I'm A Husker &
Shayne Marketing · Grand Island, Nebraska
As an adopted, first-generation college student, Shayne has experienced many firsts throughout his life in college. His background sets him apart in the way he approaches his time at the university. He credits the skills he learned when preparing for college - leadership, integrity and work ethic - as the things that have carried him through and led him to success. The connections he’s made through classes and involvement have transformed his perception of his ability to benefit the campus community. He encourages his peers to “make a difference and put yourself out there…leave the university in a better place than when you got here.”
“Make a difference and put yourself out there…leave the university in a better place than when you got here.”
Jazmin Fisheries & Wildlife · South Sioux City, Nebraska
For many, attending college can be a culture shock. Hailing from Nebraska, Jazmin did not assume she would have this same experience at a university in Lincoln. Jazmin’s high school was predominately comprised of minority students, much different than this university. The tradition and pride she holds for her Mexican heritage has allowed her to connect with many people, especially international students. What started as a Facebook search for students with an interest in soccer has bloomed into friendships with people from across the state, nation and world. Throughout her time at NEBRASKA, she has made a concerted effort to be a better listener in an attempt to learn from others. These listening skills especially aided her during her research abroad, studying hyenas in Botswana. “You can’t enter their country with your perspective,” she warns, encouraging peers to be more open-minded both domestically and internationally.
“You can’t enter their [another] country with your perspective”
Rousol Architecture · Lincoln, Nebraska
Rousol’s college career has shown a progression of challenge and change. Every year, she learned to be a better person and a better citizen. The ambition and drive she’s aimed to demonstrate throughout college are also qualities she admires in many of her peers. The opportunities the university has afforded her have prepared her to be a global citizen. She’s noticed important changes on campus this year - from seeing more women in hijabs to the inclusive messaging from administration - she feels the university is creating a safe haven for all. To students, faculty and staff at the university, she reminds, “You impact us more than you know.”
“To students, faculty and staff at the university, she reminds, “You impact us more than you know.””
Donde Executive Vice Chancellor & Chief Academic Officer ·
From Texas to Tennessee to Nebraska, Donde Plowman has worked with thousands of students across the U.S. Her experiences as a mom of a Nigerian-born son and her work over the years with minority students have helped elevate her appreciation of diversity in all environments. Beginning her tenure at Nebraska as the dean of the College of Business Administration, Donde’s role as a female leader in a male-dominated field didn’t deter her from leading CBA to new accomplishments. She credits our welcoming and accepting citizens for helping her. In a new leadership job at the university, she continues to focus on excellence, community and impact, and she believes respectful interaction and interest in the viewpoints of others allow us all to do better.
“I believe respectful interaction and interest in the viewpoints of others allow us all to do better.”
Steven journalism, advertising and public relations · omaha, nebraska
Coming to the university with a set life plan in mind, Steven was thrown for a loop when he decided to change majors during his junior year. After confiding in academic advisors and friends, he realized his goals had shifted. This sense of depth in conversations is something he’s tried to implement throughout his time at the university. He noticed that many people he encountered had a shield up when conversing with others, and stayed comfortable with surface-level conversations. Steven, though, has aimed to dive right in and show his true self to everyone he meets quickly in their relationship. From bridging gaps between international and domestic students to facilitating conversations at new student enrollment, he thrives on the connections he builds with others on campus. Steven recognizes that in order to engage in diversity, you have to reach out. If you only stick with your friend group in your comfort zone, you’ll likely miss out on incredible friendships and lessons. “So say ‘hi’ and start a conversation…you’ll be surprised how many doors it opens for you.”
“Say ‘hi’ and start a conversation…you’ll be surprised how many doors it opens for you.”
Sydney Broadcasting, Advertising, and Public Relations · Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Walking on campus as a senior, Sydney is watching her college career come full circle. From entering campus knowing almost no one, to now, constantly recognizing acquaintances and friends on the sidewalk, she is appreciative of the situations that have put her where she is today. The growth and culture shock she was forced to face in adjusting to college life is something she willingly put herself through multiple times throughout college by interning abroad. She sees her eagerness to grow mirrored in many of her peers. As she puts it, “Everyone here is working toward a greater purpose.” As she pursues her larger destiny in life, she recognizes the importance of always learning and growing. She encourages everyone to ponder, “If you could strive to be better, what would that look like?” Campus can be a tough place; we might as well teach and encourage others to be better, to be more culturally sensitive and understanding to make all feel welcome.
“Everyone here is working toward a greater purpose.”
Nurik Finance · Khujand, Tajikistan
With a smile from ear to ear and infectious enthusiasm, Nurik is one to leave an impression on everyone he meets. Coming to the university as an international student, he saw himself as self-sufficient and was always helping others. In college, however, the tables turned - requiring Nurik to be the one asking for assistance. Whether questioning his domestic-student roommates why a joke was funny or having another set of eyes read over his paper in the writing center, he is very appreciative of the academic and social support he’s received in Lincoln. Originally, Nurik sought comfort in students similar to him, like in the Russian Club on campus. Soon, though, he realized the importance of immersing himself in the diversity of campus to strengthen his understanding of himself and American culture. As for most every student, freshman year was full of lessons about independence and growing up. Through it all, Nurik faces adversity with a smile on his face. The kindness he prides himself on demonstrating is what he feels connects him most to other Huskers. For all faculty, staff and students at the university, Nurik offers one piece of advice - “Smile more.”
“I realized the importance of immersing myself in the diversity of campus to strengthen my understanding of myself and American culture.”
Joe Athletic Training · Wayne, Nebraska
After spending nearly twelve years with the U.S. Army, Joe assumed college would be a piece of cake. “They’re not trying to kill me,” he reasoned. His tasks during deployment were straight-forward; college, however, was harder than expected. He was, and remains to be, constantly busy - with classes, internships and his work as a student veteran peer mentor. Though his education at the university is not easy and takes a great deal of effort, he, like most other students, finds college to be pretty fun. The values instilled in Joe during his military career transfer over to his role as a student - motivation, focus and hard work. Though he is grateful for the work of fellow student veterans in creating a resource center and accompanying student organizations, he sees great opportunity for more veterans to attend the university. The maturity and work ethic of these students is well-developed, preparing them for a successful career as a student. His education at Nebraska has given him a great advantage when going into his post-collegiate career, and Joe readily praises his professors and advisers for their help. As he has been for years, Joe is and will continue to be a life-long Husker.
“The values instilled in my military career transfer over to my role as a student - motivation, focus and hard work.”
Christian English · Bellevue, Nebraska
With a vast vocabulary and eloquent voice, Christian has always had a love for words. Whether competing as a member of the university speech and debate team or walking the halls of Andrews for his classes as an English major, he largely defines his time at the university through his academic experience. Christian loves his field of study, because, “Everyone takes an English class, so you meet people from all walks of life.” Getting to know new people through classes and his on-campus job at the University Bookstore, he prides himself as being a friendly face on campus. Though his positivity is evident through his smile and presence, college hasn’t always been pleasant for Christian. From being gay to struggles with body image and mental health, the once sturdy person Christian saw himself as came to a crumbling halt. By seeking support from friends, family and the counseling and psychological services office in the health center, he came to peace with himself and started on a new path. Changing his ways and adjusting to the level of freedom he has in college taught him the importance of not putting false expectations on himself or others. Christian is now confident in who he is and the role he plays at this university, because no matter where he and his fellow students end up in the world, they will always be Huskers.
“Changing my ways and adjusting to the level of freedom in college has taught me the importance of not putting false expectations on myself or others.”
Leemah Political Science and Global Studies · Omaha, Nebraska
As a first-generation student of Afghan descent raised in the Midwest, Leemah has always understood her cultural and racial identities are fluid. Taking pride in the different aspects of her life, she has found the university to be a great place to call home during the transformative years of college. Though she has experienced personal growth throughout her time, she did not always understand her place at this university. The resources on campus, as well as the education she obtained from classes and involvement, have allowed Leemah to carve out her own place and grow in her understanding of people both similar and different from her. Her convictions have developed steadily with her knowledge - a friendly reminder that people can and will believe in you if you believe in what you’re saying.
“At the end of the day, we will never understand the individual experiences of each person. What we can do, however, is validate them.”