I'm A Husker &
Hadi Mechanical Engineering · Safwa, Saudi Arabia
Originally from Saudi Arabia, Hadi moved to Nebraska in 2014 to enroll into Nebraska's engineering program. As a kid, he had a fascination with how cars and other objects worked and he'd often ask his mother how a simple, plastic gas pedal could make a whole car move. During his freshman year, Hadi said he found himself stuck in the same routine of going to class and going home. While he was learning a lot in his classes, he began to feel that he was simply going through the motions and not fully enjoying his college experience. One day, however, his friend pushed him to get involved and join an on-campus organization. This decision, he said, put some "flavor" back into his college experience. Since then, Hadi has served as an New Student Enrollment Leader and a member of math club and the
Jacinta Nutrition and Diatetics · Lincoln, Nebraska
Jacinta was a high-achieving, outgoing student. But when she found herself growing unmotivated and sleeping a lot, she realized that she needed help. She turned to her religion, her academic advisor and Counseling and Psychological Services before going to the doctor. Finally, in March 2016, Jacinta was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Though Type 1 Diabetes is considered a childhood disease, it is on the rise in teens and young adults. Type 1 occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the bloodstream to dangerous levels. Her doctor got her started on insulin and worked with her to find a pump that would work best. Jacinta was referred to an on-campus diabetes educator, which was helpful for her in learning how to further manage her disease. Educating herself on diabetes made her rethink a few things, including her major. She switched from elementary education to nutrition and dietetics in the hope of becoming a dietician where she could one day work with clients with diabetes. Jacinta hopes to make an impact before she even graduates as the social media director of the university's College Diabetes Network. In this role, she seeks to raise awareness and provide students an additional on-campus resource. Sharing her experience and advocating for diabetes awareness has left Jacinta feeling that she's serving a larger purpose now than ever before.
“Jacinta hopes to make an impact before she even graduates as the social media director of the university's College Diabetes Network. ”
Katy Agriculture and Environmental Sciences · Rochester, Minnesota
Katy is part of the 85 percent of college students who have faced feelings of depression and hopelessness. For Katy, these feelings that began the summer before her sophomore year of college worsened when the school year started. She wasn't going to class and was self-harming, skipping out on social events and not doing what, at one point, made her happy. However, on social media, she made it seem like she was a thriving college student because she didn't want her friends and family to think that she was struggling. A suicide attempt served as a wake-up call for her to get the help she needed. Katy reached out to CASNR Cares, a safe place where faculty and students can get the resources they need if they're in traumatic situations. They helped Katy get into a hospitalization program. During her one month stay in the hospital, she focused on her spiritual journey, mental health and rediscovering herself. Katy learned that it's important to make a conscious effort to act against your own brain: taking your medication, going to therapy and staying away from harmful triggers. To further help her journey, Katy put together a wellness toolbox. This "toolbox" holds items, activities, and people she can turn to when she needs them, including puzzles, her mom and her favorite music. Following through with your therapy plan, fighting against your urges and relying on a "toolbox" are all part of being a survivor and continuing to survive. By sharing her story, Katy hopes to alleviate the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness. Nebraska provides numerous resources to help students through and beyond their mental health journey.
“By sharing her story, Katy hopes to alleviate the stigma surrounding depression and mental illness.”
Joe Air Force Veteran · Lincoln, Nebraska
Joe Brownell, director of Nebraska’s Military and Veteran Success Center, said he operates the center with one goal in mind: helping students achieve their academic and career goals. “Some [students] take a straight path, and others may have to explore a little bit more, but through it all you’re creating connections so that individuals are successful not only here, but in society,” he said. The Military and Veteran Success Center, now in its fourth year, provides support to students in regard to their military service and academics, offering academic tutors, peer mentors and even medical tests and screenings. For Brownell, the military wasn’t just about serving but doing your part. That’s why he got involved with the center shortly after he retired from the Air Force in August 2018, “I’ve always believed in servant leadership, and this is helping to do that,” Brownell said. “Your career doesn’t end when you leave the military, you still have to give back." As director of the program, Brownell said his main job is to ensure that students have the services and the support that they need to be successful. While it hasn’t always been an easy journey, which Brownell attributes to there not being enough time in the day, he still takes pride in seeing students succeed and accomplishing their goals. “At the end of the day, whatever decisions we make, if we’re focused on the students we’ll be successful,” Brownell said.
“For Brownell, the military wasn’t just about serving but doing your part.”
Bridget Biological Science · Colby, Kansas
Just three years ago, Bridget Bickner was sitting in a biology class not knowing of the opportunities coming her way. Now, as a teaching assistant for microbiology classes, Bridget said it's rewarding to teach for the same class that helped fuel her passion for science. Serving as a mentor and educator has allowed her to pay it forward to other passionate students. Through the long lab hours and unique experiments, Bridget said she has found her place within the biological sciences department. What has also helped her find her place at Nebraska is the university's UCARE program. UCARE gives undergraduate students the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty research advisors. The program, she said, has been one of the most beneficial aspects of her college experience as it has given her the chance to form connections with faculty within the field. Being part of the program eventually led her to apply for summer research programs, including one at Harvard University. The competitive program gave Bridget the opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and bring the skills she's gained at Nebraska to the east coast, researching why the plant species Phlox drummondii blooms in different colors. She said she owes her drive to apply for advanced research programs and her desire to spread her knowledge to others to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
“Serving as a mentor and educator has allowed her to pay it forward to other passionate students. ”
Riana Education · Lincoln, Nebraska
What began as a high school senior project for Riana has since turned into an ongoing passion project. Whether it be an up-and-coming business owner or a passionate Nebraska student, Riana has the ability to form people's stories into art. Her interest in storytelling was shaped through her curiosity for history—reading the stories from people of the past sparked her desire to do her own storytelling. This passion has led her to create Kind Magazine, a literary magazine that highlights people all over Lincoln who have made a difference in the community and serves as a way for people to get to know others in the community. When Riana came to the university, she was unsure how she'd continue the magazine. But, the programs she's been involved in, including UNL Nova, the university's Asian-interest sorority group, as well as the people she's met here have given her the inspiration she needed. The wholesome and passionate people in Lincoln and throughout the university have given her a place to belong, inspiration to draw from and a thriving community she gets to be a part of. As Riana continues her chapter at Nebraska, she strives to make an impact by elevating the voices of those within the Lincoln community.
“Whether it be an up-and-coming business owner or a passionate Nebraska student, Riana has the ability to form people's stories into art.”
Grace Psychology · Fernandina Beach, Florida
Grace Mosier is used to moving around. As the daughter of a retired Navy officer, she grew up living in eight different states and attending 11 different schools. Every three years, Grace and her family would pack up everything they knew, leave behind the friends they promised to keep in touch with and start a new life in a new home. When Grace chose the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her high school classmates questioned her decision and were worried she wouldn't thrive so far from home. Of course, leaving the comfort of home and coming to a school without knowing anyone was scary. But Grace said moving so frequently has given her the ability to adapt and make friends easily. Since day one of her freshman year, Grace knew it was important for her to get involved and welcome her new life at Nebraska with open arms. Now Grace is making an impact on students that were in the same position she was through her work with @unl_nse where she has helped teach incoming students how to be successful at Nebraska. All of her involvements, from greek life executive roles to the Nebraska Alumni Advisory Council, Grace said she has been able to enhance her leadership and communication skills, become friends with other passionate students and create a home for herself here.
“All of her involvements, from greek life executive roles to the Nebraska Alumni Advisory Council, Grace said she has been able to enhance her leadership and communication skills, become friends with other passionate students and create a home for herself here.”
Michael Biological Science · Scribner, Nebraska
Coming from a high school class of 18 to a college of over 25,000 may seem daunting, but Michael Broussard always dreamed of being a Husker. Watching football season after season as a kid, Michael has always known the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the place where he belonged. He embraced the transition from a small town to a large school, getting involved from day one and fully immersing himself into what Nebraska has to offer. During his sophomore year, Michael got involved with an on-campus organization called Camp Kesem (@campkesem_unl), a nonprofit organization that supports children through and beyond their parent's cancer. His own experiences with cancer prompted him to get involved. When Michael's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer his freshman year of college, he saw how it affected his younger sisters. After her diagnosis, his sisters went to Camp Kesem and Michael became interested in how Camp Kesem made an impact in children's lives. Camp Kesem, he said, has allowed him to grow and help kids understand and cope with the uncertainties revolving around their parent's cancer. The organizations he's joined and the people he's met have made his time at Nebraska life-changing. When reflecting on his favorite student life memories, Michael can't just say one. Every football game, class and organization he's been apart has given him more reasons to love the university and continue to grow as a student.
“When reflecting on his favorite student life memories, Michael can't just say one.”
Yajaira and Ana Spanish/Latin American Studies and Sociology/Spanish · Crete and Grand Island, Nebraska
Finding a place to belong in college has always been important for Yajaira López-Villa and Ana Perez-Sinic. Being away from their families, Yajaira and Ana wanted to provide a home away from home for themselves and other Latina students. They thought the university needed more options for students to celebrate their culture and bringing Kappa Delta Chi, a national Latina sorority, to Nebraska's campus seemed like the perfect solution. They were drawn to the sorority's passion for latin culture, academics, immigrant rights and cancer research. While completing national's requirements, Yajiara and Ana decided to give their chapter the name EMERALD, the national chapter's stone. Ana, the president of EMERALD, said the organization gives Latina students at Nebraska a feeling of sisterhood and an opportunity to be part of something that is bigger than themselves. As EMERALD continues to grow, both Ana and Yajiara hope this group gives Latina women a place to go and serves as a community where they can write their own story.
“They thought the university needed more options for students to celebrate their culture and bringing Kappa Delta Chi, a national Latina sorority, to Nebraska's campus seemed like the perfect solution.”
Alex Music Education · Hays, Kansas
Alex Crowley's first memory playing an instrument was in seventh grade band. As an aspiring music teacher, he now spends his days rehearsing, practicing his six instruments and participating in recitals. A fourth generation Husker, Alex said the University of Nebraska-Lincoln was always his dream school. Both of his parents were music majors and his mom even graduated from the same program in which Alex is currently studying. Alex was initially impressed by the opportunities provided by Glenn Korff School of Music (@unlsofmusic) but he has been most impacted by the connections he's made at Nebraska. Throughout his college career, he has gained confidence and strengthened his dedication for music and he is moved by how invested Nebraska faculty are in seeing students succeed. Alex's ever-growing passion has led him to be the trombone section leader for the Cornhusker Marching Band and play in both the wind ensemble and symphonic band. It's the people within these involvements and the evolving student life that have given him the college experience he has always envisioned for himself. The connections he has formed with his music professors, members of the marching band and other passionate students have positively impacted him physically and mentally. Alex hopes to provide a similar experience to his future students, helping them gain confidence, explore new interests and find something that makes them happy. Just like he's found at Nebraska.
“The connections he has formed with his music professors, members of the marching band and other passionate students have positively impacted him physically and mentally.”