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Sharing good work, good news On behalf of UNK's faculty, administration and staff, it is my pleasure to send greetings to you from your alma mater. Another academic year is drawing quickly to an end, giving us the opportunity to once again reflect on the work we are doing to benefit our students and our community.



nce Experie . Kearney

Our cover story - the two NCAA Division II Championships recently held at UNK - highlights the result of a great deal of planning and hard work by members of our university community, particularly our Division of Athletics. Both of the championship events earned rave reviews from Loper fans and from visitors and media coast-to-coast. My congratulations to Athletic Director Jon McBride and his staff for a job extremely well done. Other stories throughout this publication highlight other accomplishments and give additional reasons why we are so proud of our students - past and present.



Lincoln High School teacher Larry Wright Jr. is the new chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.







Although Janna Guyer Peyton '70 has battled polio and the loss of her sight she continues to keep busy with her latest project, the Tucson Society of the Blind. OF


Douglas A. Kristensen, J.D. Chancellor

UNK Today l Spring 2007



Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Nebraska were sites of recent alumni gatherings. Trevor Charbonneau

I also want to mention an exciting new partnership that UNK has entered with North Platte and Lexington Public Schools. It is called Kearney Bound! and will result in 30 Nebraska high school students receiving opportunities they never thought possible. Through the Kearney Bound! program, a maximum of 15 students from each of these two high schools will be selected to attend UNK with full support for tuition, books, fees, and room and board. Selection criteria include academic promise, motivation, and meeting federal government criteria for participation in TRIO programs. In addition, each student must be a Nebraska resident, have a social security number and be a first-generation college prospect. Kearney Bound! students must also complete core courses necessary for admission to UNK, as well as maintain grade point average standards. Discussions are in progress to offer Kearney Bound! opportunities to other students as well. It is always a pleasure to share UNK's good work and good news. In the near future, I hope your schedule will allow time for a campus visit or participation in upcoming events. You are welcome anytime.


Four-time All-American and twice national wrestling champion Ali Elias '93, MAE'95 was inducted into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame during the national tournament that was held in Kearney.

Tervel Dlagnev



By hosting two national tournaments during the month of March, UNK was the ‘Championship Center’ of NCAA Division II. A tournament record crowd of 8,685 cheered the Loper wrestlers as they claimed national titles by Trevor Charbonneau (cover) and Tervel Dlagnev. The team earned the runner-up trophy for the third time in the past five years. The other event, the Women’s Elite Eight National Basketball Championship brought winners from eight regions to the campus and the community to the enjoyment of another record crowd. Story – Page 1. Photo by student Eric M. Korth, Hastings junior

National Hosts FLORIDIAN: Gulf Coast AllAmerican Kate Schrader


osting two national championships during the month of March provided UNK with the rare opportunity to showcase the campus and the community to schools, athletes and fans from across the country. NCAA officials, team members, fans and visitors had high praise for both tournaments. "Our No. 1 goal in the NCAA is to make sure the student-athlete's experience is the best it can be, and Kearney ensured it from top to bottom," said Tina Krah, NCAA director of championships. "The city of Kearney and the staff at the University of Nebraska at Kearney were fabulous."

Wrestlers took the stage the first of the month and the Women's Elite Eight teams closed out March Madness. With the Loper wrestling team having two individual champions and earning the runner-up trophy, fans flocked to the Health and Sports Center in record numbers to watch the event. The two-day attendance of 8,685 was a new Division II record. The support and enthusiasm brought accolades from Mark Bedics, the NCAA liaison to the wrestling committee. "The University of Nebraska at Kearney did a wonderful job. The atmosphere was electric. It was packed. I thought it was great, and I would love to come back." Bedics said the attendance wasn't the only thing that made the tournament successful. "The whole city of Kearney embraced the event so well," he said. "From the car wash that had 'Welcome Division II Wrestlers,' to the restaurants, everywhere you look, signs said, 'Welcome Wrestlers.' " "It was a great experience for all the student athletes." For UNK fans, the University of Central Oklahoma put the only damper on the meet, defeating the Lopers for the team title. Junior heavyweight, Tervel Dlagnev of Arlington, Texas, won his second straight title, and 125-pound senior Trevor Charbonneau, of Green, Kansas, captured his first championship. In addition, UNK had six other All-Americans - 133pound Brett Allgood, Bennington junior; 141-pound Jeff Rutledge, Lincoln junior; 157-pound Joe Ellenberger, Millard junior; 165 pound Taylor May, Imperial freshman; 184 pound Matt Farrell, Omaha sophomore; and 197 pound Kelsey Empting, Ponca City, Oklahoma, freshman. "We had a phenomenal team and what we accomplished was great. It is a testament to how

NCAA mascot J J Jumper


NATIONAL RUNNER-UP SQUAD: Head coach Marc Bauer, Kelsey Empting, Taylor May, Jeff Rutledge, Tervel Dlagnev, Joe Ellenberger, Matt Farrell, Jeff Allgood, Matt True, Trevor Charbonneau, assistant coach Ty Swarm. dedicated they are and what they put into it," said coach Marc Bauer. Two weeks after hosting the record-setting wrestling tournament, UNK pulled off another success hosting eight women's basketball teams in the Elite Eight Championships. Attendance was strong with a total of 16,008 at the seven games spread over three days, an average of 2,287. Attendance at the title game, which featured the two teams farthest from Kearney, drew 3,091. In that game, Southern Connecticut University defeated Florida Gulf Coast University, 61-45. In contrast, last year’s championship game in Hot Springs, Arkansas, drew 987. Shawn Fairbanks, tournament director, said that going into the tournament there was concern about the attendance. "The fact that Kearney once again stepped up and came out and supported the event regardless of the fact that it wasn't wrestling and it wasn't volleyball, and they had a good time with it, is more satisfying," he said. The eight teams competing came from across the country. The two closest, University of North Dakota and Drury University of Springfield, Missouri, lost in the first round. One of the keys to the attendance was an elementary school outreach program. UNK student-athletes visited fifth grade classes at local ele-

mentary schools prior to the tournament to provide background on the schools attending from around the country. Each Elite Eight team was then paired with a local elementary school, which teams visited after arriving in Kearney. In turn, the elementary students showed up in full force to support their designated team. "The outreach program into the elementary schools was a huge success. Those kids really responded and got excited about being involved," athletic director Jon McBride said. Sponsors paid for a block of tickets for the students and their families. The success was an entire community effort, McBride said, with the Chamber of Commerce and the local news outlets playing key roles in the tournament's success. The events provided UNK and Kearney with national television exposure with both finals televised nationally. The Women's title game was broadcast on ESPN2 with alumnus Brenda VanLengen '88 providing color analysis. VanLengen, who played for the Lopers from 1984 to 1987 is a regular color analyst for Fox Sports Net and ESPN. The 2008 Women's Basketball Elite Eight Tournament will return to UNK and Kearney next March. „ Spring 2007 l UNK Today l




DENTAVL „ Dr. Lee Shackelford ’77 reflects on 25-year career


hen Lee Shackelford '77 graduated from the NU College of Dentistry in 1982, he envisioned a conventional career serving people much like himself in northwest Missouri. Twenty-five years later he reflected on the path his professional development has taken, especially the past 14 years serving in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. "All I ever wanted was to be a wet-fingered dentist, and the Corps has given me opportunities to do so much more," he said. Capt. Shackelford recently served as director of training and career development for the Commissioned Corps, where his passion and focus were on developing the next generation of leaders. "The opportunity to make an impact on thousands of officers who will serve hundreds of thousands of citizens, thereby affecting the health of the nation, is something the average dentist does not get to do," he said. The leadership training developed by Capt. Shackelford is critical to the Commissioned Corps' mission of protecting, promoting and advancing the health and safety of the nation. "Forty-four percent of officers are eligible to retire in the next five years - 22 percent could leave right now," he said. "As we transform the Commissioned Corps, we have to build leaders from the bottom up." Capt. Shackelford's talents and efforts have been recognized in the form of a promotion to the position of executive assistant to Assistant Secretary of Health (ASH) Admiral John O. Agwunobi. 2 l

U N K To d a y l S p r i n g 2 0 0 7


In this capacity, he will assist the ASH in coordinating responsibilities for overseeing the Commissioned Corps. "I'm humbled to have been considered for such a position, and am thrilled to be able to contribute to the health of our nation as a advisor to the assistant secretary." Along the way, Capt. Shackelford has had his share of adventures and a variety of heartwarming experiences. During his tenure in the Commissioned Corps, he has served in the Federal Bureau of Prisons and in Native American communities, two assignments that centered on providing care to underserved communities, a hallmark of the Commissioned Corps. Capt. Shackelford said he is particularly fond of his memories of the Navajo elders he served in the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico. "Following local custom, we referred to the elders by the Navajo words for grandpa and grandmom, which are not only terms of endearment, but also of reverence. They would come in wearing their native dress, speaking little English, and we would tend to their oral health." Capt. Shackelford said that often dentists were the first to spot signs of diabetes through the condition of their mouths. "Through our 'oral detection' we were able to get the elders the immediate medical treatment they needed," he said. Capt. Shackelford also has been

deployed by the Commissioned Corps to respond to public health emergencies, including serving as the deputy commander of a federal medical station in Meridian, Mississippi, in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. His assignment there included working with a team to set up a 500-bed field hospital in a naval air hanger within a very short timeframe of a day and a half. In another deployment, he served as a clinical dentist helping marines based at California's 29 Palms prepare to deploy to Iraq. "In order for marines to be deployed, they must have a 94 percent force readiness level. The base didn't have

enough dentists on staff to conduct the oral health exams on the soldiers and do the necessary dental work to meet readiness levels. So, they called me and other corps dentists in to help, and together we worked in twoweek rotations over several months to prepare the marines for on-time deployment," he said. Having grown up in a family that prized public service - his father was a coast guard officer Capt. Shackelford views his career in the Commissioned Corps as an opportunity to give back. Capt. Shackelford, who was a member of the baseball team while a student at what was then Kearney State, said, "I missed Vietnam by 20 days. President Nixon suspended the draft three weeks before I turned 20. While I wasn't looking forward to going over there, I felt that I had failed to do my part to serve my country. The Commissioned Corps fills that void in me," he said. "When I was in school, I didn't know the Commissioned Corps existed. Now I'm committed to ensuring that students today know about his unique opportunity. It is my personal mission to work every day to carry on the proud tradition that I've been lucky to be part of and empowered to make even better." „



„ Larry Wright Jr. ’01 elected chairman of Nebraska’s Ponca Tribe


e stands before a class of ninth-graders at Lincoln High School. Some listen. Some whisper and tease each other as he tries to explain the role of cultural diffusion in defining geographic places. It's 1 p.m. Tuesday. Good luck. "Unless you're an American Indian, you came from someplace else," says teacher Larry Wright Jr. '01, capturing students' attention, if only briefly. “Even American Indians didn't stay in one place forever. There was movement.” Talk about a lesson from an expert. In November, Wright was elected chairman of the Ponca Tribe, one of Nebraska's four federally recognized tribes. It is a leadership change one state Native leader hailed as a sign of good things to come for the Ponca. Judi Morgan gaiashkibos, director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs, said Wright's background in education will serve his tribe well during his four-year term. "I think it's an exciting opportunity for the Ponca Tribe to have the leadership Larry will bring," she said. His tribe helped him, financially, to complete his bachelor's degree, he said. "The Ponca Tribe has a strong educational support system. We fund students who have a financial need in order to get a secondary education," he said. So five years ago, he decided to repay the tribe by seeking and winning a seat on the Ponca Tribal Council. When the chairman's seat opened up last year, he ran for it. "I thought there was opportu-

CHAIRMAN: Lincoln high school teacher Larry Wright Jr. ’01 was elected chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. nity to do things a little different," the Humphrey native said. "I took that opportunity." He is the third person to hold the position of chairman since the Ponca gained federal recognition as a tribe in 1990. He likened being tribal chairman to being head of a country's legislative and executive branch. It is a fitting description, considering the tribe is a sovereign nation. "You seem like you're everything to everybody at a time," he said. He serves with an eightmember tribal council and oversees tribal programs and the 62 full-time employees who serve the tribe's 2,600 members. He also works with state leaders to develop policies and laws that benefit the Ponca. As director of the Commission on Indian Affairs and a Ponca tribal member,

gaiashkibos said she will work with Wright and state leaders to develop sound legislation that affects the Ponca. "As a leader of the Ponca Tribe, Larry is going to face many challenges," she said. Such as trying to convince state leaders that the Ponca - the only tribe in Nebraska without a reservation - are entitled to everything other tribes have, she said. To that end, Wright will lean on his experience as an educator, he said. But he has other goals that he hopes to accomplish as chairman. He wants to develop a program to preserve the Ponca language, which few tribal members can speak. He also plans to create jobs. "We're not looking for handouts," he said. "We want to use our resources to pursue economic development opportunities, to put our tribal members to work."

At Lincoln High School, Wright's new role means that a social studies teacher who lectures on civics, government and politics now will get the chance to provide his students with reallife examples. Patience Johnson, 14, who said her father was part Sioux, said Wright has taught her a lot about what it means to be a Native person by incorporating Native issues into his daily lessons. And she'll never forget the look on her teacher's face the day he came back with the news he had won his tribe's highest position. "I think it was the happiest I've ever seen him," she said. „ Story Courtesy of Lincoln Journal Star

Spring 2007 l UNK Today l


‘Rolling Along’


„ Janna Peyton ’70 faces health issues and life head on

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY (top): Janna Peyton’s activities for Tucson Society of the Blind include events like this outing on Tumamoc Hill. (right): Janna with husband, David, and grandson, Orlando David. By Jim Rundstrom Editor


anna Guyer Peyton '70 has never let a little adversity get in her way. She had polio in 1949 at age one, worked her way through college in a wheelchair, lost her sight in 1987 and had post-polio syndrome that took her back to a wheelchair full time in 1999. These health issues have "definitely made me live a challenging life," she said. But they have not stopped her from pursuing her passions and her career. "I just keep 'rolling' along," she joked. After graduation, Peyton worked in Lexington as a secretary for the president of Reach Electronics before moving to Tucson where she started with Kitt Peak National Observatory as secretary to the Mercury Venus Mars project director while obtaining her Arizona teaching credentials. "I loved teaching," she said about her position as a business education, English and reading teacher. During her career in educa4 l

UNK Today l Spring 2007

tion, she earned a master's degree in reading at Arizona in 1976, received principal accreditation for grades K through 12 and taught parttime at Pima Community College before she was forced to take a medical retirement in 1985. "It was very difficult to have to stay at home and give up the career I so deeply loved," she said. TWO YEARS later, after having had several minor auto accidents, Peyton had her eyes checked and discovered she had retinitis pigmentosa, a degeneration of the retina. "The doctor said it probably would only affect my peripheral vision so I was shocked when I woke up in 1999 and discovered I had lost all my sight except some light perception," she said. "That was the beginning of a new journey that had started in my life." In 2003, Peyton opened a senior center for adults with visual impairment and blindness in the Tucson area. "I tell myself it is my Geriatric High School since I do not have to deal with pregnant students, parents or attend football games every week. The

average age of the members of the center is 75." Peyton said the mission of the Tucson Society of the Blind (TSB) is to reach out to the visually impaired and blind adults in the area with social, recreational and educational programs to enhance their independence and quality of life. Our motto is, "It is better to be better than to be bitter; if you are bitter you cannot be better." The center opened with 13 but now reaches out to 135 individuals. "We have been hiking on Mount Lemmon and Tumamoc Hill, taken many field trips to places such as San Xavier Mission, Tubac, Tombstone and Green Valley," she said. "We meet every Tuesday, and on the first and third Thursdays for a craft program." TSB is funded by donations and grants which Peyton writes, of course. Peyton said looking back, "I

am so grateful for the great education I received at KSC. It started me on a productive life journey. One of my fondest memories from college is the day I led a group of seven in wheelchairs into the President's Office to express our concern that where there were no curb cuts bumping off those curbs was dangerous. President Milton Hassel listened carefully and by next fall the curbs were cut at places we had mentioned." Through the years, Peyton and her husband of 35 years, David, have been active in maintaining relationships with UNK through participation in the Arizona alumni activities. "The last event in Tucson was such fun," she said. "What a small world connecting with a friend, Bill Crouse, the teacher at Cholla, where we had taught together, and then meeting Ardean Hagemeister from Aurora." „

Dedicatiotoneducation FEATURE

„ Retiring NSEA executive director Jim Griess, ’63, MSE ’68, championed classroom teachers


here isn't a teacher in a Nebraska classroom today that hasn't been touched by the work of Jim Griess ’63, MSE ’68. For more than 30 years, he worked relentlessly to improve working conditions for education employees. From politics to bargaining to paid health insurance, Griess has been involved in everything teachers today hold near and dear. He's fought for higher salaries; against spending lids; and to elect pro-education candidates. He's spent countless hours at the state capitol, lobbying elected officials for adequate and equitable funding for schools and for salary equity. From the 'HELP' campaign to the 'No Excuses' salary increase drive, to the twin 411/412 initiatives, Griess has been at the forefront. In the fight to turn back spending lids in Initiatives 413 and 423, Griess rolled up his sleeves and labored tirelessly. Through it all, his ultimate focus was to provide a top-notch education for Nebraska children. Griess shared with all his belief that great public schools are the key to America's success. He explained in a column published in The Voice in September 2005: "Education is more than teaching children to survive economically. It's more than preparing students to attend college. A well-educated populace is the glue that binds this society together to form a great nation." On Dec. 31, after 34 years on the NSEA team, Griess retired as NSEA's executive director. His term as executive director is second longest in Association history. At Hastings High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s,

Herb Schimek ’62 taught World History while Griess taught American History. Schimek joined the NSEA staff in 1971, and today is director of government relations. "As a lobbyist, you have a tendency to draw lightning. Jim has always been good about backing me up," said Schimek. Griess, who joined NSEA in 1973, has always worked with the classroom teacher in mind. "He's always had a vision of what he thought NSEA ought to be, and tried to do the most for the classroom teacher that he could," said Schimek. As governor from 1992-98 and as a U . S . Senator for the past 6 years, Ben Nelson has had great respect for Griess and his work for teachers, children and public education. "Jim's leadership on education issues has been stellar. He has always had a deep understanding of the issues facing education, a clear vision for quality education for every child and a deep desire to push Nebraska public schools to higher levels of success," said Ben Nelson. "I respect Jim and enjoyed working with him. Nebraska schools are better because of Jim's work, and we will miss his leadership on these important issues." Born in York County and raised in Sutton, Griess' mother was his eighth grade English and history teacher. In his first teaching job in Overton in 1963 he quickly learned of salary inequities. His first contract paid him a $200 head-of-household stipend on top of a salary of $4,100 - more than his mother earned after 30 years of teaching. Three years later, Griess was teaching American History at Hastings, where he served as

EDUCATION LEADERSHIP: Jim Griess retired after 30 years with the NSEA and 44 years in education. LEFT: Herb Schimek ’62 and Griess taught history together at Hastings High School.

president and chief negotiator of the Hastings Education Association. In 1969, shortly after the Legislature created the Commission of Industrial Relations, he took one of the first cases to the CIR. On the state level, he pushed for creation of the NSEA Political Action Committee in 1970, serving as the PAC's first chairman. In 1972, newly-married to wife Polly, Griess left teaching for his first Association job, as a UniServ director for the Kansas National Education Association. A year later, he joined the NSEA staff as a UniServ director. Over the past 15 years as executive director, Griess fought for pro-education legislation he's lobbied state senators, governors, congressmen, U.S. senators and presidents. Griess built coalitions to support public schools at both the state and national levels. He was a respected leader in the National Council of State Executive Directors, and worked diligently to research and develop programs promoting the elements needed to

achieve the goal of a quality public school for every child. Significant NSEA programs, such as the NSEA Children's Fund, were created because, as executive director, Griess hired dedicated employees and then supported their work. An avid historian and teacher, Griess frequently dons period clothing to visit classrooms to talk to students about Nebraska history. His research of the Plains and Native American history will be put to paper in a book entitled "People of the Flatwater." Tying his interest in history to his love for the outdoors, he enjoys mountain man rendezvous as well as collecting and trading Western Americana and antiques at such events. But mostly, Jim Griess enjoys his family. He and Polly are proud of their son, Air Force Capt. Gabe Griess; daughter Rozz and her husband, John Beckman; and grandson Lucas. In fact, 'Grampa' may be his favorite role yet! „

Spring 2007 l UNK Today l



s e g a s s e m d e v o r p m I result of Wiens’ gift I mprovements to the message board and the scoreboard at the Health and Sports Center were among the benefits of a nearly $250,000 gift by Joel and Elena Wiens that was made last fall. At the time of the gift, the community room on the third floor of the Ron and Carol Cope Stadium at Foster Field was named the Wiens/FirsTier Special Events Room.

A LARGE portion of that gift benefited the athletic renovation/addition at Foster Field. The remainder was used to make scoreboard and message board improvements at the Health and Sports Center. Those message boards and scoreboards were wonderful improvements said Jon Abegglen, University of

Nebraska Foundation vice president of development. They were completed in time for the national wrestling tournament and the national women's basketball tournament that were held at the Health and Sports Center in March. "We are indebted to Joel and Elena for their tremendous support of UNK," Abegglen said. Jon McBride, athletic director said, "They are a wonderful addition to what is one of the best facilities in NCAA Division II." Wiens is the majority owner of FirsTier Bank, with locations in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming including one in Kearney. He also owns FirsTier Events Center in Kearney, the Tri-City Storm hockey team and First Inn Gold Motel in Kearney. „

UPGRADE: The Health and Sports Center received improved messages and scoreboards as a result of a $250,000 gift by Joel and Elena Wiens, who were honored by Chancellor Doug Kristensen last fall (insert).


Herzog Memorial With a $25,000 gift, Ed Herzog created the Leila S. 'Miss T.' Herzog Memorial Fellowship Fund to commemorate the life of his wife. Leila Herzog, who earned her master's degree in 1982, died in April, 2006 at age 73. Education and children were always important to Leila, who taught in public schools in Iowa and Nebraska. When she and Ed decided that she should return to school to earn her master's degree in counseling and psychology, it presented a real financial challenge for their family, Herzog said "We never regretted the decision and have always been grateful for UNK's supportive faculty." Leila's passion for her work 6 l

UNK Today l Spring 2007

and her positive experience at what was then Kearney State College reinforced their desire to develop a fund to help graduate students working toward a degree in counseling and school psychology. „

‘Doc’ Thompson Students from Cheyenne County will benefit from a gift of the George H. and Elta Spencer Thompson Foundation Scholarship Fund. The Fund will provide $5,000 each year to assist 10 undergraduate students from Cheyenne County who will receive $500 scholarships. Selection will be made by the Office of Financial Aid. Dr. George 'Doc' Thompson was a long-time dentist in Sidney who lived in the community for more than 77 years, from 1925 until his death in 2002 at age 102. He practiced

dentistry from 1925 until retiring in 1965. During his years in Sidney, he was a respected member of many civic and fraternal organizations including the Rotary, Masons, Chamber of Commerce, United Methodist Church and veterans organization. After Dr. Thompson retired, he and his wife, Elta, began spending winters in Arizona. After her death in 1984, Dr. Thompson returned to Sidney year-round. Before his death, he created a foundation to benefit not only college students from Cheyenne County but also the community of Sidney and the surrounding area. „

Howard Watkins Thanks to a $4,000 gift from Howard Watkins '38 of Coos Bay, Oregon, the Northwest Alumni Association Scholarship

Fund reached the endowed level. Watkins made the gift to honor the memory of his wife, Marguerite Neustrom Watkins '38, who died in 1999. She was an activist who is remembered in Oregon for several things: Her leadership in the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that gave the public a beach access easement to the high water mark of all Oregon's coastline. No other state has such access. She was the recipient of the prestigious "Governor 'Oz' West Award" for her work in protecting the Oregon coastal environment. Her support of Oregon's Land Use Law as Land Use chair for the Coos County League of Women Voters gained two decades of legal standing in use matters for all chapters of the State League. She also served as the governor's only female appointee on the advisory committee to the State Board of Forestry. „

StSeek elliknowledge ng adand vicdon’t e: give up


J C By Rick Brown Kearney Hub

hris Stelling '97 knows what it takes to be a successful saxophone player. "Don't give up," he said. Stelling performs with the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band stationed at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha. He also plays with The Noteables, a jazz band comprised of members of the Heartland band. For students struggling with their musical studies, Stelling has some clear advice. In addition to not giving up, Stelling said musicians should try their own work. "Nobody's going to do anything for you. Keep listening. Find out who you like. Try listening to new musicians. You have to be the seeker of knowledge. It's not going to come to you, you have to go to it."

Performing with the Heartland of American Band gives Stelling the advantage of steady work. "It's a good career," he said. "A lot of times, symphony players have to do other things on the outside to make ends meet. This is a full-time job where I can play music." Stelling plays saxophone, flute and clarinet. His influences include Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis. "I'm a hard bop player down the middle," Stelling said. AS AN extension of the bebop movement in jazz, hard bop incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music and the blues. Hard bop is generally considered more accessible then bebop jazz. "Being from central Nebraska, I didn't get many chances to see the big names perform live," he said.

that moves him or inspires him is worth exploring.

Chris Stelling ’97 That hasn't kept him from learning about the musicians and their styles. "There's always something to learn," he said. "It doesn't have to be something from the same instrument I play. I can learn something from a vocalist or a cello player." Stelling believes anything

AS A member of The Noteables, Stelling gets a chance to improvise within the 14-member group. He mainly plays the saxophone with The Noteables, but on occasion breaks out his tenor, too. When the ensemble is playing together," Stelling said, "we're pretty tightly knit. There are open sections where members can solo. We change it up different solos and different instruments. The written-out sections are pretty standard." Stellings influences aren't limited to the famous names in jazz. His instructors at UNK and Kearney area musicians had an effect on his career. "Jim Payne, David Nabb, Gary Davis, Wes Hird, Verle Straatmann, Greg Tesdall, the late Eddie Osborn - they all got me started down the road," he said. „

NCA A Hall of Fame Inductee Elias: ‘Without wrestling, I’d be dead now’ By Buck Mahoney Kearney Hub Sports Editor


li Elias '93, MAE'95 was one of five individuals inducted into the NCAA Division II Wrestling Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the national event held in Kearney. Elias also was inducted into the UNK Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility. "It's a dream. It's unbelievable," Elias said of his selection. "This is the big one. Not very many people get chosen. . . and I'm very excited about it." Elias, who legally changed his name from Amiri-Eliasi, won national championships at 150-pounds and finished second and third the other two years wrestling with a torn anterior cruciate ligament his junior year and a ruptured pectoral major his senior year. Elias dealt with the injuries as he's dealt with life. He never sat out, making the best of what

he had available. It's been tougher for him in life. A Kurd who grew up in Iran near the Iraqi bor- Ali Elias der, he fought in the Iran-Iraq war but spoke out against the government. He then fled the country to Germany. Already well-known in wrestling circles - he was a junior world runner-up and a high school world champion as well as a five-time Iranian national champion and a member of the national team, Elias made his mark in Germany where he reached the No. 3 ranking in the world. While in Germany, he was selected for a cultural exchange team that wrestled in America. That eventually led to his coming to Kearney, where he

enrolled as a 27-year-old freshman. "Without wrestling, I'd be dead now," Elias said. "Through wrestling, I achieved my personality, my education, my friends. It made me a physically and mentally tough person. "I came from a different culture. I had a lot of friends who became addicted to drugs. If you don't have a goal, society is going to beat you. Because of wrestling, I stayed on the right path. I stayed focused and did well." Dr. Ed Scantling, his coach saw that focus up close. "He had intense desire to be successful. It drove him to be in the best shape of anybody I've ever been around. He would work out for six hours a day. Practice was just fun for him," Dr. Scantling said. "And he was able to set goals for himself outside the wrestling world. He was on a mission to get an education and become an educated man.

He used wrestling as a vehicle to accomplish his goals." Since leaving UNK, Elias has been a teacher and wrestling coach in Florida, Texas and now Maryland. "That's what I've always wanted to do. What I planned 20 years ago was to be a teacher and a coach," Elias said. He has never strayed from teaching, something he couldn't have done in Iran. "His desire was to impress on the wrestlers we had on our team at the time the importance of education. He went out of his way to tell our wrestlers to get an education and what an opportunity they had by being Americans, the freedoms they enjoy and the right they had to get an education," Dr. Scantling. "We learned as much from Ali as he ever learned from us."„

Spring 2007 l UNK Today l


SOLAR CELL: Research receives $770,000 federal grant



$770,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant, one of the largest nonservice grants ever made to UNK faculty, has been awarded to Drs. Chris Exstrom and Scott Darveau in the Department of Chemistry. The two are working to develop a thin-film-based solar cell that is efficient enough to make the technology a marketcompetitive source of energy. “The goal of the project is to prepare and study the world’s first copper indium boron diselenide (CIBS) thin films,” Dr. Exstrom said. “The inclusion of boron in the material is expected to result in films that will possess record energy conversion efficiencies and yield higher voltages than any known solar cell films.” While the grant is to UNK professors, the two are working cooperatively on the project with two members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln electrical engineering faculty. About one-half of the grant is subcontracted to UNL faculty members Drs. Rodney Soukup and Natale Ianno. To date, CIBS films have

HOT TOPIC: Dr. Jiri Olejnicek, post-doctoral research associate, Drs. Scott Darveau and Chris Exstrom, principal investigators in the solar cell research lab.

never been fabricated due to some unique physical properties of boron; however, the UNKUNL research partnership has developed the capability of making these films. The work to produce the new films is divided between the two campuses. At UNL, Drs. Soukup and Ianno combine copper, indium and boron using sputtering techniques. Films

then travel to UNK, where selenium is added by a vapor deposition method. On both campuses, the electrical properties, solar energy conversion performance and chemical structures of all films is extensively analyzed. In addition to producing new knowledge about the structure and properties of thin-film materials, this information will be used by

the scientists to continually improve the film production process. Working with Drs. Exstrom and Darveau is Dr. Jiri Olejnicek, post-doctoral research associate, from Prague, Czech Republic. According to Dr. John Falconer, UNK director of Sponsored Programs, Nebraska’s congressional delegation played a critical role in getting the funding to UNK. When asked about his support for the research, U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel said: “It is critical for the United States to encourage innovation in a wide array of alternative energy technologies. “Further, this funding will allow UNK, UNL and the State of Nebraska to be at the forefront of research into solar cell technology,” Sen. Hagel said. “It will also provide valuable experience for students.” “We’re really excited to have this financial support,” Dr. Exstrom said. “It is fantastic that our undergraduate students also have the opportunity to join in the undertaking of this nationally prominent research.” „


XSixteen to retire from faculty, staff O ne of the largest number of faculty and staff members in many years have announced plans to end their careers at UNK this year. Many of those retiring have been on the staff since the 1960s. They are: Dr. Richard Barlow '62, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, has been on the staff since 1966. Barlow was instrumental in establishing a major in statistics, developed metric system workshops across the state for teachers and served as associate editor of THE PENTAGON MATHEMATICS magazine. Mary Ann Barton, head of reference at the Calvin T. Ryan Library and associate professor of library science. She has been a staff member since 1997. 8 l

UNK Today l Spring 2007

A. Steele Becker joined the geography staff in January, 1964, starting a continuous career that lasted more than 43 years. As the faculty member with the longest tenure he has served as grand marshal at commencement the past several years. During his career, he held the position of assistant dean, College of Natural and Social Sciences. Betty Bethell, health, physical education, recreation and leisure studies, who has been a faculty member since 1964. Her teaching career of 43 years is one of the longest in history. Dr. Dennis Brown has taught criminal justice since 1977. Dr. Donn Carlson, physics and physical science, joined the staff in 1967. Dr. Robert Cocetti, a professor of communication, has been a

faculty member since 1971. He began his career as an instructor in the Department of Theater and technical director of theater. After earning his Ph.D. degree he taught in the Speech Department. M. Stanley Dart, chairman of the Department of Sociology, Geography and Earth Science, joined the faculty in 1968. Wayne Evers has been field training specialist with the Nebraska Safety Center since 1991. Robert Gerten '70, MSE'90, has been a staff member with physics and physical science since 1991. Kern Harsbarger '66, MAE'74 has been an art faculty member since 1999 when he joined the staff after retiring from the Kearney Public Schools. Wesley Hird began his career

in 1985 as a part-time coordinator for piano maintenance, teaching piano techniques. He later taught guitar. Darrel Jensen, director of the Nebraska Safety Center, has been at UNK since 1975. Dr. Kenneth Nikels served this past year as associate vice chancellor of Academic Affairs. During his career he served as chair of the Department of Psychology, dean of Graduate Studies and acting dean of Continuing Education. He joined the staff in 1971. Dr. Lon Pearson, a professor of modern languages, has been on the staff since 1991. During his career he served as chair of the department Susan Reiber '78, MSE'01 has served on the staff of the Museum of Nebraska Art since 1996. „

Students give campus new west sign



tudent body president Mike Eiberger, vice president Kevin Wait and members of the UNK Student Government will leave the campus with more than a memory after they graduate. The students will leave the campus with its first official identifier on the west edge of campus. The plan is to build a sign identifying the western edge of the campus at the corner of Highway 30 and University Drive. “When you approach campus from the west, the sign at West Center is the first identifier of the UNK campus,” Wait said. “Originally, we wanted to put a sign in the median just north of Cushing, but there was a concern that the sign would pose a traffic hazard,” Wait said. “Also, the Facilities Master Plan calls for the area north of Otto Olsen to be converted to green space. We wanted our sign to be where it would remain for a long time.” It took some time to settle not only on the placement of the sign, but on the design as well. “We wanted to be careful to come up with something everyone liked,” Wait said. It took some time to come to a consensus on the materials that would

Industrial technology accredited nationally


he Department of Industrial Technology has become one of only 55 baccalaureate degree offering institutions accredited by the National Association of Industrial Technology. And, reflecting a high tech approach to the process itself, the innovative UNK department is the only one to have achieved this distinction after conducting its self-study entirely on-line. "Programs, not institutions, are accredited," said ITEC department chairman Dr. Ken Larson, "meaning that not all programs in a given institution or department may necessarily be accredited. In the case of UNK, all four of the programs in the Department of Industrial Technology are accredited through 2012. They are Aviation

Artist rendition of completed sign be used and a design that would fit the location. The current plan is for an 8'4'' tall by 24' long sign built out of brick that matches Cope Stadium. The sign was designed by Ryan Swanson, associate director of Facilities Management and Planning. THE PLANNING for the project, which is being financed entirely with student dollars, began last year. “The Chancellor sent me an e-mail asking me to get involved a week before I began as interim vice chancellor for business and finance last July,” John Lakey said. “It was a neat idea, and the Systems Management, Construction Management, Industrial Distribution and Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s Management." „

Administrative staff has two additions


wo appointments have been made to the UNK's administrative staff. BARBARA JOHNSON was named vice chancellor for business and finance in February. Johnson has a wealth of experience in higher education, finance and business. She has held positions at Florida State University, Ohio State University, Mars Hill College and Carleton College. Johnson also has extensive experience in consulting with universities nationwide on a variety of organizational chal-

students were willing to put money up for it. I was able to coordinate the project with students and Facilities, and I found Kevin to be a real go-getter.” “We felt that Mr. Lakey was instrumental in making it happen,” Wait said. “He was supportive from the beginning.” The project, which has been in development for the past two years, will use dollars from this year’s budget and last. “A year ago, Student Senator Matt Sullivan wrote a bill for Student Senate to set aside $10,000 out of last year’s budget for this project,” Wait said. “While we expect the cost to be at $21,600, we’ve budgeted a lenges including disaster preparedness/recovery, financial management, governing board relationships and operational direction. Before embarking upon her career in higher education, Johnson held several management positions with the Allstate and Prudential Insurance companies and with the Florida Department of Insurance. She has degrees from Hampton University and Atlanta University. JANET STOEGER WILKE, who has served as both an associate dean and interim dean of Calvin T. Ryan Library, has been named dean. A member of the library staff since 1998, Wilke joined UNK as a reference librarian after working at Wichita State University. She has degrees from Chadron State College and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. „

total of $22,000.” The money came from student government. “If there are funds left over after the construction is completed, we plan to use the remaining dollars to do some landscaping around the sign,” Wait said. “Also, there is no power to that location to light the sign at night. We would also like to get the sign lighted.” THE SIGN is expected to be completed by spring commencement. “We hope that this will be the beginning of a tradition and that each year, Student Government will give a gift to the campus,” he concluded. „

UNK, UNO combine for online degree


NK and UNO have teamed up to offer the first completely online bachelor's degree, a bachelor of general studies (BGS), through the University of Nebraska. The first students to enter the program are enrolled this spring. The new online option will prepare adults, age 21 or older, for careers in management, human resources, public relations, marketing and communications," said Gloria Vavricka, UNK director for eCampus. The degree focuses on organizational administration, with major course offerings in business, organizational communications and sociology. „

Spring 2007 l UNK Today l



Good morning,


„ Women’s basketball coach Carol Russell and new son make national news


hen women's basketball coach Carol Russell walked into the finals of the regional basketball tournament to support her team, her players and assistant coach Tim Connealy were shocked to see her at the game. Five hours earlier Russell gave birth to her first child, Isaac Peter. Her decision to go to the game had a bigger impact than she could ever have imagined. It was recognized on CNN, FOX News, ESPN Radio and in stories in national newspapers. She, her husband Todd Sorenson, baby Isaac and several members of the basketball

team appeared on ABC's Good Morning America. "I never thought it would turn into a media circus," she said. Isaac was actually a few days early, but Russell and her husband were prepared when UNK was selected to play in the NCAA North Central Regional Tournament in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Russell did not expect to get approval from her doctor to attend. But when she did, Russell got in touch with the Grand Forks mayor who is also an obstetrician.

RUSSELL LET Dr. Michael Brown know there could be a possibility of giving birth while she was at the tournament so the hospital staff was ready. And with UNK making it to the regional finals, it meant Russell and the team spent five days in Grand Forks After giving birth, Russell sat in her hospital bed holding her son, not even thinking about

SUPRISE ARRIVAL: Women’s basketball coach Carol Russell, husband Todd Sorenson and son Isaac Peter made national news when Carol Russell attended a Loper basketball game five hours after giving birth. attending the game. The doctors and nurses suggested it. "Why not?" she thought. She said she had coached all year long and the team was playing for a trip to the Elite Eight. She wanted to be there to lend support. So Russell and her husband left Isaac with the hospital staff

and headed to the game. They arrived several minutes into the game and slipped in behind the bench. No one expected her. Russell sat on the bench for most of the game, only getting up during timeouts. "I was pretty exhausted at the end of the night," she said. „

Women’s basketball: 22 wins, regional finals Liz Fischer

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UNK Today l Spring 2007


NK came within one win of a trip to the Elite Eight Tournament but lost to the third ranked team North Dakota in the Finals of the North Central Regional held in Grand Forks. However, the seventh seeded Lopers made it to the regional finals for only the second time in history by upsetting thirdseeded Augustana 75-68 and sixth-seeded Concordia-St. Paul 92-89 in overtime. The loss ended UNK's season at 22-10. Coach Carol Russell created as big a story as the game itself. Prior to tip, Russell gave birth to her first child, son Isaac Peter at 1:40 p.m. Russell and husband, Todd Sorenson, arrived at the arena about five minutes after the game began. Assistant Tim Connealy was head coach dur-

ing the game with Russell assisting him from the bench. By scoring 18 points in the final game of her career, guard Liz Fischer of Leigh, the only senior starter, became only the fifth player in history to score 500 points (501) in a season. The others are Darcy Stracke, Ginger Keller, Jessica Kedrowski and Cathy Weir.

Fischer was named to the RMAC All-RMAC first team after leading the Lopers in scoring, three point shots made and assists. Three other players averaged in double figures - Amy Mathies, Millard North junior; Jade Meads, Elm Creek sophomore; and Melissa Hinkley, Lincoln East junior. „

For the latest on ALL 16 UNK Sports visit

Jura leads 24-7 Lopers


ll-American Dusty Jura led the Loper basketball team to a 24-7 record and a spot in the semifinals of the NCAA regional tournament. Jura, a 6-6 senior from Columbus Lakeview, completed his storied career with a trunkload of honors on teams that compiled a 96-27 record the past four years. HE WAS twice AllAmerican. He was twice Academic All-American. He was RMAC Player of the Year. He was all-RMAC three times. He was RMAC Freshman of the Year. He was the first player in more than 30 years to average a double/double, 21 points and 10 rebounds. And, he is the only player to accumulate 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in UNK history. When UNK lost to defending national champion Winona State in the regional tournament, Jura had the second-most points (2,158) and the rebounds (1,071) in UNK history. He trails only Eric Strand (2,173) in scoring and Paul

RECORD BREAKER: All-American senior Dusty Jura became the first Loper to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. Collison (1,171) in rebounding. Co-head coach Kevin Lofton said Jura was a product of his own hard work.

"He put in hour after hour in the gym," Lofton said. "That's the biggest improvement he's made. When he got here, he was

LOPER SPORTS a rugged rebounder and he could slash to get the basket. He became a much better shooter over the years." "A lot of that was coach Lofton working with me every day," Jura said. "He wouldn't let me go a day without getting in the gym and putting up 500 shots per day. . . It's made me into the type of player I always wanted to be." Jura said, “Once you get the practice and repetition down it’s just a mental game. I think once you get a little confidence in your shot it’s a lot easier and that’s really what helped me take steps forward every year.” Jura was one of three seniors who played key roles for the Lopers. Forward Chad Burger and guard James Lane, both from Colorado Springs, were the only other players to start every game. Both averaged more than 12 points and earned All-RMAC honors the past two seasons. The other senior who completed his career was guard Tyler Fincher of Wausa. Co-head coaches Lofton and Tom Kropp were named RMAC Coaches of the Year. „

20th Annual Blue/Gold Pfeiffer captures second Golf Scramble, June 10-11 national shot put title An Athletic Scholarship Fundraiser Sunday, June 10th

at the Holiday Inn of Kearney Social at 5 p.m., Dinner and Auction following Guest speaker: JoAn Scott ’86 Nike’s director of NCAA High School and Division I Conference Relations

Monday, June 11th

Golf Scramble at 10 a.m. at both Kearney Country Club and Meadowlark Hills Golf Club Post Golf Party

Contact UNK Athletics at


for more information The cost is $195 per person.


ustis senior Lance Pfeiffer won his second national shot put title at the NCAA Indoor Championships. He also captured the outdoor title in 2006 to become the second Loper male to win two national titles. Clayton Scott won the two-mile races in 1954 and 1955. Two women athletes have also won more than one national championship. Beth Stuart won six titles in the weights and Donna Spickelmeier has three gold medals in distance events. Pfeiffer's winning throw of 61-0.75 was just short of his school record of 61-2.75. Two other athletes also earned All-American honors. Waco sophomore Dane Tobey came in third in the shot with a throw of 58-2.50 and Fairbury sophomore Dakota Cochrane captured eighth in the pole

vault, clearing 16 feet. B o t h track teams finished fourth in the R M A C indoor meet. Pfeiffer, Lance Pfeiffer C o c h r a n e and Kearney junior Ross Fellows won individual titles. Fellows captured the triple jump by leaping 47-10. Pfeiffer's third indoor title in the shot earned him the 2007 RMAC Male Field Athlete of the Year. Franklin sophomore Sam Murphy was the women's top athlete finishing second in the shot put and third in the weight throw. „ Spring 2007 l UNK Today l


ALUMNI NEWS PHOENIX (right): Leslie Easterbrook visits with Barb Bush, Dick Davenport and Dr. Dick Bush. PHOENIX (below): NU Foundation director of development Phil Kozera, alumni association president Larry Edwards, Catherine and Arnold Leonard, and Kay Edwards

PAZ TUCSON: Sandra Zimmer, Kay Downing, and Panda Vest Jorgensen



PHOENIX (above): (standing) Dan Wilcox, Chancellor Emeritus Gladys Styles Johnston, (sitting) Rena Schmidt, Helen Easterbrook and NU foundation director of development Phil Kozera at Helen’s 90th birthday.

TUCSON: Nanette Brobst, Megahn Schafer, Linda Dominguez and Betty Grassmeyer

TUCSON: Ardean Hagemeister (standing) and Carol and Bill Crouse


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UNK Today l Spring 2007


or 30 years, give or take a few, alumni groups around the country have been getting together to stay in touch with college friends, meet new UNK friends and find ways to continue to support the university. Eight events in February gave alumni and friends myriad opportunities to reconnect with UNK. When the Southern California Alumni Association had its first gathering 32 years ago, little did the founding members know what would ensue. At this year's luncheon, the group reflected on a number

of accomplishments including an endowed scholarship fund that now totals $131,000. They also have provided significant financial support for the Alumni House California Room, an electronic keyboard laboratory and the message center. This year's special guest, professor Ron Crocker told those attending that when the keyboard laboratory was completed in 1994, it was state of the art quality and a boon to recruiting students. At this year's event the nearly $800 proceeds from the annual raffle were donated to the emergency fund established to assist with the needs of those who were affected by the winter ice storm in the Kearney area. The Southern Californians also pledged $1,000 to the Chancellor's campus tree campaign, a project to replace trees destroyed by the winter ice storm. The range of alumni who

DENVER (above): Kyle Gilson, Tim Skrastins, Larz Smith and Phil Kozera of NU Foundation DENVER (below): Deven Naik,Venu Nuggehalli, Erik Estes and business professor Bruce Elder

attended spanned the years from Marjorie Eggleston Anderson '34 to Maria Hernandez '05. Sue Batie '74, a long-time Southern California board member and the organization's treasurer, said the relationships she has made with other UNK alumni have been an important part of her involvement. "Getting to meet many wonderful people who have become friends would not have happened if it weren't for my involvement," she said. Judy Henggeler Spohr '63 is the Southern California president, her second term in that position. Steve '70 and Cathy Juelfs Knutsen '77 are presidents-elect. Phoenix area alumni gathered for the 29th time to hear Chancellor Doug Kristensen provide an update on the campus and Alumni Association president Larry Edwards '64 discuss the activities of the Association. Arnold Leonard '46 celebrated his 83rd birthday and Larry Edwards his 69th at the luncheon. Coordinating the event was Jane Carroll Falk '85. Two other events were part of the Arizona trip. Lanny '63 and Panda Vest Jorgensen hosted more than 25 alumni at their home in Tucson. Former music faculty member Helen Easterbrook was honored at a luncheon in recognition of her 90th birthday. Among those attending were chancellor emeritus Gladys Styles Johnston and her husband Jack Kinsinger. At their 23rd annual luncheon that was held in Portland, Northwest Alumni Association members heard from Dr. Ed Scantling, dean of the College of Education, about changes and developments in preparing teachers and education administrators. Foundation vice president



DENVER (above): Tom Abood and Sue Haeberle

ALUMNI NEWS Jon Abegglen announced the gift of $4,000 from Howard Watkins '38 to the organization's endowed scholarship funds. The gift was made to honor Marguerite Neustrom Watkins '38 who died in 1999. John Wolf '73 of Snohomish, Washington, is the Northwest president. Bud Farm of Portland was the event's organizer. The Pacifica Beach Resort provided an ocean setting for the 30th annual luncheon of the Northern California Alumni Association. The group's president Duane Tucker '68 recognized Wayne Rhoades '49, MAE'59 and Frank Marymee '49 for their role in the history of the organization. Rhoades was the primary organizer, first president and attended all 30 gatherings as has Frank Marymee, who has also served as president. Steve James '77 was elected president and Tony Brown '03 and John Schilz '88 were elected vice presidents. Music professor Dr. Neal Schnoor and the UNK Wind Ensemble provided two evenings of 'Celebrating Sousa' to alumni in Omaha and Lincoln. The program featured 40 student musicians along with faculty members Dr. Gary Davis, Dr. James Payne and Dr James Cook performing some of the works of America's 'March King.' The events were held at the Oak Hills Country Club in Omaha courtesy of Vince '79 and Cindy Sims Pille '79 and Yankee Hill Country Club in Lincoln courtesy of Ken Vergith '78 and Dave Slagle '81. More than 40 Colorado alumni got together in Denver as part of UNK's participation in the conference basketball tournament in Pueblo. Although there was no formal gathering in Pueblo, the tournament was again a chance for alumni and friends in the area to catch the Lopers in action at the RMAC Shootout. Denver alumni have been meeting for 32 years. The president of the Denver alumni is Erik Estes '01. „ Spring 2007 l UNK Today l



OMAHA: Brian Botsford ’00, a teacher at Bishop Neumann High School, conducted the UNK Wind Ensemble at an alumni event featuring the music of John Philip Sousa.

OMAHA: Rod Plum and Mike Fitzpatrick



OMAHA: Chancellor Doug Kristensen, professor emeritus Wilma Stutheit, Andres Traslavina and Lisa Boucher

LINCOLN (below): Monica Ash, Barb DeFreece and Lori Pippitt

LINCOLN (below): Lori Waters, Maureen Miller, Shane Stover, professor Gary Davis, Casey Foster, and Scott and Monica Ash


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UNK Today l Spring 2007

OMAHA (below): Nick ‘76, Charlotte ‘77, Brett and Stacia Kluever had the opportunity for a reunion in Omaha when Brett played at the Sousa Concert for the UNK Orchestra.




NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (above): Jeanne and Wayne Shada with Lucas Dart

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (above): New president Steve James with vice president Tony Brown and John Schilz

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (below): Chancellor Doug Kristensen, Maria Hernandez, Ron Crocker and Brad Eberspacher

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (below): Kevin Floth, Shanandoah Lenling,Verneel Tworek and Erich Hover


CA NORTHWEST (below): Professor Ed Scantling, Bob Desch, Stacy Mattson, Bruce Lindley, Bud Farm and Bob Warren

NW Spring 2007 l UNK Today l



Dale and Wilma Ingram celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on December 31. Dale was a business professor at UNK from 1956 until his retirement in 1986.


Vern Haefele is the city manager at Glenarden, Maryland.


Robert Hippe of Scottsbluff will retire in April after 30 years on the bench as judge of the 12th Judicial District for the State of Nebraska. He will teach at Western Nebraska Community College. Roger Kozisek has been promoted to vice president of the credit division of Cornhusker Bank in Lincoln. Sandra Peterson retired from her position as director, Social Science Libraries and Information Services at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in January. She now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Terry Gillialand MSE'70 received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska School Activities Association. He is athletic director at Mitchell High School.


LaVonne Milbourn Smith retired in 2006 after teaching second grade for 27 years in Rantoul, Illinois.

Before that she taught third grade for five years in Big Spring,Texas.


Nancy McCammon-Hanson is community awareness manager at the YWCA in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her husband, Tom, is the rector at Trinity Episcopal Church. Carolyn Scheidies has released three new books that deal with love mysteries, inspirational and historical romances, scripture and prayer. She has several more scheduled for release in 2007. For information on all of her writings, Google 'Carolyn Scheidies.'


Amy Lease works in network security administration for Comcast in Denver.


School Principals. Jan Sorenson was inducted into the Nebraska Softball Hall of Fame for her 43 years of involvement in Grand Island. She is a teacher with Grand Island Public Schools. Jan joins her father, Bob, as the first father and daughter team in the Hall of Fame.


Jack Gutierrez resigned as basketball coach at Central Community College in Columbus after 27 years. He will continue as athletic director and will coach softball.


Larry Harnisch EDS received the Nebraska Association of School Administrators Region IV Honor Award. He has served as superintendent at Wood River for 15 years.


Bill Israelson MS'82 received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska School Activities Association. He will retire this year as athletic director at Grand Island Northwest High School. Earl Jamison is field operations manager at the General Motors Saturn Service Parts Organization in Spring Hill,Tennessee.

Dan Ernst MSE received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska School Activities Association. He is superintendent at Waverly. Bob Jones was selected as one of the assistant coaches for the 2007 U.S.Army All-American Bowl football game played in January in San Antonio,Texas. Bob is football coach at Aldine in Spring,Texas.

Kevin Madsen EDS'89, assistant principal at Kearney High School was named the Region IV Assistant Principal of the Year by the Nebraska State Association of Secondary

Jerry Kane is a public information officer for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He had spent 23 years in the newspaper industry and was assistant sports editor of the Salt



Pi Kappa Alpha celebrates 20th

Lake Tribune before moving to Lincoln in October. Dr. David Lorenz is an anesthesiologist in Tucson.


Dr. Kent McLellan was selected Nebraska High School Principal of the Year by the Nebraska Association of Secondary School Principals. He lives in Morrill with his family.


Dr. Brett Kuhn has co-authored a book, "The Toddler Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advice on System Maintenance." The book provides instructions and answers to many questions for children beginning at the age of 13 months. Information is available online at Brett is an associate professor of pediatrics at UNMC and director of the behavioral sleep clinic at Children's Hospital in Omaha.


Trish Bauer Jarboe is a kindergarten teacher in Allen, Texas. She and her husband, Michael, have two children. Lisa Reese Parish is executive director of the Kearney Area United Way.


John Noble was awarded the 2006 40 Under 40 Award by the Midlands Business Journal honoring the accomplishments of 40 greater Omaha entrepreneurs, business owners, managers and professionals under the age of 40. He is director of manufacturing for Streck Laboratories. His wife, Stacey McCance '91, is a French teacher at Beadle Middle School in Millard.They have three daughters, Michaela 12, Lizzie 11 and Cassie 7.


Perry Mader is the Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Scottsbluff. He and his wife, Lisa, have two children - daughter, Regan 2 and son Landon 8. Mark McGregor is an account executive with United Guaranty Residential Insurance Company in Omaha.


REUNION TIME: Members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity celebrated their 20th anniversary at Kearney.


he men of Pi Kappa Alpha celebrated their 20 year Anniversary on campus during the weekend of March 3rd. Close to 60 alumnus members of the Iota Gamma chapter attended the two-day event.

reception. The weekend continued Saturday morning when 14 former presidents of Iota Gamma attended a breakfast and goal setting retreat. This retreat served to rekindle the Platte Valley Alumni Association to further enhance the relationship between alumni and actives.

THE ACTIVE and alumni brothers invaded the UNK THE CHAPTER house was Alumni House on Friday then opened up for the alumni evening for a kick-off event and brothers to have lunch and socialize. That evening, the 20th Anniversary banquet was held at 16 l UNK Today l Spring 2007 the Holiday Inn in Kearney.

Approximately 120 members of the fraternity gathered for dinner, an awards presentation, and a slideshow depicting the history and successes of the fraternity. Pi Kappa Alpha is a Greek-letter, social fraternity found on over 200 campuses nationwide. The Iota Gamma chapter was named UNK's Department of the Month in June of 2005 and UNK's Community of the Year for 2005. The chapter has also received 6 Robert Adger Smythe trophies awarded to the top 5% of Pike chapters internationally. „

Jason Lamprecht has been promoted to deputy director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service,Arkansas Field Office in Little Rock. He and his wife, Renee Schwanz '94, live in Conway. They have three children - Dylan 14, Crew 11 and Daryn Sue 5. Ritchie and Amber Adair Morrow '93, MAE'95 live in Omaha where Ritchie is the financial aid coordinator with the Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education.Amber is a health assistant with the Omaha Westside school district at Loveland Elementary. She is working on her Ph.D degree in gerontology at UNO. They have a son, James 7.


Bob Hausmann is principal at North Park Elementary School in Columbus, the same school he attended while growing up in Columbus. His wife, Teresa '94, is a science teacher at Columbus Middle School. They have two daughters, Molly 12 and Emily 11 who are students at Columbus Middle School, after also having attended North Park Elementary.

Jeffrey Meyer is a science teacher and girls track coach in Clearwater. He and his wife, Kathy, are parents of Brayden James 6 and Layton Scott 1. Darren Sanchez is assistant vice president and assistant manager of the Grand Island Cornerstone Bank location. Kendra Stahl Sibbernsen '93 was honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the 58th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards in August for her contributions to the Emmy Award-Winning Achievement of Instructional Programming for "Astronomy: Observations and Theories." Kendra was a lead academic advisor assisting in the production of the college-level astronomy telecourse series released in 2005. She teaches physics and astronomy at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha.


Amy Nash MSE is a speech language pathologist with Lakeview Golden Living Center in Grand Island.


Troy Schleiger has been promoted to project manager at Digital IMS in Lincoln.


Susan Colarco is employed by the Department of Defense, Defense Logistics Agency as a contract and ethics attorney. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.


Dawn Kjeldgaard is director of marketing with Engineering Technologies Inc. in Lincoln. Michael Ksiazek works for BD Medical as a molding manufacturing engineer in Columbus. Tara Christensen-Fischer Naprstek is the controller for Subconn, Inc., a manufacturer of underwater connectors, located in

Burwell.Tara is also a certified public accountant. She and her husband, Cody, live in Ord.


Ryan Berlage and his wife Terri McBride '98 have relocated from Connecticut to Frisco, Texas, where Ryan is a senior risk analyst with GE Commercial Finance. Cindi Schmidt Coulter is associate art director with Swanson Russell Associates in Lincoln. Dr. Jerrid Freeman '98 and his wife, Carie Gideon '96 live in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Jerrid is director of the Arkansas Student Union. Stephanie King-Witt MSE'05 is director of marketing and public relations, a new department of the Bosselman Corporation in Grand Island.


Amy Smith Bradley has been promoted to an analyst in the buying and merchandising office at Wilson's Leather headquarters in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Kathleen 'Kem' Murray Fisher lives in Omaha and teaches kindergarten for the Omaha Public Schools. She is coaching shot put and discus at Omaha Marion. Her husband, Rob, is employed at Qwest. They have two daughters,Alex 7 and Allyson 2.


Kerry Fleming is assistant dean of students at Rockford College in Illinois. Alex Straatmann works as a constituent services representative in Grand Island for U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska's Third District.


Jeff Krobot works for Hearthstone Homes in Omaha. He and his wife, Lindsay, have twin daughters, Megan and Sophia.

Gary Payne is head volleyball coach at McCook Community College.


Christy Hagler has been promoted to senior marketing manager for Yoh in Philadelphia. She had been working in advertising. In 2006, the company's advertising programs received seven marketing awards from the American Staffing Association, including the Communications Award that recognizes the best overall marketing program in the industry. In her new role, Christy is responsible for all aspects of the company brand, as well as their proposal, public relations, event management and marketing programs. Matthew Rau is manager of business development for eFrame Technologies in Omaha.


Beth Bremer is a legislative assistant in Washington, D.C. on the staff of U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska's Third District James Dukesherer is a legislative correspondent in Washington, D.C. serving in constituent communications on the staff of U.S. Rep. Adrian Smith of Nebraska's Third District. Deependra Rayamajhi is a web developer intern with QA Technologies in Omaha. Nicole Bates Ruge teaches middle school Family and Consumer Science in Evans, Georgia, where she was named the Teacher of Year. She and her husband Brian, were married October 22, 2004. Justin Young is a graphic designer with Swanson Russell Associates in Lincoln.


Erin Arnold, who has been assistant volleyball coach at UNK this past year, will attend Casper College’s Fire

Three members of the Jesske

family have taught for 88 years Joyce Jesske Lenstrom ’51 taught 19 years at the high school level in Holdrege, Huntley and in California. Joyce now lives in El Cerrito, California, with her husband, Daryl. Hilda Jesske Meyer '63 taught for 33 years. She taught in elementary schools in Staplehurst, Sutherland and Campbell. She now lives with her husband, Merlyn, on a farm near Campbell. LaDonna Meyer Jesske '64 taught for 36 years in rural schools in Franklin, Adams and Webster counties. She taught in elementary schools in Ayr, Blue Hill and Trinity Lutheran in Hastings. The last 18 years of teaching was in K-12 special education for Educational

CLASS NOTES Science and EMT School. Her goal is to be a full-time firefighter. Marty Gutowsky has graduated from the Secret Service Academy and is now working as a special agent out of the Newark, New Jersey field office. He and his wife, Rachel, live in Montclair. She is completing her surgical residency in Newark. Corey Schneider is an assistant manager at Sears in Grand Island. He and his wife,Ashley, have a son, Sean 4.


Lesley Crutcher is the community relations coordinator for the Charlotte Knights baseball team, Triple-A affiliate for the Chicago White Sox. Carrie Divis is teaching in the Lincoln Public Schools. Nicole Dusenbery is a marketing coordinator for Principal Financial Group in Lincoln. Krystle Faust is a staff member with SCOOR Marketing in Kearney. Francisco Gomes Filho is a marketing specialist with Pappas Telecasting in Omaha. Chandra Hollister Hawley and her husband, Dr. Jason, have moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin, where Chandra works at C.V.S. Pharmacy. Jason is an optometrist. Briann Horacek is a computer technician with the College of Education at UNK. LeeAnn Jameson works for West Pharmaceutical Services in Kearney. Ashley More is a financial analyst with Mutual of Omaha in Omaha. She is also a student in the MBA program at UNL. Alicia Myers is a photographer, reporter and producer with KOLN/KGIN television station in Lincoln. Jared Rawlings is a production artist with Swanson Russell Associates in Lincoln. Daniel Riha is a radiologic technologist with Rapid City Regional Hospital in South Dakota. Cherry Stevens is a graduate student studying sculpture at East Carolina University.


CAREER EDUCATORS: Joyce Lenstrom, Hilda Meyer and LaDonna Jesske contributed 88 years to the teaching profession. Service Unit #9 in Hastings. Ladonna lives on the family farm

at Blue Hill. Her husband, Howard, is deceased. „

Jill Andreasen '05 and Zach Friesen '05 September 30 in Henderson.They live in Lincoln. Lisa Beckenhauer '02 and Daniel Pomajzl December 30 in Crete. Amy Behne '03 and Robert Rezac November 18 in Brainard. They live in Omaha. Heidi Jo Blair '95 and Gregory Keith Green October 30 in San Antonio. Heidi is an assistant professor of government at Cy-Fair College. Greg is a fire fighter with the Houston Fire Department. Both are pursuing doctorate degrees at Walden University. Jay and Carla Meyers Caleck December 1 in Omaha. Carla is a sales coordinator for Lindsay Corporation. Jay is the purchasing agent for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska. Stacey Deschane '03 and Jesse Doan March 24 in Lincoln. Michael Ford '05 and Brooke Marshall September 30 in Smithfield. Brooke is a registered nurse at Platte Valley Medical Clinic in Kearney. Michael teaches and coaches at Bertrand Community School. Spring 2007 l UNK Today l



UNK Today, official alumni publication of the University of Nebraska at Kearney is published three times a year by the Alumni Association, Kearney, Nebraska 68849. Third class postage paid, Kearney, NE 68847. Phone: (308) 865-8474 FAX: (308) 865-8999 E-m mail: Internet: BOARD OF DIRECTORS OFFICERS Larry Edwards ’64, President - Fort Collins, CO Maureen Nickels ’74, President-elect - Chapman Brenda Christensen ’83, Secretary - Minden DIRECTORS TERM EXPIRING 2007 Ronald Cropp ’65 - Kearney Erik Estes ’01 - Highlands Ranch, CO Larry Feather ’66 - Grand Junction, CO Shane Jensen ’96 - Kearney Keith Jorgensen ’50 - Mission Viejo, CA Teresa Thomsen Paper ’84 - Iola, KS Lee Ann Hogins ’82 - Kearney Rich Rehnberg ’71 - Holdrege Ken Vergith ’78 - Lincoln Justin Goodwin '04 and Amanda Schoenefeld ’05 August 5 in Grand Island. Erin Hacker '00, MSE'02 and Gregory Feather December 16 in Gothenburg. Kila Haller '99 and Bryan Strasburger August 12 in Omaha. They live in Indianapolis. Melissa Hewgley '03 and Kevin 'K.C.' Foote November 25 in North Platte. Jason Keeshan '97 and Becki Halte January 27 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Clint Kirschner '02 and Tina McMillan September 30 in Kearney. Bonnie Kruse '03 and Lindley Thompson '01 October 14 in Kearney. Lindley is vice president of the Bank of Paxton. Bonnie is a marketing coordinator for Prophet Systems Innovations in Ogallala.They live in Paxton. Susan McKain '78 and John Blair December 12. They live in North Hills, California. Amanda Meyer '02 and Joe Potts December 16 in Hartington. Amanda is an operations manager for Crescent Electric Supply Company. Amy Miller and Frank Kuchera '03 July 8 in Sidney.

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UNK Today l Spring 2007


TERM EXPIRING 2008 Tammy Adelson Hayden ’90 - Kearney Greg Shea ’89 - Kearney Marsha Rodehorst-Wilkerson ’90 - Kearney Judy Johnson Hall ’64 - Lincoln Bill O’Neill ’95 - Omaha Jerry Stine ’67, MSE ’76 - Bertrand Mary Howington ’62 - Fort Worth, TX Shelly Marks ’02, MSE ’05 - Atlanta, GA Christa Boroff Spencer ’88 - Overland Park, KS EXPIRING 2009 Fred Arnold ’83 - Fairbury Sue Batie ’73 - Cypress, CA Candy Fernau ’96 - Dallas, TX Andy Romatzke, J.D. ’01 - Kearney Chad Rutar ’97 - Omaha Deb Schwenka ’76 - Minden Bob Warren ’64 - McMinnville, OR Stephanie Hueftle Vogel ’89 - Lincoln ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jim Rundstrom ’64 Executive Director and Editor Michelle Widger ‘90 Assistant Director and Assistant Editor Suzanne Exstrom - Office Associate

Janelle Miratsky '98 and Loren Hoskins September 2005 in Sandy, Oregon. Janelle is the U.S. Equipment and Licensed Apparel Sample Manager for Nike. Loren is an actor, writer and co-creator of the all ages rock bank, 'Captain Bogg and Salty.' Jason Paulk '02 and Michelle Bruning March 24 in Bruning. Dusty Reynolds '04 and Julia Batenhorst March 10 in Omaha. Sarah Roth '01 and Joe Mlnarik July 15 in Omaha. Sarah teaches history at Creighton Preparatory School. Jenny Ruskamp '01 and Jason Keller October 14 in Lincoln. They live in Kansas City. Jason Schmidt '97 and Christy Miller December 23 in Fremont. Jason is a teacher with Cedar Bluffs Public School. Christy is a pre-school teacher. Becky Schneider '04 and Michael Holtje December 29 in Grand Island. Alison Slaughter '99 and Ryan Beieler July 1 in Denver. Amy Tubbs '03 and Matthew Eigenberg '00 July 29 in Kearney. Doug Van Pelt '04 and Donnette Carlson January 6 in Central City.Both teach for Central City Public Schools. Jessica Vasa '05 and Kyle George '05 October 14 in Gering. They live in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Kyle works for Centex Homes and Jessica is a substitute teacher.

Jean and Scott Anderson '96 of Kearney are parents of a son, Devin Keating, born December 14. Brett and Theresa Stwalley Araujo '04 of Overton are parents of a son, Jordan William, born January 8. John and Hilarie Scantling Bartling '01 of Fort Collins are parents of a daughter, Izabella Fereira, born October 28. James and Jenna Sterner Berlie '01 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Miley Jean, born November 11. Ben '98 and Kiley Glantz Bertrand '98, MAE'03 of Kearney are parents of a son, Turner Hutchinson, born December 12. Jaime and Tyson Bertrand '00 of Omaha are parents of a son, Reese Cole, born November 6. Tyler '03 and Kate Naber Bombeck '00 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Ann Marie, born February 5. Bobbi and Keith Bond '95 of Belton, Missouri, are parents of a son, Blake Isaac, born February 4. Jolie and Bronson Bosshamer '01 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Jenna J., born November 17. Bronson is manager of Culligan Water Conditioning. Bret and Angie Neubert Brasfield '98 of Bellevue are parents of a daughter,Avery Lauren, born June 13, 2006. They also have a daughter Emily.Angie is a kindergarten teacher with the Bellevue Public Schools. Rex and Sharon Strothkamp Brown '97 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Grace, born August 24. They also have a son, Bence. Jake '00 and Heather Golden Butterbaugh '01 of Overland Park, Kansas, are parents of a daughter, Hannah Novella, born November 26. Corey '98 and Crystal Miller Campbell '98 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Sophia Lolita, born December 17. Nathan '00 and Kim FeltonCanfield '02 of Wood River are parents of a son, Johnathan Krysan, born March 24, 2006. David '95 and Julie Mandin Carskadon '94 of Glen Burnie, Maryland, are parents of a daughter, Anna Rose, born November 30. Elizabeth and Kevin Classen '98 of Littleton, Colorado, are parents of a daughter, Katherine, born December 5. Kevin is senior vice president with FirstBank of Denver. Whitney and LeAnn Kring Clausen '99 of Omaha are parents of a son, Fletcher Wayde, born November 13. They also have a daughter, Madelynn. Shannon and Eric Cooksley '01 of Chaska, Minnesota, are parents of twins, Brayden Paul and Chloe Elizabeth, born January 13. They also have a son, Dylan James 3. Eric is an outside sales engineer with Molex, Inc. Brent '97 and Katie Beckenhauer Custer '97 of Broken Bow are parents of twin daughters, Molly Caroline and Brynn Sophia, born January 12. Shane and Chalee Ash Fernau '06 of Kearney are parents of a son, Cole Trevor Dean, born February 8. Nicolas '03, MS'05 and Megan Riessland '03, MS'06 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Paige Marie, born November 17. Dallas '94 and Jami Beitler Garey '01 of Arapahoe are parents of a daughter, Haiden Elise, born February 13.

John '96 and Kristin Mack Gibson '97 of Fremont are parents of a son, Zachary Ryan,born December 10.John is training director at ConAgra and Kristin is a product manager at First Data. Lisa and Jeremy Goebel '02 of Tonganoxie, Kansas, are parents of a daughter, Addison Jo, born February 9, 2006. Christopher and Kimberly Niemants Guyer '94 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Emily Kate, born March 27,2006.They also have a daughter, Sarah Elizabeth 6. Denny and Bridget Bohl Hamilton '94 of Jefferson City, Missouri, are parents of a daughter, Flynn Irene, born December 13. They have two other daughters. Bradlee and Renelle Moore Hartzog '05 of Holdrege are parents of a son, Landon Barrett, born February 9. Becky and Dale Herl '95 of Burrton, Kansas,are parents of a daughter,Jayden Faith, born August 3. Dale is superintendent of schools for the Burrton School District.

MOVING? Don’t miss your next UNK Today! If you’re moving, please attach your old mailing label to the right. Provide your new information below and return to: UNK Alumni Association Campus Box 21 Kearney, NE 68849-6120.

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What’s happening?

CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK TEAM REUNION: Team members met for Darren Barker’s wedding in August at McCool Junction. Front row: Tom Schutz, Bob Brindamour, Darren Barker, Coach Lyle Claussen, Kurt Holliday and Joe Schumm. Middle row: Erich Whitemore, Chad Cuda, Dan Nielsen, Tom Magnuson, Bryan Danburg and Jim Ballinger. Back row: Todd Fuelberth, Assistant Coach Rick Meyer, Tom Gardner and Mitch Alloway. Not Pictured: Brad Sherman

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Send your update for UNK Today to: UNK Alumni Association, Campus Box 21, Kearney NE 68849-6120 or “sign” our online guestbook at

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Andy '95 and Melinda Hogeland '96 of Kearney are parents of son, William Janssen, born November 28. Amy and Craig Holcomb '95 of Gibbon are parents of a daughter, Madelyn Rae, born December 15. Trey '93 and Stephanie Ebel Horton '93 of Castle Rock are parents of a son, Jacob Andrew, born November 3. Trey is a CPA and director of CBIZ. Stephanie is a store manager for Walgreens. Roan '02, MAE'06 and Kristin Wittman Howard '00 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Chloe Louise, born March 30. Roan is a teacher for Horizon Middle School and Kristin is the NU Foundation director of annual campaigns in Kearney. They also have a daughter,Anna 4. Dr. Aaron and Elissa Bosley Hurd ’98 of Knoxville, Tennessee, are parents of a son, Aaron Lucas, born August 7, 2006. Aaron is completing is surgery residency at UT Medical Center. Melanie and Mitchell Ivey '05 of Kearney are parents of a son, Kamran Josef, born November 15. Mike and Kelli Hasselbalch Jaixen '93 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Rachael Claire, born November 13. Geri and Kelly Jasnoch '05 of North Platte are parents of a daughter,Alaina Rae, born January 9. Julie and Casey Jensen '92 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Kaylee Sue, born October 9. Blake and Renee Rohren Johnson '96 of Holdrege are parents of a son, Garrett Michael, born November 20. Renee is director of cardiac rehabilitation at Phelps Memorial Health Center. Jason and Vatisha Kuehn '02 of Heartwell are parents of a son, Herman Henry, born March 5. They have three other children, Alexas, Brianna and Daulton. Johnie '99 and Buffi Nelson Kamery '99 of Minden are parents of a daughter, Mattie Marie, born January 26.They also have a daughter, Maylee. Shannon and Craig Kenton '98 of Kansas City are parents of a daughter, Aubrey Placke, born November 30. Craig is a financial adviser for Highpoint Financial. Shawn '93 and Amanda Schaffnitt King '98 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Sophia Mackenzie, born November 18.They have three other children, Zachary 8, Grace 5 and Chloe 3. Eric '99 and Tracy Sherman Krelle '00 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Elizabeth Gertrude, born July 2, 2006. Brian and Kristy Griess Lukert '92, MS'95 of Hebron are parents of a son,Adam Brian, born October 29. They also have a daughter, Megan 3. Kristy teaches math at Thayer Central High School. Anthony '03 and Kelly Kenyon Maeser '03 of Omaha are parents of a son, Jackson Robert, born November 28. Scott and Angela Pouk Marquardt '98 of Kearney are parents of a son, Zachary Joe, born February 14. Trent '01 and Stephanie Seger McConnell '02 of Shelton are parents of a daughter, Mallory Nicole, born December 8. Tari and Brett McCracken '03 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Rubi Kay, born February 14.

CLASS NOTES Doug '98 and Megan Aden Mitchell '98 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, MaKinley Manette, born February 9. They also have a daughter,Addison. Honor and Troy Nelson '91, MA'01 of Falls City are parents of a son, Connor Joshua, born November 17.Troy is a counselor with Falls City Public Schools. Lauren and Brian Niemann '91 of Flower Mound,Texas, are parents of a daughter, Lillian Rayne, born November 27. Leonard and Melanie Myers Ogomo '06 of Kearney are parents of a son, Tayshaun Dre, born November 11. Nathan '01 and Jami Mitchell Olson '01 of David City are parents of a son, Neil Edan, born November 23.They also have a daughter,Valori 2. Mary and Billy Peters '05 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Lily Catherine, born January 18. Deloris and Daren Pittman '89 of Martell are parents of a daughter, Brianna Helene, born December 11. They also have a son, Zachery James. Aaron and Jamie Gardner Reitz '99 of Kearney are parents of a son, Landon Jonas, born January 15. Cody '01 and Heidi Erickson Riessland '04 of Pleasanton are parents of a daughter, Kailin Jo, born January 9. Ben and Julie Schemper Schamp '96 of Jackson are parents of a son, Connor Savage, born January 10. Julie is a senior sales representative for Eli Lilly and Company. They also have a daughter,Alyssa 2. Todd and Julie Frese Schmieding '95 of Omaha are parents of a daughter, Parker, born November 27. Julie is a territory sales manager for State Chemical Company. Todd is a salesman for Voda One/Westcon Group. Michael and Jennie Smith Schuster '06 of Kearney are parents of daughter, Grace Patience born March 5. They also have two sons Henry and Patrick. Kevin and Brenda Jedlicka Schroeder '99 of Ravenna are parents of a son, Noah Jay, born November 30. Carly and Matt Stahn '99 of West Des Moines, Iowa, are parents of a daughter, Emmerson Grace, born February 27. Matt is an ag territory manager for Omaha-based John Day Company serving the agricultural and industrial sectors. Mike and Chris Shudak Stern '93 of Omaha are parent of a daughter, Taryn Grace, born September 28. They also have a daughter, Taylor 7, and a son,Tanner 4. Robert and Tammy Emory Stevenson '92 of Lincoln are parents of a daughter, Maya Mi-Sion, born August 13 in Suwon, South Korea. Mike '03 and Angela Stokes '95 of Liberty, Missouri, are parents of a daughter, Delaney Grace, born December 18. They also have a son, Jobey. Kyle and Carissa Howell Stritt '04 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Avery Paige, born December 8.

Spring 2007 l UNK Today l


CLASS NOTES Jeff '97 and Angie Sybrant Thompson '97 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Amaya Jean, born March 2. Jason '99 and Holly Pohlmann Thyne '96 of Kearney are parents of a son, Ethan Edward, born January 15. They have two other children, Blake and Austin. Darren and Paige Newman VanWinkle MAE'04 of Kearney are parents of a daughter,Ava Alison, born June 16. Chris and Amy Hughes Wahlmeier '02 of Hastings are parents of a son, Kaleb Patrick, born September 4. Rich '97, MS'03 and Amy Havranek Walters '99 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Kamryn Karsyn, born January 30. Rich works as a wildlife biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Julie and Christian Wilbeck '99 of Lincoln are parents of a son, Owen Christian, born December 3. David '98 and Angela Suing Wright '99, MAE'05 of Kearney are parents of a son, Karson Waine, born December 6. Eric and Becca Davis Zimbelman '02 of Kearney are parents of a daughter, Carlie Marie, born March 6. They also have a daughter,Alana.


Daniel Abernethy '72 of Scottsbluff died December 15. He owned and operated his own construction and real estate business. He was 57. Memorials have been established with the UNK Alumni Association.

Norma Ahrendts of Kearney died January 2. She was 88. Memorials are suggested to the Harold L. Ahrendts Scholarship at UNK. Bonita 'Bonnie' Artz '70, MAE'79 of Alma died February 22. She was 78. Jerald 'Jerry' Beltz '51 of Omaha died March 10. Jan Marie Benson ’86 of Lincoln died March 13. She was 43. Michael Carruthers 'MSE'95 of Minden died January 11. He was 54. Donald Churchill '35 of Bemidji, Minnesota, died December 28. He was a professional educator who retired from Bemidji State University in 1978. He was 94. Charlotte Arlette Parson Clauss of Lincoln died January 12.She was 53. Charles Davies '83 of Republican City died December 28. He is a former UNK faculty member.He was 56. Susan Kincaid DeJesus of Naples, Florida,died December 12.She was 61. Marian Ehresman '68 of Ord died February 5. She was 90. Dickie Foster '61 of Denton,Texas, died January 9. He was 71. Eunice Fritz '55, MAE'58 of Bladen died December 3. She was 97. Dennis Golus of Grand Island died January 23. He was 59. Roger Harpham '64 of Kenesaw died January 13. He taught speech and English for 34 years at Seward High School before retiring in 2001. He was 64. Marlene Younguist Hansen of Holdrege died January 12. She was 74. Paul Hassett of Grand Island died January 13. He was 59. Michael Herbison of Sheridan,


Plan NOW for Homecoming 2007


Order your UNK afghan today! Call 308-865-8474, go online at, or send a check for the amount with instructions where to send it.

20 l

UNK Today l Spring 2007




If the Alumni Association can be of any assistance with your plans, call us at 308-865-8474 or email us at

Wyoming, died March 29. He was director of the Calvin T. Ryan Library from 1993 to 2003. He was 65. Robert House of Dallas,Texas, died February 2. During his 45 years of teaching music, he was band director at UNK and a cellist with the Kearney Symphony. He was 86. Duane Hutchinson '53 of Lincoln died March 5. He was a retired

UNK Afghans for sale For $50, you will love our beautiful jacquard woven UNK afghan featuring full color design on a cloudy blue background. Afghans measure approximately 50” x 60”, are machine washable, 100% cotton, made in the U.S.A. and fringed all around. Add $7 for shipping and handling.


Methodist minister and professional story-teller. He was 77. Michael W. 'Spoiler' Johnson '71 of Kearney died December 25. He was 59. Sarah L. 'Sally' Kirschbaum '88 of St. Paul died January 25. She was 76. Stephanie Karraker ’65, MSE ’76 of Kearney, a former professor of English, died March 21. She was 79. Rosa Marrow '41 of Kearney died February 2. She was 88. Allen Burris Meirath '71 of Grand Island died November 30.She was 84. Nancy Stokes Muehlhausen '70, MSE'84 of Davey died December 9. She was a counselor for 29 years in the Grand Island Public Schools and Lincoln Public School System. She was 58. Norden Nutter '51 of Gibbon died March 15. He was 80 Bradley Ohlman of Hastings died February 12. He was 32. Ronald Ritterbush, Jr. '64 of Cozad died February 15. He was 65. Dr. Otto Ruff '38 of Denver died February 19. He was director of teacher education and certification for the Colorado Department of Education. He was 94. Kathleen Schott of Silver Creek died March 2. She was 83. Fern Trosper '78 of Fullerton died January 14. She was 85. Mary Elaine Wallace-House '40 of Dallas died January 12. She was a professor of voice and served as executive director of the National Opera Association. She was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award the first year it was presented in 1980. She also received the Gary Thomas Award for outstanding music alumni. She was 88. Richard Welker '58 of Riverside, California, died December 15. He was a retired Perris Valley Middle School teacher and a board member of the Southern California Alumni Association. He was 76. Roy Wilson '32 of Gillette,Wyoming, died February 13. He was 97. Clara Woracek '72 of Sargent died March 12. She was 71. „

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University of Nebraska at Kearney Alumni Association Kearney, NE 68849-6120


Museum of Nebraska Art Collection Museum Purchase made possible by MONA Guild





he pottery of Jacquie Stevens, Nebraska native and Winnebago Indian, ranges from works reflective of traditional tribal methods to those that find simple inspiration in "line, form, and shadow," as the artist states. Raised by her grandparents on the Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska, Stevens was introduced to clay at an early age. In her backyard along the Missouri River, clay was prevalent and she repeatedly used it to create. Her introduction to Native American art forms came later when she studied anthropology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Then, in 1975, she enrolled at the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico and studied with Otellie Loloma, wellknown Hopi potter and teacher. Stevens has continued to create pots since the mid 1970s. The Museum of Nebraska Art has recently acquired its first

piece by Stevens. Untitled (black with pink dots) is a simple form with wonderful craftsmanship. A minimalist work, the pot is created out of white earthen clay emphasizing asymmetry yet balanced with a formidable presence. Stevens was one of the first Indian potters to coil large, offround vessel shapes, and MONA's artwork is an excellent example of this technique. Untitled (black with pink dots) is included in the exhibition Ceramic Selections from MONA's Collection which also features a work by UNK professor of ceramics Jake Jacobson, among others. The exhibition is on view until September 9, 2007. MONA is the official art collection of the State of Nebraska. The Museum is located at 2401 Central Avenue and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and closed major holidays. „

Recruiting Challenge  

Andres Traslavina

Recruiting Challenge  

Andres Traslavina