What does it really mean to be a Husker? Take a look into the experience of our students, faculty and staff.
Biochemistry · Howells, Nebraska
Coming from a small town in Nebraska, Carter knew he wouldn't know many people in Lincoln. So, he built his own community. By joining plenty of Registered Student Organizations, being active in the honors program and working at the Campus Rec, Carter started to find friends and mentors that helped him adjust to collegiate life. Being active on campus helped him to find his interests and make new friends, but it also taught him about diversity and respecting others. Hailing from a town of fewer than 600 people, he didn't grow up with many of the different cultures that are represented across the University of Nebraska–Lincoln campus. By reaching out and opening his mind, he was able to forge strong relationships with Huskers from across the world. "If you're close-minded, you aren't going to form anything, you're not going to learn anything.” Carter took the lessons he learned from his experiences on campus and applied them to his keynote speech during this year's Husker Dialogues. He urged students to be inclusive, respectful, outgoing and kind and also encouraged them to find some form of student involvement that interests them. With over 550 student organizations on campus, Carter says there's something for everyone. "Go to that one club meeting — you're going to find somebody want to meet," Carter said, "You're not going to really go anywhere or make any new friends unless you make the step to go and go do it."
Read all student stories
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."
Read all faculty stories
Associate Registrar · Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska is one of the few universities in the country to distribute actual diplomas to students as they cross the stage at commencement. And, if you’ve graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in the past 35 years, it’s Gail and her team members that made sure you received your diploma!
Read all staff stories
Gail joined the university 38 years ago working with international student admissions. Three years later she moved to the registrar’s office and began supporting students in a different way: making sure their experience graduating from Nebraska is as seamless as possible. Gail fell in love with the position and has been working with graduating students since.
"Any of my staff members would say there is tremendous satisfaction in having some part in seeing a student finish their academic career here and graduate. It’s very satisfying to have had some part in that happening.”
To clear students to graduate and prepare for the commencement ceremony, there are several moving parts for Gail and her team to complete. It begins months ahead of graduation with reviewing current grades and communicating with students who are at risk of not passing any required coursework—a key part in ensuring Huskers are able to receive their diplomas at commencement.
Then comes preparation for the commencement ceremony itself. After printing the diplomas and inserting them into their covers, Gail and her team triple-proof them for spellings, distinctions and other important details. Next is the meticulous process of making sure each diploma is in correspondence with the student who will receive it and the seat they’ll sit in during the ceremony—and mailing diplomas for students who don’t attend the ceremony.
After over 35 years, Gail continues to find great enjoyment in being a part of the unique experience that is Husker graduation. She is excited to keep supporting soon-to-be graduates and as Nebraska awards record numbers of degrees, it’s her goal to continue adapting to ensure the commencement ceremony is a celebration that will stay in Huskers’ memories for decades to come!
Class of 2001 · Lincoln, Nebraska
Katie uses her legal expertise to help Native American tribes. After graduating from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2001, she went on to Columbia Law School. Now, Katie is a part of the American Indian Law and Policy group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Read all alumni stories
Katie represents Native American tribes across the country and has expertise in the area of Indian water settlements. She always knew that she wanted to work on behalf of tribal nations. As a member of the Ponca Tribe, Katie was especially inspired by how passionate her family members were about leading and protecting Nebraska’s first peoples.
“Having my family members be very involved in our tribal government throughout my life...my great grandfather was the chief of my tribe, my grandma and aunt were on the tribal council, my mom is the Director of the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. Just seeing all of these role models in my life that were very much involved and passionate about protecting tribal sovereignty and working on behalf of Native people — that advocacy was ingrained in me from a very early age,” Katie said. “I think I always knew that was where I wanted to go and what I wanted to do.”
Aside from her many water settlements, one of Katie’s proudest moments as an attorney was when her pro bono work helped to place a statue of Nebraska’s Chief Standing Bear in the U.S. Capitol.
“Now when people go into the United States Capitol, they will see a Ponca leader that is honored there. It's very close to my heart and touching that there will be hundreds, thousands, millions of people who go on Capitol visitor tours and they will see a tribal leader from my tribe and try and learn more about our history,” Katie said. “Also, it is important to teach my children to be proud of who we are and where we come from — they can see that there's one of their tribal leaders in the United States Capitol who is honored and respected.”