Bettendorf High alum and University of Northern Iowa graduate student Eboni Springfield is the first recipient of a $2,000 scholarship from Strategic America (SA), an integrated marketing agency headquartered in West Des Moines. The company is led by brothers and UNI alums Mike and John Schreurs.

The new scholarship was created to support students pursuing degrees in communications and marketing, like Springfield, who is pursuing her master’s degree in public relations, according to a UNI release.

Eboni Springfield, a 2018 Bettendorf High alum, is pursuing her master’s in public relations from University of Northern Iowa.

“Eboni is exactly the kind of student this scholarship was created for,” said Ryan McGeough, UNI associate professor and head of the UNI Department of Communication and Media. “Eboni is a strong student, an engaged community member and has demonstrated strong leadership potential. She is continuing her education to further develop as a writer, and this scholarship helps her access the training to do so.”

The Strategic America Endowed Scholarship is intended to recognize and support a full-time junior, senior or graduate student in UNI’s College of Business or College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences. Preference is given to students who participate in university, department or community organizations and exhibit potential for leadership. Special consideration is given to students who have demonstrated experience in or a commitment to working with underserved populations.

“We created this scholarship to give back to our community and support the next generation of communications and marketing leaders,” said John Schreurs, CEO of Strategic America. “We at SA firmly believe in community service and supporting those entering our profession.”

“John and I are honored by the creation of this scholarship, but – more importantly – are excited to build the future of the business we love by supporting students pursuing degrees in the profession,” Mike Schreurs said. “One of our strategic agency goals is to continually build upon our high-performing culture and leadership. This is one way we can help do this and encourage more diverse future leaders.”

When the leaders of SA advanced the idea of creating a scholarship, they hoped it would be a way to honor the legacy of the brothers, who were recently honored with UNI’s Alumni Achievement Award for their significant professional accomplishments.

Springfield is a 2018 Bettendorf graduate who earned her bachelor’s degree from UNI this year in Public Relations: Special Events and Digital Journalism. She is a Purple and Old Gold Scholar as well recipient of the Outstanding Student Leader Award and the Legacy of Innovation Award.

“We are so excited about partnering with Strategic America,” McGeough said in the UNI release. “SA is one of the top strategic communication firms in the country, and we are proud that it was founded by two UNI alumni. This partnership will provide scholarships that make college more affordable and accessible as well as incredible internship opportunities that will allow our students to learn, work, and network with the outstanding team at Strategic America.”