Kari was also the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including recognition as Outstanding Professor by the Indiana University Student Union and as a recipient of a Trustees’ Teaching Award, along with many other awards in the Department of Germanic Studies. She inspired intense devotion in her students and shepherded dozens of graduate students through to the doctorate, serving on dissertation committees in her home department as well as in English, History, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature. No doubt her students remember with particular fondness the many times she hosted the monthly meetings of the oldest Old Norse reading group outside of Europe, where she served her amazing Norwegian meatballs accompanied by plenty of good wine and good cheer. —Excepted from the Herald-Tribune

Since 2016, she led the American Association for Netherlandic Studies. Esther was such a modest person that it was often hard to see just how much she inspired her students and supported her field, but a glance at the letters from around the country on behalf of her promotion makes it clear that Esther was simply the face of Dutch language studies and Neerlandistike in the US. She was also an advocate for all less commonly taught languages, committed to developing the techniques and connections necessary to reach students interested not only in Dutch but Yoruba, Turkish and Korean.

Esther was a calm, generous and dedicated presence in our department, hosting students here, zooming with students there, conversing at Koffietijd, always busy with an initiative or workshop, but never too busy to share her wry understated humor. We will miss Esther greatly.”