Karen Markussen Scholarship


The Karen Markussen Trust Fund is administered by the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired and the Nebraska Department of Education.  Ms. Markussen served as a teacher of the visually impaired in Central Nebraska for many years.  She passed away on July 16, 2006.  It was her wish to assist teachers who are pursuing their degree to teach children with visual impairments in Nebraska.


An annual $500 scholarship will be awarded to a student in his or her senior year of a vision or orientation/mobility endorsement/degree program for the purpose of completing such endorsement/degree.   To be considered a “senior,” students must have completed or are currently completing their last semester of core coursework for their endorsement or certification program.  This scholarship is intended to assist teachers professionally.  Examples of utilization of funds may include but are not limited to: resources to build a professional toolkit, college course costs, membership in professional organizations, costs related to professional development conferences and opportunities, etc. 


A scholarship selection committee of five teachers will be identified each year.  This committee will include representatives from veteran or retired teachers, new teachers to the field, and former award winners.  These teachers will represent both teachers of the visually impaired and certified orientation and mobility specialists from both rural and urban locations in Nebraska.   This scholarship will be awarded to a teacher who meets the criteria and is deemed worthy of this honor.  This award may not necessarily be given every year. 


This scholarship will be advertised on the website of the Nebraska Center for the Education of Children Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired (NCECBVI).  Print information will be distributed statewide to training programs and current teachers in the field.  The annual application deadline is February 20th.   The scholarship winner will be recognized at the annual spring conference at NCECBVI.  Scholarship winners will be invited to the following fall conference at NCECBVI (registration costs will be waived) to give a report regarding how the funds were utilized.


The recipient of the $500 grant will not have to repay the $500 grant provided the recipient teaches students who are blind or visually impaired for five (5) years in the state of Nebraska after completing the endorsement.



  1. The student must be considered a senior which means they have completed or they are currently in the final semester of coursework leading to their endorsement or degree program.
  2. The student must demonstrate a sincere interest in teaching children with visual impairments.
  3. The student must indicate how the $500 will be used in a professional manner.
  4. The following items must be included to complete the application process:
  • Completed Application Form
  • Application Form Signed by Post Secondary Institution Advisor
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • An essay indicating why the student would like to be considered for this scholarship and how the funds will be utilized