What does it really mean to be a Husker? Take a look into the experience of our students, faculty and staff.
Sports media and communication and Ad/PR · Bellevue, Nebraska
Typically, working on assignments on a Saturday isn’t everyone’s vision of an ideal weekend.
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For Meg, who was photographing the Husker football spring game last weekend for her sports media and communication major at the College of Journalism & Mass Communications, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday.
“From the second I came here, this is exactly the sort of work I’ve wanted to be doing. Getting to take pictures on this scale for something that so many people are watching and attending is really cool.”
Meg grew up an avid sports fan, a passion that in high school blossomed into a habit of bringing her camera to every conceivable sporting event and covering them for social media.
“Any bit of free time I had, I was usually at a game or in the gym taking pictures for any of our teams.”
Realizing that sports media was her calling, College of Journalism & Mass Communications’s unique program seemed like a natural fit. And, as she wraps up her first year, Meg is feeling more confident than ever in her choice.
“The J-school does a really good job at getting students experience first thing when they come to college. I’ve gotten tons of experience this year alone taking pictures at games, writing stories, interviewing coaches and players — if I could encapsulate this first year in one word, it would be experience.”
And while her classes for her sports media major offer a variety of creative avenues — from producing podcasts to traditional broadcasting opportunities — Meg is also stretching her strengths with her internship in the Creative Media Department with Husker Athletics.
There, Meg assists with photography, content creation and social media management for a host of teams, from live-tweeting gymnastics meets to photographing the softball team.
“I love getting to be hands-on down on the field or the mat and working with athletes,” she says. “It’s been super welcoming — you come in as a freshman a little nervous to be around all the different athletes, but everyone just wants you to grow and learn, and I really love that.”
For more than 10 years, University of Nebraska–Lincoln professor Jesse Fleming has been teaching others about mindfulness. Jesse describes mindfulness as a practice, an awareness and a state of being that allows people to learn about themselves and the world. Along with providing the benefits of a deeper understanding of oneself and the world, mindfulness and meditation can also have an effect on health, according to Jesse. Clinical proof shows that the practice of meditation can help with stress reduction, anxiety and more. At the new Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, Jesse uses his expertise in the field of mindfulness to aid in his exploration of the constantly-developing world of media creation. He runs the Perceptual Technologies Lab, where he researches and creates immersive perceptual experiences centered on mindfulness. And when he's not stretching his strengths in the lab identifying new technologies, Jesse can be found teaching others about the practice of mindfulness. Every Monday he hosts the Mindfulness Meditation Drop-In Series. The series gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to learn and practice mindfulness with Jesse and others in an accepting group environment. "I feel very...touched and open to everyone who comes through the door for these sessions," Jesse said, "Because I know that is says, 'we're all going through stuff, we're all looking for a release, and we're willing to give something a try.'"
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Custodial Staff · UNL
As members of the UNL custodial staff, Bill and Crystal's main focus is to clean and maintain the university's facilities. But while that may be their main mission, one of their favorite aspects of the job is interacting with the students, faculty, and staff that they serve.
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Bill is responsible for a section of Hardin Hall and Crystal is stationed in Morrill Hall. After working in the halls for some time, the two have made connections with those they see during their shifts.
From friendships formed with professors they see every time they take a coffee break, to conversations shared with students about their families and studies, the pair have grown close people that frequent their buildings. "I've made some wonderful, wonderful relationships," Bill said. "And I do miss that right now because nobody's here." Now that access to campus is limited, Crystal and Bill still report for work at the same hours each day, but some of their old tasks are missing. With only employees that provide necessary support services entering campus, everyday practices like cleaning offices and wiping toddler-sized handprints off of the exhibit glass at Morrill Hall are no longer necessary.
But the most notable thing that's missing is the students, faculty, and staff that have become their friends. "When we're busy when we interact with people...that's our normal," Crystal said, "This is not normal." Bill and Crystal often interact more with the communities in their halls than they do with their own coworkers in the custodial services department. While this time might be lonely, strange, and even make them nostalgic for their old normal, they know that it won't always be this way. "I really have faith that we're going to get through this," Crystal said, "And we'll be back to seeing those little kiddos and the big kiddos coming into our building."
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.
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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.”