FROM THE CHANCELLOR INSIDE THIS ISSUESharing good work, good news 3 PONCA PRIDE Lincoln High School teacher Larry Wright Jr. is the new chairman of the Ponca Tribe ofOn behalf of UNKs faculty, administra- Nebraska.tion and staff, it is my pleasure to sendgreetings to you from your alma mater.Another academic year is drawing 4 ROLLING ALONG Although Janna Guyer Peyton 70 has battled polio and the loss of her sight she continues toquickly to an end, giving us the oppor- keep busy with her latest project, the Tucsontunity to once again reflect on the work Society of the Blind.we are doing to benefit our studentsand our community. 7 HALL OF FAME Four-time All-American and twice national nce Experie . wrestling champion Ali Elias 93, MAE95 wasOur cover story - the two NCAA Kearney inducted into the NCAA Division II Hall of Fame during the national tournament that wasDivision II Championships recently held at UNK - highlights held in Kearney.the result of a great deal of planning and hard work by members ofour university community, particularly our Division of Athletics. Bothof the championship events earned rave reviews from Loper fans and 12 AROUND THE COUNTRY Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Nebraska were sites of recent alumni gatherings.from visitors and media coast-to-coast. My congratulations to AthleticDirector Jon McBride and his staff for a job extremely well done.Other stories throughout this publication highlight other accomplish- Trevor Charbonneauments and give additional reasons why we are so proud of our stu-dents - past and present. I also want to mention an exciting new partnership that UNK hasentered with North Platte and Lexington Public Schools. It is calledKearney Bound! and will result in 30 Nebraska high school studentsreceiving opportunities they never thought possible. Through theKearney Bound! program, a maximum of 15 students from each ofthese two high schools will be selected to attend UNK with full sup-port for tuition, books, fees, and room and board. Selection criteriainclude academic promise, motivation, and meeting federal govern- Tervel Dlagnevment criteria for participation in TRIO programs. In addition, each stu-dent must be a Nebraska resident, have a social security number andbe a first-generation college prospect. Kearney Bound! students mustalso complete core courses necessary for admission to UNK, as wellas maintain grade point average standards. Discussions are in progressto offer Kearney Bound! opportunities to other students as well.It is always a pleasure to share UNKs good work and good news. Inthe near future, I hope your schedule will allow time for a campus visitor participation in upcoming events. You are welcome anytime. ON THE COVER UNK IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHTSincerely, 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) andDouglas A. Kristensen, J.D. Tervel Dlagnev. The team earned the runner-up trophyChancellor 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 stu-UNK Today l Spring 2007 dent Eric M. Korth, Hastings junior
National COVER STORY Hosts Wrestlers took the stage the first of the month and the Womens 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.FLORIDIAN: Gulf Coast All- The two-day attendance ofAmerican Kate Schrader 8,685 was a new Division IIH record. The support and enthusi- osting two national asm brought accolades from NATIONAL RUNNER-UP SQUAD: Head coach Marc Bauer, championships during Mark Bedics, the NCAA liaison Kelsey Empting, Taylor May, Jeff Rutledge, Tervel Dlagnev, Joe the month of March Ellenberger, Matt Farrell, Jeff Allgood, Matt True, Trevor to the wrestling committee. Charbonneau, assistant coach Ty Swarm.provided UNK with the rare "The University of Nebraskaopportunity to showcase the at Kearney did a wonderful job. dedicated they are and what they mentary schools prior to thecampus and the community to The atmosphere was electric. It put into it," said coach Marc tournament to provide back-schools, athletes and fans from was packed. I thought it was Bauer. ground on the schools attendingacross the country. great, and I would love to come Two weeks after hosting the from around the country. NCAA officials, team mem- back." record-setting wrestling tourna- Each Elite Eight team wasbers, fans and visitors had high Bedics said the attendance ment, UNK pulled off another then paired with a local elemen-praise for both tournaments. wasnt the only thing that made success hosting eight womens tary school, which teams visited "Our No. 1 goal in the NCAA the tournament successful. basketball teams in the Elite after arriving in Kearney. In turn,is to make sure the student-ath- "The whole city of Kearney Eight Championships. the elementary students showedletes experience is the best it can embraced the event so well," he Attendance was strong with a up in full force to support theirbe, and Kearney ensured it from said. "From the car wash that total of 16,008 at the seven designated team. top to bottom," said Tina had Welcome Division II games spread over three days, an "The outreach program into Krah, NCAA director of Wrestlers, to the restaurants, average of 2,287. Attendance at the elementary schools was a championships. "The city of everywhere you look, signs said, the title game, which featured huge success. Those kids really Kearney and the staff at the Welcome Wrestlers. " the two teams farthest from responded and got excited about University of Nebraska at "It was a great experience for Kearney, drew 3,091. In that being involved," athletic director Kearney were fabulous." all the student athletes." game, Southern Connecticut Jon McBride said. Sponsors paid For UNK fans, the University University defeated Florida Gulf for a block of tickets for the stu- of Central Oklahoma put the Coast University, 61-45. In con- dents and their families. only damper on the meet, defeat- trast, last year’s championship The success was an entire ing the Lopers for the team title. game in Hot Springs, Arkansas, community effort, McBride said, Junior heavyweight, Tervel drew 987. with the Chamber of Commerce Dlagnev of Arlington, Texas, Shawn Fairbanks, tournament and the local news outlets play- won his second straight title, and director, said that going into the ing key roles in the tournaments 125-pound senior Trevor tournament there was concern success. Charbonneau, of Green, Kansas, about the attendance. "The fact The events provided UNK captured his first championship. that Kearney once again stepped and Kearney with national tele- In addition, UNK had six up and came out and supported vision exposure with both finals other All-Americans - 133- the event regardless of the fact televised nationally. The pound Brett Allgood, that it wasnt wrestling and it Womens title game was broad- Bennington junior; 141-pound wasnt volleyball, and they had a cast on ESPN2 with alumnus Jeff Rutledge, Lincoln junior; good time with it, is more satis- Brenda VanLengen 88 provid- 157-pound Joe Ellenberger, fying," he said. ing color analysis. Millard junior; 165 pound Taylor The eight teams competing VanLengen, who played for May, Imperial freshman; 184 came from across the country. the Lopers from 1984 to 1987 is pound Matt Farrell, Omaha The two closest, University of a regular color analyst for Fox sophomore; and 197 pound North Dakota and Drury Sports Net and ESPN. Kelsey Empting, Ponca City, University of Springfield, The 2008 Womens Oklahoma, freshman. Missouri, lost in the first round. Basketball Elite Eight "We had a phenomenal team One of the keys to the atten- Tournament will return to UNK and what we accomplished was dance was an elementary school and Kearney next March. great. It is a testament to how outreach program. UNK student-athletes visited NCAA mascot J J Jumper fifth grade classes at local ele- Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 1
FEATUREDENTAL LEADERSHV IPV V Dr. LeeShackelford ’77reflects on In this capacity, he will assist the ASH in coordinating respon- sibilities for overseeing the Commissioned Corps. "Im hum- bled to have been considered for deployed by the Commissioned Corps to respond to public health emergencies, including serving as the deputy commander of a federal medical station in enough dentists on staff to con- duct the oral health exams on the soldiers and do the necessary dental work to meet readiness levels. So, they called me and25-year career such a position, and am thrilled Meridian, Mississippi, in the other corps dentists in to help, to be able to contribute to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. and together we worked in two-W hen Lee Shackelford health of our nation as a advisor His assignment there included week rotations over several 77 graduated from the to the assistant secretary." working with a team to set up a months to prepare the marines NU College of Along the way, Capt. 500-bed field hospital in a naval for on-time deployment," he said.Dentistry in 1982, he envisioned Shackelford has had his share of air hanger within a very short Having grown up in a familya conventional career serving adventures and a variety of heart- timeframe of a day and a half. that prized public service - hispeople much like himself in warming experiences. In another deployment, he father was a coast guard officer -northwest Missouri. During his tenure in the served as a clinical dentist help- Capt. Shackelford views his Twenty-five years later he Commissioned Corps, he has ing marines based at Californias career in the Commissionedreflected on the path his profes- served in the Federal Bureau of 29 Palms prepare to deploy to Corps as an opportunity to givesional development has taken, Prisons and in Native American Iraq. back.especially the past 14 years serv- communities, two assignments "In order for marines to be Capt. Shackelford, who was aing in the U.S. Public Health that centered on providing care to deployed, they must have a 94 member of the baseball teamService Commissioned Corps. underserved communities, a hall- percent force readiness level. The while a student at what was then "All I ever wanted was to be a mark of the Commissioned base didnt Kearney State, said, "I missedwet-fingered dentist, and the Corps. have Vietnam by 20 days. PresidentCorps has given me opportunities Capt. Shackelford said he is Nixon suspended the draft threeto do so much more," he said. particularly fond of his memories weeks before I turned 20. Capt. Shackelford recently of the Navajo elders he served in While I wasnt looking for-served as director of training and the Northern Navajo Medical ward to going over there,career development for the Center in Shiprock, New I felt that I had failed toCommissioned Corps, where his Mexico. do my part to serve mypassion and focus were on devel- "Following local custom, we country. Theoping the next generation of referred to the elders by the Commissioned Corpsleaders. Navajo words for grandpa and fills that void in me," "The opportunity to make an grandmom, which are not only he said. "When I wasimpact on thousands of officers terms of endearment, but also in school, I didntwho will serve hundreds of thou- of reverence. They would come know thesands of citizens, thereby affect- in wearing their native dress, Commissioneding the health of the nation, is speaking little English, and we Corps existed. Nowsomething the average dentist would tend to their oral health." Im committed todoes not get to do," he said. Capt. Shackelford said that ensuring that students The leadership training devel- often dentists were the first to today know about hisoped by Capt. Shackelford is crit- spot signs of diabetes through the unique opportunity. It isical to the Commissioned Corps condition of their mouths. my personal mission tomission of protecting, promoting "Through our oral detection we work every day to carry onand advancing the health and were able to get the elders the the proud tradition that Ivesafety of the nation. immediate medical treatment been lucky to be part of and "Forty-four percent of officers they needed," he said. empowered to make evenare eligible to retire in the next Capt. Shackelford also better."five years - 22 percent could has beenleave right now," he said. "As wetransform the CommissionedCorps, we have to build leadersfrom the bottom up." Capt. Shackelfords talentsand efforts have been recog-nized in the form of a promo-tion to the position of execu-tive assistant to AssistantSecretary 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
Pride Larry WrightJr. ’01 elected FEATUREchairman ofNebraska’sPonca TribeH e stands before a class of ninth-graders at Lincoln High School. Some listen. Some whisperand tease each other as he triesto explain the role of culturaldiffusion in defining geographicplaces. Its 1 p.m. Tuesday. Good luck. "Unless youre an AmericanIndian, you came from some-place else," says teacher LarryWright Jr. 01, capturing stu-dents attention, if only briefly. “Even American Indians did-nt stay in one place forever.There was movement.” Talk about a lesson from anexpert. In November, Wright waselected chairman of the Ponca CHAIRMAN: Lincoln high school teacher Larry Wright Jr. ’01Tribe, one of Nebraskas four was elected chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.federally recognized tribes. It isa leadership change one stateNative leader hailed as a sign of nity to do things a little differ- gaiashkibos said she will work At Lincoln High School,good things to come for the ent," the Humphrey native said. with Wright and state leaders to Wrights new role means that aPonca. "I took that opportunity." develop sound legislation that social studies teacher who lec- Judi Morgan gaiashkibos, He is the third person to hold affects the Ponca. tures on civics, government anddirector of the Nebraska the position of chairman since "As a leader of the Ponca politics now will get the chanceCommission on Indian Affairs, the Ponca gained federal recog- Tribe, Larry is going to face to provide his students with real-said Wrights background in nition as a tribe in 1990. many challenges," she said. life examples.education will serve his tribe He likened being tribal chair- Such as trying to convince Patience Johnson, 14, whowell during his four-year term. man to being head of a countrys state leaders that the Ponca - the said her father was part Sioux, "I think its an exciting legislative and executive only tribe in Nebraska without a said Wright has taught her a lotopportunity for the Ponca Tribe branch. reservation - are entitled to about what it means to be ato have the leadership Larry will It is a fitting description, con- everything other tribes have, she Native person by incorporatingbring," she said. sidering the tribe is a sovereign said. Native issues into his daily les- His tribe helped him, finan- nation. To that end, Wright will lean sons.cially, to complete his bachelors "You seem like youre every- on his experience as an educa- And shell never forget thedegree, he said. "The Ponca thing to everybody at a time," he tor, he said. But he has other look on her teachers face theTribe has a strong educational said. goals that he hopes to accom- day he came back with the newssupport system. We fund stu- He serves with an eight- plish as chairman. he had won his tribes highestdents who have a financial need member tribal council and over- He wants to develop a pro- position.in order to get a secondary edu- sees tribal programs and the 62 gram to preserve the Ponca lan- "I think it was the happiestcation," he said. full-time employees who serve guage, which few tribal mem- Ive ever seen him," she said. So five years ago, he decided the tribes 2,600 members. bers can speak. He also plans toto repay the tribe by seeking and He also works with state create jobs. Story Courtesy ofwinning a seat on the Ponca leaders to develop policies and "Were not looking for hand- Lincoln Journal StarTribal Council. laws that benefit the Ponca. outs," he said. "We want to use When the chairmans seat As director of the our resources to pursue econom-opened up last year, he ran for it. Commission on Indian Affairs ic development opportunities, to "I thought there was opportu- and a Ponca tribal member, put our tribal members to work." Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 3
FEATURE ‘Rolling Along’ Janna Peyton ’70 faces health issues and life head onOVERCOMING ADVERSITY (top): Janna Peyton’s activitiesfor Tucson Society of the Blind include events like this outing onTumamoc Hill. (right): Janna with husband, David, and grandson,Orlando David. By Jim Rundstrom tion, she earned a masters Editor degree in reading at Arizona in 1976, received principalJ accreditation for grades K anna Guyer Peyton 70 has through 12 and taught part- never let a little adversity time at Pima Community get in her way. College before she was She had polio in 1949 at age forced to take a medicalone, worked her way through retirement in 1985.college in a wheelchair, lost her "It was very difficult to have average age of the members of am so grateful for the great edu-sight in 1987 and had post-polio to stay at home and give up the the center is 75." cation I received at KSC. Itsyndrome that took her back to a career I so deeply loved," she Peyton said the mission of started me on a productive lifewheelchair full time in 1999. said. the Tucson Society of the Blind journey. One of my fondest These health issues have (TSB) is to reach out to the visu- memories from college is the"definitely made me live a chal- TWO YEARS later, after ally impaired and blind adults in day I led a group of seven inlenging life," she said. But they having had several minor auto the area with social, recreational wheelchairs into the Presidentshave not stopped her from pur- accidents, Peyton had her eyes and educational programs to Office to express our concernsuing her passions and her checked and discovered she had enhance their independence and that where there were no curbcareer. retinitis pigmentosa, a degenera- quality of life. cuts bumping off those curbs "I just keep rolling along," tion of the retina. Our motto is, "It is better to was dangerous. Presidentshe joked. "The doctor said it probably be better than to be bitter; if you Milton Hassel listened carefully After graduation, Peyton would only affect my peripheral are bitter you cannot be better." and by next fall the curbs wereworked in Lexington as a secre- vision so I was shocked when I The center opened with 13 cut at places we had men-tary for the president of Reach woke up in 1999 and discovered but now reaches out to 135 indi- tioned."Electronics before moving to I had lost all my sight except viduals. Through the years, PeytonTucson where she started with some light perception," she said. "We have been hiking on and her husband of 35 years,Kitt Peak National Observatory "That was the beginning of a Mount Lemmon and Tumamoc David, have been active inas secretary to the Mercury new journey that had started in Hill, taken many field trips to maintaining relationships withVenus Mars project director my life." places such as San Xavier UNK through participation inwhile obtaining her Arizona In 2003, Peyton opened a Mission, Tubac, Tombstone and the Arizona alumni activities.teaching credentials. senior center for adults with Green Valley," she said. "We "The last event in Tucson "I loved teaching," she said visual impairment and blindness meet every Tuesday, and on the was such fun," she said. "What aabout her position as a business in the Tucson area. first and third Thursdays for a small world connecting with aeducation, English and reading "I tell myself it is my craft program." friend, Bill Crouse, the teacherteacher. Geriatric High School since I do TSB is funded by donations at Cholla, where we had taught During her career in educa- not have to deal with pregnant and grants which Peyton writes, together, and then meeting students, parents or attend foot- of course. Ardean Hagemeister from4 l UNK Today l Spring 2007 ball games every week. The Peyton said looking back, "I Aurora."
Dedicationeducation to FEATURE Retiring Herb Schimek ’62 taught World History while Griess taughtNSEA executive American History.director Jim Schimek joined the NSEAGriess, ’63, MSE staff in 1971, and today is direc- tor of government relations.’68, championed "As a lobbyist, you have aclassroom tendency to draw lightning. Jim has always been good aboutteachers backing me up," said Schimek. Griess, who joined NSEA inT here isnt a teacher in a 1973, has always worked with Nebraska classroom the classroom teacher in mind. today that hasnt been "Hes always had a vision oftouched by the work of Jim what he thought NSEA ought toGriess ’63, MSE ’68. be, and tried to do the most for For more than 30 years, he the classroom teacher that heworked relentlessly to improve could," saidworking conditions for educa- Schimek.tion employees. As gov- From politics to bargaining to ernor frompaid health insurance, Griess has 1992-98 EDUCATION LEADERSHIP: Jim Griessbeen involved in everything and as ateachers today hold near and U . S . retired after 30 years with the NSEA and 44 yearsdear. Hes fought for higher Senator for in education. LEFT: Herb Schimek ’62 and Griesssalaries; against spending lids; the past 6 taught history together at Hastings High School.and to elect pro-education can- years, Bendidates. Nelson has Hes spent countless hours at had greatthe state capitol, lobbying elect- respect for president and achieve the goal of a qualityed officials for adequate and Griess and chief negotiator public school for every child.equitable funding for schools his work for of the Hastings Significant NSEA programs,and for salary equity. From the teachers, children and public Education Association. In 1969, such as the NSEA ChildrensHELP campaign to the No education. shortly after the Legislature cre- Fund, were created because, asExcuses salary increase drive, "Jims leadership on educa- ated the Commission of executive director, Griess hiredto the twin 411/412 initiatives, tion issues has been stellar. He Industrial Relations, he took one dedicated employees and thenGriess has been at the forefront. has always had a deep under- of the first cases to the CIR. supported their work. In the fight to turn back standing of the issues facing On the state level, he pushed An avid historian andspending lids in Initiatives 413 education, a clear vision for for creation of the NSEA teacher, Griess frequently donsand 423, Griess rolled up his quality education for every child Political Action Committee in period clothing to visit class-sleeves and labored tirelessly. and a deep desire to push 1970, serving as the PACs first rooms to talk to students about Through it all, his ultimate Nebraska public schools to chairman. Nebraska history. His researchfocus was to provide a top-notch higher levels of success," said In 1972, newly-married to of the Plains and Nativeeducation for Nebraska children. Ben Nelson. "I respect Jim and wife Polly, Griess left teaching American history will be put toGriess shared with all his belief enjoyed working with him. for his first Association job, as a paper in a book entitled "Peoplethat great public schools are the Nebraska schools are better UniServ director for the Kansas of the Flatwater."key to Americas success. He because of Jims work, and we National Education Association. Tying his interest in historyexplained in a column published will miss his leadership on these A year later, he joined the NSEA to his love for the outdoors, hein The Voice in September 2005: important issues." staff as a UniServ director. enjoys mountain man ren- "Education is more than Born in York County and Over the past 15 years as dezvous as well as collectingteaching children to survive eco- raised in Sutton, Griess mother executive director, Griess fought and trading Western Americananomically. Its more than prepar- was his eighth grade English for pro-education legislation - and antiques at such events.ing students to attend college. A and history teacher. hes lobbied state senators, gov- But mostly, Jim Griesswell-educated populace is the In his first teaching job in ernors, congressmen, U.S. sena- enjoys his family. He and Pollyglue that binds this society Overton in 1963 he quickly tors and presidents. are proud of their son, Air Forcetogether to form a great nation." learned of salary inequities. His Griess built coalitions to sup- Capt. Gabe Griess; daughter On Dec. 31, after 34 years on first contract paid him a $200 port public schools at both the Rozz and her husband, Johnthe NSEA team, Griess retired head-of-household stipend on state and national levels. He was Beckman; and grandson Lucas.as NSEAs executive director. top of a salary of $4,100 - more a respected leader in the In fact, Grampa may be hisHis term as executive director is than his mother earned after 30 National Council of State favorite role yet!second longest in Association years of teaching. Executive Directors, andhistory. Three years later, Griess was worked diligently to research At Hastings High School in teaching American History at and develop programs promot-the late 1960s and early 1970s, Hastings, where he served as ing the elements needed to Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 5
FOUNDATION NEWSI mproved messagesresult of Wiens’ giftI mprovements to the mes- Nebraska Foundation vice pres- sage board and the score- ident of development. They board at the Health and were completed in time for theSports Center were among the national wrestling tournamentbenefits of a nearly $250,000 and the national womens bas-gift by Joel and Elena Wiens ketball tournament that werethat was made last fall. held at the Health and Sports At the time of the gift, the Center in March. "We arecommunity room on the third indebted to Joel and Elena forfloor of the Ron and Carol Cope their tremendous support ofStadium at Foster Field was UNK," Abegglen said.named the Wiens/FirsTier Jon McBride, athletic direc-Special Events Room. tor said, "They are a wonderful addition to what is one of the A LARGE portion of that best facilities in NCAA Division UPGRADE: The Health andgift benefited the athletic reno- II." Sports Center received improvedvation/addition at Foster Field. Wiens is the majority owner messages and scoreboards as aThe remainder was used to of FirsTier Bank, with locations result of a $250,000 gift by Joelmake scoreboard and message in Colorado, Nebraska and and Elena Wiens, who were hon-board improvements at the Wyoming including one in ored by Chancellor DougHealth and Sports Center. Kearney. He also owns FirsTier Kristensen last fall (insert). Those message boards and Events Center in Kearney, thescoreboards were wonderful Tri-City Storm hockey team andimprovements said Jon First Inn Gold Motel inAbegglen, University of Kearney. Scholarships and her positive experience at dentistry from 1925 until retir- Fund reached the endowed Herzog Memorial what was then Kearney State College reinforced their desire ing in 1965. During his years in Sidney, level. Watkins made the gift to With a $25,000 gift, Ed to develop a fund to help gradu- he was a respected member of honor the memory of his wife,Herzog created the Leila S. ate students working toward a many civic and fraternal organi- Marguerite Neustrom WatkinsMiss T. Herzog Memorial degree in counseling and school zations including the Rotary, 38, who died in 1999. She wasFellowship Fund to commemo- psychology. Masons, Chamber of an activist who is rememberedrate the life of his wife. Commerce, United Methodist in Oregon for several things: Leila Herzog, who earned her Church and veterans organiza- Her leadership in the appealmasters degree in 1982, died inApril, 2006 at age 73. ‘Doc’ Thompson tion. After Dr. Thompson retired, to the U.S. Supreme Court that gave the public a beach access Education and children were he and his wife, Elta, began easement to the high water markalways important to Leila, who Students from Cheyenne spending winters in Arizona. of all Oregons coastline. Notaught in public schools in Iowa County will benefit from a gift After her death in 1984, Dr. other state has such access.and Nebraska. of the George H. and Elta Thompson returned to Sidney She was the recipient of the When she and Ed decided Spencer Thompson Foundation year-round. Before his death, he prestigious "Governor Oz Westthat she should return to school Scholarship Fund. created a foundation to benefit Award" for her work in protect-to earn her masters degree in The Fund will provide not only college students from ing the Oregon coastal environ-counseling and psychology, it $5,000 each year to assist 10 Cheyenne County but also the ment.presented a real financial chal- undergraduate students from community of Sidney and the Her support of Oregonslenge for their family, Herzog Cheyenne County who will surrounding area. Land Use Law as Land Usesaid receive $500 scholarships. chair for the Coos County "We never regretted the deci- Selection will be made by the League of Women Voters gainedsion and have always beengrateful for UNKs supportive Office of Financial Aid. Dr. George Doc Thompson Howard Watkins two decades of legal standing in use matters for all chapters offaculty." was a long-time dentist in the State League. Leilas passion for her work Sidney who lived in the commu- Thanks to a $4,000 gift from She also served as the gover- nity for more than 77 years, Howard Watkins 38 of Coos nors only female appointee on from 1925 until his death in Bay, Oregon, the Northwest the advisory committee to the6 l UNK Today l Spring 2007 2002 at age 102. He practiced Alumni Association Scholarship State Board of Forestry.
StSeekling adand ce: give up el knowledge vi don’t ALUMNI NEWSJ By Rick Brown Performing with the that moves him or inspires him Kearney Hub Heartland of American Band is worth exploring. gives Stelling the advantage of steady work. AS A member of TheC hris Stelling 97 knows "Its a good career," he said. Noteables, Stelling gets a what it takes to be a suc- "A lot of times, symphony play- chance to improvise within the cessful saxophone player. ers have to do other things on 14-member group. He mainly "Dont give up," he said. the outside to make ends meet. plays the saxophone with The Stelling performs with the This is a full-time job where I Noteables, but on occasionU.S. Air Force Heartland of can play music." breaks out his tenor, too.America Band stationed at Stelling plays saxophone, When the ensemble is play-Offutt Air Force Base near flute and clarinet. ing together," Stelling said,Omaha. He also plays with The His influences include "were pretty tightly knit. ThereNoteables, a jazz band com- Dexter Gordon, Wayne Shorter are open sections where mem-prised of members of the and Miles Davis. bers can solo. We change it up -Heartland band. "Im a hard bop player down different solos and different For students struggling with the middle," Stelling said. instruments. The written-outtheir musical studies, Stelling Chris Stelling ’97 sections are pretty standard."has some clear advice. AS AN extension of the Stellings influences arent In addition to not giving up, bebop movement in jazz, hard That hasnt kept him from limited to the famous names inStelling said musicians should bop incorporated influences learning about the musicians jazz. His instructors at UNK andtry their own work. from rhythm and blues, gospel and their styles. Kearney area musicians had an "Nobodys going to do any- music and the blues. Hard bop is "Theres always something to effect on his career.thing for you. Keep listening. generally considered more learn," he said. "It doesnt have "Jim Payne, David Nabb,Find out who you like. Try lis- accessible then bebop jazz. to be something from the same Gary Davis, Wes Hird, Verletening to new musicians. You "Being from central instrument I play. I can learn Straatmann, Greg Tesdall, thehave to be the seeker of knowl- Nebraska, I didnt get many something from a vocalist or a late Eddie Osborn - they all gotedge. Its not going to come to chances to see the big names cello player." me started down the road," heyou, you have to go to it." perform live," he said. Stelling believes anything said.NCAiA :Hall of FameI’d nductee El as ‘Without wrestling, I be dead now’ By Buck Mahoney he had avail- enrolled as a 27-year-old fresh- He used wrestling as a vehicle to Kearney Hub Sports Editor able. man. accomplish his goals." Its been "Without wrestling, Id be Since leaving UNK, Elias hasA li Elias 93, MAE95 tougher for dead now," Elias said. been a teacher and wrestling was one of five indi- him in life. "Through wrestling, I coach in Florida, Texas and now viduals inducted into A Kurd achieved my personality, my Maryland.the NCAA Division II Wrestling who grew up education, my friends. It made "Thats what Ive alwaysHall of Fame during ceremonies in Iran near me a physically and mentally wanted to do. What I planned 20at the national event held in the Iraqi bor- Ali Elias tough person. years ago was to be a teacherKearney. Elias also was induct- der, he "I came from a different cul- and a coach," Elias said.ed into the UNK Athletic Hall of fought in the ture. I had a lot of friends who He has never strayed fromFame in 2004, his first year of Iran-Iraq became addicted to drugs. If you teaching, something he couldnteligibility. war but spoke out against the dont have a goal, society is have done in Iran. "Its a dream. Its unbeliev- government. He then fled the going to beat you. Because of "His desire was to impress onable," Elias said of his selection. country to Germany. wrestling, I stayed on the right the wrestlers we had on our team"This is the big one. Not very Already well-known in path. I stayed focused and did at the time the importance ofmany people get chosen. . . and wrestling circles - he was a jun- well." education. He went out of hisIm very excited about it." ior world runner-up and a high Dr. Ed Scantling, his coach way to tell our wrestlers to get Elias, who legally changed school world champion as well saw that focus up close. an education and what an oppor-his name from Amiri-Eliasi, as a five-time Iranian national "He had intense desire to be tunity they had by beingwon national championships at champion and a member of the successful. It drove him to be in Americans, the freedoms they150-pounds and finished second national team, Elias made his the best shape of anybody Ive enjoy and the right they had toand third the other two years mark in Germany where he ever been around. He would get an education," Dr. Scantling.wrestling with a torn anterior reached the No. 3 ranking in the work out for six hours a day. "We learned as much fromcruciate ligament his junior year world. Practice was just fun for him," Ali as he ever learned fromand a ruptured pectoral major While in Germany, he was Dr. Scantling said. "And he was us."his senior year. selected for a cultural exchange able to set goals for himself out- Elias dealt with the injuries team that wrestled in America. side the wrestling world. He wasas hes dealt with life. He never That eventually led to his com- on a mission to get an educationsat out, making the best of what ing to Kearney, where he and become an educated man. Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 7
CAMPUS NEWS SOLAR CELL: Research receives $770,000 federal grantA $770,000 U.S. the scientists to continually Department of Energy improve the film production grant, one of the process.largest nonservice grants ever Working with Drs. Exstrommade to UNK faculty, has been and Darveau is Dr. Jiriawarded to Drs. Chris Exstrom Olejnicek, post-doctoraland Scott Darveau in the research associate, from Prague,Department of Chemistry. Czech Republic. The two are working to According to Dr. Johndevelop a thin-film-based solar Falconer, UNK director ofcell that is efficient enough to Sponsored Programs,make the technology a market- Nebraska’s congressional dele-competitive source of energy. gation played a critical role in “The goal of the project is to getting the funding to UNK.prepare and study the world’s When asked about his sup-first copper indium boron dise- port for the research, U.S. Sen.lenide (CIBS) thin films,” Dr. Chuck Hagel said: “It is criticalExstrom said. “The inclusion of for the United States to encour-boron in the material is expected HOT TOPIC: Dr. Jiri Olejnicek, post-doctoral research associate, age innovation in a wide arrayto result in films that will pos- Drs. Scott Darveau and Chris Exstrom, principal investigators in the of alternative energy technolo-sess record energy conversion solar cell research lab. gies.efficiencies and yield higher “Further, this funding willvoltages than any known solar allow UNK, UNL and the Statecell films.” never been fabricated due to then travel to UNK, where sele- of Nebraska to be at the fore- While the grant is to UNK some unique physical properties nium is added by a vapor depo- front of research into solar cellprofessors, the two are working of boron; however, the UNK- sition method. technology,” Sen. Hagel said.cooperatively on the project UNL research partnership has On both campuses, the elec- “It will also provide valuablewith two members of the developed the capability of trical properties, solar energy experience for students.”University of Nebraska-Lincoln making these films. conversion performance and “We’re really excited to haveelectrical engineering faculty. The work to produce the new chemical structures of all films this financial support,” Dr.About one-half of the grant is films is divided between the two is extensively analyzed. In addi- Exstrom said. “It is fantastic thatsubcontracted to UNL faculty campuses. At UNL, Drs. tion to producing new knowl- our undergraduate students alsomembers Drs. Rodney Soukup Soukup and Ianno combine cop- edge about the structure and have the opportunity to join inand Natale Ianno. per, indium and boron using properties of thin-film materials, the undertaking of this national- To date, CIBS films have sputtering techniques. Films this information will be used by ly prominent research.” Sixteen to retire from faculty, staffO ne of the largest number A. Steele Becker joined the faculty member since 1971. He in 1985 as a part-time coordinator of faculty and staff mem- geography staff in January, 1964, began his career as an instructor in for piano maintenance, teaching bers in many years have starting a continuous career that the Department of Theater and piano techniques. He later taughtannounced plans to end their lasted more than 43 years. As the technical director of theater. After guitar.careers at UNK this year. Many of faculty member with the longest earning his Ph.D. degree he taught Darrel Jensen, director of thethose retiring have been on the tenure he has served as grand mar- in the Speech Department. Nebraska Safety Center, has beenstaff since the 1960s. They are: shal at commencement the past M. Stanley Dart, chairman of at UNK since 1975. Dr. Richard Barlow 62, several years. During his career, he the Department of Sociology, Dr. Kenneth Nikels servedDepartment of Mathematics and held the position of assistant dean, Geography and Earth Science, this past year as associate viceStatistics, has been on the staff College of Natural and Social joined the faculty in 1968. chancellor of Academic Affairs.since 1966. Barlow was instru- Sciences. Wayne Evers has been field During his career he served asmental in establishing a major in Betty Bethell, health, physical training specialist with the chair of the Department ofstatistics, developed metric system education, recreation and leisure Nebraska Safety Center since Psychology, dean of Graduateworkshops across the state for studies, who has been a faculty 1991. Studies and acting dean ofteachers and served as associate member since 1964. Her teaching Robert Gerten 70, MSE90, Continuing Education. He joinededitor of THE PENTAGON career of 43 years is one of the has been a staff member with the staff in 1971.MATHEMATICS magazine. longest in history. physics and physical science since Dr. Lon Pearson, a professor Mary Ann Barton, head of Dr. Dennis Brown has taught 1991. of modern languages, has been onreference at the Calvin T. Ryan criminal justice since 1977. Kern Harsbarger 66, the staff since 1991. During hisLibrary and associate professor of Dr. Donn Carlson, physics MAE74 has been an art faculty career he served as chair of thelibrary science. She has been a and physical science, joined the member since 1999 when he departmentstaff member since 1997. staff in 1967. joined the staff after retiring from Susan Reiber 78, MSE01 has Dr. Robert Cocetti, a profes- the Kearney Public Schools. served on the staff of the Museum8 l UNK Today l Spring 2007 sor of communication, has been a Wesley Hird began his career of Nebraska Art since 1996.
Students give campus new west sign CAMPUS NEWSS tudent body president Mike Eiberger, vice presi- dent Kevin Wait andmembers of the UNK StudentGovernment will leave the cam-pus with more than a memoryafter they graduate. The students will leave thecampus with its first officialidentifier on the west edge ofcampus. The plan is to build asign identifying the westernedge of the campus at the cornerof Highway 30 and UniversityDrive. Artist rendition of completed sign “When you approach campusfrom the west, the sign at WestCenter is the first identifier of be used and a design that would students were willing to put total of $22,000.” The moneythe UNK campus,” Wait said. fit the location. money up for it. I was able to came from student government. “Originally, we wanted to put The current plan is for an 84 coordinate the project with stu- “If there are funds left overa sign in the median just north of tall by 24 long sign built out of dents and Facilities, and I found after the construction is com-Cushing, but there was a con- brick that matches Cope Kevin to be a real go-getter.” pleted, we plan to use thecern that the sign would pose a Stadium. The sign was designed “We felt that Mr. Lakey was remaining dollars to do sometraffic hazard,” Wait said. “Also, by Ryan Swanson, associate instrumental in making it hap- landscaping around the sign,”the Facilities Master Plan calls director of Facilities pen,” Wait said. “He was sup- Wait said. “Also, there is nofor the area north of Otto Olsen Management and Planning. portive from the beginning.” power to that location to lightto be converted to green space. The project, which has been in the sign at night. We would alsoWe wanted our sign to be where THE PLANNING for the development for the past two like to get the sign lighted.”it would remain for a long time.” project, which is being financed years, will use dollars from this It took some time to settle not entirely with student dollars, year’s budget and last. THE SIGN is expected to beonly on the placement of the began last year. “A year ago, Student Senator completed by spring commence-sign, but on the design as well. “The Chancellor sent me an Matt Sullivan wrote a bill for ment. “We wanted to be careful to e-mail asking me to get involved Student Senate to set aside “We hope that this will be thecome up with something every- a week before I began as interim $10,000 out of last year’s budg- beginning of a tradition and thatone liked,” Wait said. It took vice chancellor for business and et for this project,” Wait said. each year, Student Governmentsome time to come to a consen- finance last July,” John Lakey “While we expect the cost to will give a gift to the campus,”sus on the materials that would said. “It was a neat idea, and the be at $21,600, we’ve budgeted a he concluded. Industrial technology Systems Construction Management, Management, lenges including disaster pre- paredness/recovery, financial UNK, UNO combine accredited nationally Industrial Distribution and Te l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s management, governing board relationships and operational for online degreeT U he Department of Management." direction. Before embarking NK and UNO have Industrial Technology upon her career in higher educa- teamed up to offer the has become one of only tion, Johnson held several man- Administrative staff first completely online55 baccalaureate degree offering agement positions with the bachelors degree, a bachelor of has two additionsinstitutions accredited by the Allstate and Prudential general studies (BGS), throughNational Association of Insurance companies and with the University of Nebraska. TheIndustrial Technology. the Florida Department of T first students to enter the pro- And, reflecting a high tech wo appointments have Insurance. gram are enrolled this spring.approach to the process itself, been made to the UNKs She has degrees from The new online option willthe innovative UNK department administrative staff. Hampton University and Atlanta prepare adults, age 21 or older,is the only one to have achieved BARBARA JOHNSON was University. for careers in management,this distinction after conducting named vice chancellor for busi- JANET STOEGER human resources, public rela-its self-study entirely on-line. ness and finance in February. WILKE, who has served as tions, marketing and communi- "Programs, not institutions, Johnson has a wealth of both an associate dean and inter- cations," said Gloria Vavricka,are accredited," said ITEC experience in higher education, im dean of Calvin T. Ryan UNK director for eCampus. Thedepartment chairman Dr. Ken finance and business. She has Library, has been named dean. degree focuses on organization-Larson, "meaning that not all held positions at Florida State A member of the library staff al administration, with majorprograms in a given institution University, Ohio State since 1998, Wilke joined UNK course offerings in business,or department may necessarily University, Mars Hill College as a reference librarian after organizational communicationsbe accredited. In the case of and Carleton College. working at Wichita State and sociology.UNK, all four of the programs in Johnson also has extensive University. She has degreesthe Department of Industrial experience in consulting with from Chadron State College andTechnology are accredited universities nationwide on a the University of Wisconsin atthrough 2012. They are Aviation variety of organizational chal- Madison. Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 9
LOPER SPORTSGood morning,America! Women’s team appeared on ABCs Goodbasketball coach Morning America. "I never thought it would turnCarol Russell into a media circus," she said.and new son Isaac was actually a few days early, but Russell and her hus-make national band were prepared when UNKnews was selected to play in the NCAA North Central Regional Tournament in Grand Forks,W hen womens basket- North Dakota. ball coach Carol Russell did not expect to get Russell walked into approval from her doctor tothe finals of the regional basket- attend. But when she did,ball tournament to support her Russell got in touch with theteam, her players and assistant Grand Forks mayor who is also SUPRISE ARRIVAL: Women’s basketball coach Carol Russell,coach Tim Connealy were an obstetrician. husband Todd Sorenson and son Isaac Peter made national newsshocked to see her at the game. when Carol Russell attended a Loper basketball game five hours Five hours earlier Russell RUSSELL LET Dr. Michael after giving birth.gave birth to her first child, Brown know there could be aIsaac Peter. possibility of giving birth while attending the game. The doctors and headed to the game. Her decision to go to the she was at the tournament so the and nurses suggested it. They arrived several minutesgame had a bigger impact than hospital staff was ready. "Why not?" she thought. into the game and slipped inshe could ever have imagined. And with UNK making it to She said she had coached all behind the bench. No one It was recognized on CNN, the regional finals, it meant year long and the team was play- expected her.FOX News, ESPN Radio and in Russell and the team spent five ing for a trip to the Elite Eight. Russell sat on the bench forstories in national newspapers. days in Grand Forks She wanted to be there to lend most of the game, only gettingShe, her husband Todd After giving birth, Russell sat support. up during timeouts. "I was pret-Sorenson, baby Isaac and sever- in her hospital bed holding her So Russell and her husband ty exhausted at the end of theal members of the basketball son, not even thinking about left Isaac with the hospital staff night," she said.Women’s basketball: 22 wins, regional finals U Liz Fischer NK came within one ing the game with Russell Fischer was named to the win of a trip to the assisting him from the bench. RMAC All-RMAC first team Elite Eight Tournament By scoring 18 points in the after leading the Lopers in scor- but lost to the third ranked team final game of her career, guard ing, three point shots made and North Dakota in the Finals of Liz Fischer of Leigh, the only assists. the North Central Regional held senior starter, became only the Three other players averaged in Grand Forks. fifth player in history to score in double figures - Amy However, the seventh seeded 500 points (501) in a season. Mathies, Millard North junior; Lopers made it to the regional The others are Darcy Stracke, Jade Meads, Elm Creek sopho- finals for only the second time Ginger Keller, Jessica more; and Melissa Hinkley, in history by upsetting third- Kedrowski and Cathy Weir. Lincoln East junior. seeded Augustana 75-68 and sixth-seeded Concordia-St. Paul For the latest on ALL 16 92-89 in overtime. The loss ended UNKs season at 22-10. UNK Sports visit 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 www.lopers.com10 l UNK Today l Spring 2007 Connealy was head coach dur-
Jura leads 24-7 Lopers LOPER SPORTSA ll-American Dusty a rugged rebounder and he Jura led the Loper bas- could slash to get the basket. He ketball team to a 24-7 became a much better shooterrecord and a spot in the semi- over the years."finals of the NCAA regional "A lot of that was coachtournament. Lofton working with me every Jura, a 6-6 senior from day," Jura said. "He wouldnt letColumbus Lakeview, completed me go a day without getting inhis storied career with a trunk- the gym and putting up 500load of honors on teams that shots per day. . . Its made mecompiled a 96-27 record the into the type of player I alwayspast four years. wanted to be." Jura said, “Once you get the HE WAS twice All- practice and repetition down it’sAmerican. He was twice just a mental game. I think onceAcademic All-American. He you get a little confidence inwas RMAC Player of the Year. your shot it’s a lot easier andHe was all-RMAC three times. that’s really what helped meHe was RMAC Freshman of the take steps forward every year.”Year. He was the first player in Jura was one of three seniorsmore than 30 years to average a who played key roles for thedouble/double, 21 points and 10 Lopers. Forward Chad Burgerrebounds. And, he is the only and guard James Lane, bothplayer to accumulate 2,000 from Colorado Springs, werepoints and 1,000 rebounds in the only other players to startUNK history. every game. Both averaged When UNK lost to defending RECORD BREAKER: All-American senior Dusty Jura became more than 12 points and earnednational champion Winona State the first Loper to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. All-RMAC honors the past twoin the regional tournament, Jura seasons. The other senior whohad the second-most points completed his career was guard(2,158) and the rebounds Collison (1,171) in rebounding. "He put in hour after hour in Tyler Fincher of Wausa.(1,071) in UNK history. Co-head coach Kevin Lofton the gym," Lofton said. "Thats Co-head coaches Lofton and He trails only Eric Strand said Jura was a product of his the biggest improvement hes Tom Kropp were named RMAC(2,173) in scoring and Paul own hard work. made. When he got here, he was Coaches of the Year.20th Annual Blue/Gold Pfeiffer captures secondGolf Scramble, June 10-11 national shot put title E ustis senior Lance vault, clear- An Athletic Scholarship Fundraiser Pfeiffer won his second ing 16 feet. national shot put title at B o t h Sunday, June 10th the NCAA Indoor track teams Championships. He also cap- finished at the Holiday Inn of Kearney tured the outdoor title in 2006 to fourth in the Social at 5 p.m., become the second Loper male R M A C Dinner and Auction following to win two national titles. indoor meet. Guest speaker: JoAn Scott ’86 Clayton Scott won the two-mile Pfeiffer, Nike’s director of NCAA High School races in 1954 and 1955. Lance Pfeiffer C o c h r a n e and Division I Conference Relations Two women athletes have and Kearney also won more than one national junior Ross Monday, June 11th championship. Beth Stuart won six titles in the weights and Fellows won individual titles. Fellows captured the triple jump Golf Scramble at 10 a.m. at both Donna Spickelmeier has three by leaping 47-10. Pfeiffers third Kearney Country Club and gold medals in distance events. indoor title in the shot earned Meadowlark Hills Golf Club Pfeiffers winning throw of him the 2007 RMAC Male Field Post Golf Party 61-0.75 was just short of his Athlete of the Year. school record of 61-2.75. Franklin sophomore Sam Contact UNK Athletics at Two other athletes also Murphy was the womens top earned All-American honors. athlete finishing second in the 308-865-8514 Waco sophomore Dane Tobey shot put and third in the weight for more information came in third in the shot with a throw. The cost is $195 per person. throw of 58-2.50 and Fairbury sophomore Dakota Cochrane captured eighth in the pole Spring 2007 l UNK Today l 11
ALUMNI NEWSPHOENIX (right): Leslie Easterbrook visits with Barb Bush,Dick Davenport and Dr. Dick Bush.PHOENIX (below): NU Foundation director of developmentPhil Kozera, alumni association president Larry Edwards, Catherineand Arnold Leonard, and Kay Edwards PZ A 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. T AZ TUCSON: Nanette Brobst, Megahn Schafer, Linda Dominguez and TUCSON: Ardean Hagemeister (standing) and Carol and Bill Crouse Betty Grassmeyer TZ A12 l UNK Today l Spring 2007