to understand individuals different from themselves.