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 February 18, 2015, the University of Arizona graduate, 31, was found murdered in her Scottsdale home. Three years later, police are still searching for her killer.
As Allison’s family and friends await justice, they hope to raise $25,000 to create a permanent endowment with the UA Foundation. The Allison Feldman Memorial Scholarship would provide opportunities for students to participate in UA Study Abroad programs, paying tribute to the most transformative experience of Allison’s life.
Keep Allison's Memory Alive
Allison was a junior majoring in Communication and minoring in Spanish when she studied in Alcalá de Henares, Spain in the spring semester of 2004. Monica Brown and Rob Stirling also participated in the program and are now leading the fundraising effort with help from the UA Foundation and Office of Global Initiatives. “We were so close as a study abroad group,” said Brown. "Ali was so bubbly and funny. She had that ability to make you feel welcome.” Stirling added, “like Ali, my family encouraged me to study abroad. I was nervous about being on my own, but it ended up being one of the best times of my life. Ali’s father describes it as the same for her.”
A Transformative Experience
Harley and Elayne Feldman, Allison's parents, are also backing the scholarship campaign. Harley wants prospective study abroad students to know that Allison returned to the U.S. more confident, excited about life and 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.”
Making Allison Proud
Allison’s friends hope to turn this tragedy into something positive. "What happened to her was tragic, senseless and hard to explain,” said Brown. “If we could at the very least do something to honor her, to make her proud, that is all we want. We want to give that gift in her name to as many people as we possibly can.” Stirling added, “I hope we can encourage students who may not otherwise consider study abroad, or make study abroad easier financially for students to participate. It changed all of us, including Ali, for the better, and we hope that others can get that opportunity as well.”
About UA Study Abroad
UA Study Abroad in the Office of Global Initiatives inspires students to make learning their own adventure. Through immersive academic programs, students work, research, and study abroad to gain intercultural awareness. UA Study Abroad offers more than a hundred programs that span one week to one year across nearly 60 countries. With each experience, students learn to identify global problems, make connections with their career goals, and act as global citizens. For more information, please visit studyabroad.arizona.edu.