University of Arizona pursues Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship

Allison Feldman had a successful career in medical sales, had just bought her first home and had a loving network of family and friends. But on Feb. 18, 2015, the University of Arizona graduate and Minnesota native was found slain in her Scottsdale home.

She was 31.

Allison Feldman

Three years later, police are still searching for her killer.

As Ms. Feldman’s family and friends await justice, they have set a goal of raising $25,000 to create a permanent endowment with the UA Foundation, according to a press release.

The Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship will provide opportunities for students to participate in UA Study Abroad programs, paying tribute to the most transformative experience of Ms. Feldman’s life.

Harley Feldman, Allison’s father, said his daughter initially was hesitant to live overseas, but he encouraged her to visit the UA Study Abroad office. As he sat by her side, Allison signed up for the Arizona in Alcalá de Henares program through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Allison was a junior majoring in communication and minoring in Spanish when she went abroad in the spring of 2004.

Monica Brown and Rob Stirling also took part in the Arizona in Alcalá de Henares program and bonded with Allison as the three of them settled into a new country.

“We were so close as a group,” Ms. Brown said in a prepared statement. “Ali was so bubbly and funny. She had that ability to make you feel welcome.”

Mr. Stirling echoed a similar sentiment.

“Like Ali, my family encouraged me to study abroad,” Mr. Stirling said. “I was nervous about being on my own, but it ended up being one of the best times of my life.”

The friends remained close when they returned to the UA and after graduation. Mr. Stirling embarked on a career in law and Ms. Brown in education; Ms. Feldman entered the sales industry.

Last week, Mr. Brown and Mr. Stirling launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship with support from the UA Foundation and Office of Global Initiatives. Once they reach $25,000, an endowment will be established in Feldman’s honor for UA Study Abroad scholarships.

Harley Feldman is backing the effort. He wants prospective study abroad students to know that his daughter returned to the U.S. more confident and excited about life — and as a fluent Spanish speaker.

“It’s about learning about other cultures and interacting with people you might be uncomfortable with,” he said. “It forces you to be engaged. You realize that despite differences, we all get along. That’s a big lesson.”

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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