Stenswick/Benson Scholarship Program


The Stenswick/Benson Scholarship Award Program began in February of 1991 through MASE, Minnesota
Administrators for Special Education. Its purpose is to recognize the legacy of the many leaders within special
education as represented by Ellsworth Stenswick from Bloomington and Loren Benson from Hopkins, though a
scholarship award to an individual completing exemplary graduate study in the field of special education. Both
individuals were considered "pioneers" in the field of special education. These fine colleagues and their families
wanted to make a lasting contribution to our field. This scholarship fund started with a $4500 contribution from
family and friends of Ellsworth and Loren and an additional contribution from the Huestad Foundation.

Every other year (in odd-numbered years), the Stenswick-Benson Scholarship Auction at the Fall Leadership
Conference raises money to help graduate students aspiring to the field of special education leadership, and
scholarships are awarded annually. Congratulations to this years' recipients.


2014 Stenswick/Benson Scholarship Candidate Process

Funds have been raised primarily through an auction now held every other year during the Special Education
Directors' Fall Conference.  We started with $4500 in 1991 and this year (2014) our endowment is approximately
$180,000.00.  You are all amazing!

We will maintain our current practice of requesting that you identify scholarship candidates during 2014.  Please
distribute the application to highly qualified individuals you know are pursuing graduate special education
MASE, at the recommendation of the Scholarship Committee will offer four (4) $2,000 awards this spring.  We
encourage you as Directors of Special Education to recommend a candidate you think deserving of this award. 

Candidates must be in a private or public Minnesota graduate program leading to special education licensure. 
This includes psychology, and any related services as well as teacher licensure.  It could also include someone
entering the program to obtain Special Education Director licensure.  (Note:  Students attending non- Minnesota
schools will also be eligible if the school the individual is attending is located geographically close to Minnesota). 
Strong consideration will be given to candidates working to obtain licenses in highest areas of need across
Minnesota; regional needs will also be considered when they are different.

Please have the candidate complete their section; the Special Education Director will be responsible to submit the
final document for consideration to Shannon Erickson by

April 1, 2014.  If you have questions, contact Shannon via email at
Note that this year application materials can be delivered electronically.  



To view 2014 cover application
Click Here 

For 2014 application form Click Here


2014 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Michele Mogan: Attending Minnesota State University Moorhead; Director of Special Education Licensure
  • Susan Bartling: Attending U of M, Twin Cities; Director of Special Education Licensure
  • Amber Messner: Attending Saint Mary's University, Minnesota; Director of Special Education Licensure
  • Tanya Tacker: Attending St. Cloud State University; Director of Special Education Licensure

2013 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Kristen Hillesheim: Attending Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Laurie Hume: Attending St. Mary's University of Minnesota
  • Deanna Lawrence: Attending St. Cloud State University

2012 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Sarah Brown: Attending St. Cloud State University
  • Jackie Budden: Attending St. Cloud State University
  • Christine Tangen: Attending Hamline University
  • Wendy Tuominen: Attending University of St. Thomas 

2011 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Susan Currens: Attending St. Cloud State University
  • Erin Dohmann: Attending St. Cloud State University
  • Jill Krautkremer: Attending Hamline University
  • Keely Swartzer: Attending University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 

2010 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Robin Grooters: Attending MN State University, Moorhead 
  • Jamie Nord: Attending St. Cloud State University 
  • Ruth Paisley: Attending Hamline University
  • Heidi Springborg: Attending MN State University, Mankato 

2009 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Sherry Colter: Attending St. Cloud State University
  • Mary Kelly: Attending Hamline University
  • Gretchen Priebe: Attending St. Mary's University
  • Ellen Voigt: Attending St. Cloud State University 

2008 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Lana Talberg
  • Donna Miller
  • Sandra Fladeland
  • Erin Horne





To obtain further information contact: Candy Malm, Committee Chair, 218-237-6541