Family of Joyce Luke Establishes Scholarship in Honor

The family of Joyce Luke has established an scholarship in her honor to aid future student teachers at Northwest Missouri State University. The Joyce Luke Education Scholarship, with the assistance of cash gifts totaling more than $10,000. Joyce passed away last November, at the age of 54.

Northwest dedicated a new scholarship in honor of a faculty member who died in November.

The family of Joyce Luke established a scholarship in remembrance of her and her impact on students in the education department. The award is a $500 scholarship for the 2019-20 academic year. Cash gifts of more than $10,000 helped fund the newly endowed Joyce Luke Education Scholarship, according to a University news release.

Joyce Luke was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. She could not have children of her own and chose to help students at Northwest be successful in the pursuit of teaching. Joyce Luke was known for helping place Bearcats in schools as student teachers.

Mike Luke, Joyce Luke’s brother, spoke to her impact on Northwest students.

“When she was in the hospital, we had a tremendous amount of messages from previous students she helped place thanking her for going above and beyond and taking the time to help them,” Mike Luke said. “We just knew we needed to keep helping kids in her name.”

Joyce Luke earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Northwest in 1990. She served as the assistant director of field experiences since 2009. She died at the age of 54 in November.

The recipient of the Joyce Luke scholarship must be a senior education major who is student teaching and must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0. First preference for the scholarship are student teachers in rural areas. A recipient will be determined by a committee of faculty in the school of education, according to a University news release.

The scholarship is intended to help students who may need extra assistance transitioning to student teaching and support for those who may need to decrease working other jobs to fulfill their teaching responsibilities.

Dean of the School of Education Timothy Wall says this scholarship is vital and recounts how Joyce Luke loved celebrating Northwest students in the field of education.

“A university education is a valuable investment in ourselves, every dollar of scholarship support lightens the load on a group of people without the expected future earnings in our fields,” Wall said. “Joyce (Luke) would have been thrilled to celebrate our students and support them, as she always did.”

Assistant Professor of Professional Education Shantel Farnan remembers Joyce Luke as a great influence on her colleagues and former students.

“Her joy, professionalism, problem-solving skills and compassion will live on in each of us who had the pleasure of working with her and those thousands of students she has sent on their way to success over the years,” Farnan said.

Joyce had a diverse career before finding her calling at Northwest. She was a manager at Cellular One and for United Electric, Directv Division. A former coworker at Cellular One, Janna Hanson, spoke on what she brought to the workplace.

“ She was always upbeat and positive,” Hanson said. “She filled the place with a unique laugh and was a model for what it looks like to overcome.”

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