What does it really mean to be a Husker? Take a look into the experience of our students, faculty and staff.
English · Bellevue, Nebraska
Eric Morris likes to inspire and be inspired. One day, he hopes to become a renowned author, to see his novels or poetry books on shelves at Barnes & Noble or a local bookstore. "What do I hope to accomplish? I guess bringing something new into the world that wasn’t there before.” So while he works on his craft, he’s also helping others discover their own. Eric has seen the impact of a mentor firsthand. He’s had family, teachers and advisors he’s looked up to that have provided him guidance and helped him get from point A to point B. But the two mentors he had through Emerging Leaders—a program that supports recipients of the Nebraska Emerging Leaders Scholarship through continued success during their first year—were different. “They were immediately there for me and they were dedicated to guiding me through all of my first semester." After taking an interpersonal skills course and volunteering at the Lincoln Boys & Girls Club, he was even more determined to help other students through mentorship. Now, he’s coming up on his two years as a peer mentor through Emerging Leaders, helping other Huskers become comfortable and succeed through their first semester. Through the program, the mentors take on a class of students and actually teach curriculum that revolves around understanding yourself as the leader you want to become, navigating difficult conversations with others and reflecting on values and identities. Though he mainly teaches, Eric emphasizes the importance of connecting personally with his mentees, opening up to them and being a person they can rely on. "There’s definitely a lot more to us, whether we’re artists, or architects, or marine biologists, or nurses, or fashion designers, or a little bit of everything. I like to think that we’re more than just one of our goals and we’re more than just one of our interests."
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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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Curator of Collections · Omaha, Nebraska
Carolyn has traveled around the world gathering the textiles we often take for granted: quilts. She's been able to visit top artists in their studios across the globe, which allows her to better understand broader influences and see how much passion artists have for their work. She's currently celebrating her 20th year as the curator of collections at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, a state-of-the-art building that boasts over 4,000 quilts on Nebraska's East Campus. The Quilt Center collects thinly across a very broad range of quilts. Pieces range from unconventional materials, such as paper or electricity, to traditional patchwork. Carolyn loves the intimacy of quilts, because you can learn personal, social, cultural and technical issues. She believes quilters are just as much artists as painters or sculptors, and she's ready to put that debate behind us. Quilters are consciously involved in a creative act and making decisions with color and line. Although quilts may be stereotyped as something grandmothers make, there's a young, active quilting guild in the Lincoln and Omaha area. Carolyn's excited to see a younger audience bring in new perspectives, styles and colors to the art. The museum is free for students and their families, and if you're not in the mood to browse the exhibits, there's free WiFi and seating areas for studying.
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