What does it really mean to be a Husker? Take a look into the experience of our students, faculty and staff.
Accountancy · Sioux Falls, South Dakota
As an out-of-state, first-generation and biracial student, there were plenty of times when Andee felt like she was the only person in the room that understood her experiences. But instead of sinking into that lonely feeling, she sought out and created supportive communities that would uplift her and push her forward. During her undergraduate studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Andee was active as a mentor for DREAMBIG Academy and First Husker — two programs that are aimed at helping first-generation and underrepresented students achieve their college goals. She was also a resident assistant for housing and a tutor at an elementary school. Her passion for helping students like herself also led her to found a campus organization for her fellow Black students in accounting. With the help of Associate Professor Crabtree and the accountancy program, Andee was able to join the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) during her undergraduate career. After attending the association's student conference for two years, Andee felt the impact of the program and decided it was time to create a student chapter on UNL's campus. UNL's NABA chapter is now officially a registered student organization on campus, and Andee hopes to have the chapter recognized by the national organization this fall. To Andee, the organization is an opportunity for Nebraska College of Business to have an inclusive space for Black students to share their experiences, dispel their insecurities and grow together in their careers. "I feel like a lot of times students kind of have imposter syndrome in these experiences, and so I think it's important for them to realize like, 'There's other people doing it — I can do it.'"
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Associate Professor of Entomology · Waverly, Nebraska
Everyone has something they're passionate about. For associate professor Tom Weissling, that something happens to be so small that most people don't even notice it during their day-to-day lives: bugs. Though he's now an associate professor of entomology, Tom didn't always have a keen interest in insects. In fact, during undergrad, he took his first entomology class only because he was interested in fly fishing. Three degrees in entomology later, Tom can thank his hobby for helping him find his passion. Most of Tom's appointment as a professor is focused on teaching. While he teaches higher-level entomology courses to students in the program, he's also taught introductory-level insect biology classes to students of all academic majors. In those courses, he uses his enthusiasm for the subject to show students all the great things insects can do, like pollinating and breaking down dead plant material. Many students start the course with an aversion to bugs, but by the end they leave it knowing all the good insects do. "Even if you just reach one person every now and then, that's a huge win for me."
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Director of the Women's Center · Lincoln
Jan has been the director of the Women's Center since 1998, but that's not where her NEBRASKA story began. She started her undergrad at Nebraska, but at the end of her freshman year, her mother suddenly passed away. When she came back the next fall, no one asked if she was okay. She kept it together for two more years, but eventually flunked her classes and dropped out. After three years, she came back to school and discovered the Women's Center. She felt completely welcomed, and the people there gave her resources and connections to cope with her loss. That experience has shaped how she directs the center today. Now, there are a lot more men interested in violence prevention work, and Jan has even created a men and masculinity class that's being offered this spring. More services have been created, too, like free confidential counseling, 6,000 gender-related books and outreach programs. These programs include UNL Prevent, a relationship violence peer education group that focuses on bystander intervention and sexual assault awareness, and Healthy Outlook Peer Educators, a group that focuses on body image and self esteem. When reflecting on her time so far, Jan is most proud of the alumni that took the center's philosophy of empowerment and collaboration to make real change in the world. One has gone on to be the director of the Women's Fund in Omaha, another works in Denver at a eating disorder recovery center and many more are making a positive impact in our community.
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