The Division of Student Affairs honors the diverse contributions of staff, faculty, and community stakeholders through various recognition awards, programs, and grant opportunities. Whether honoring supporting friends of the Division of Student Affairs, or current staff and faculty, we value each person’s unique contributions to the Division of Student Affairs and the University of Nebraska – Kearney. It is through opportunity and the extraordinary accomplishments of many that we lay the foundation for future Lopers.
Peruse the tabs below to view current and past award recipients.
LeAnn Obrecht, Director, Counseling & Health Care
Mary Daake, Director, Office of Academic & Career Services
Anita Kucera, Director, Office of Residence Life
C. Gail Zeller, Dean Emerita, Division of Student Affairs
The Student Affairs Partnership Award is presented to individuals who have actively worked to create a successful experience for a UNK student, or group of students, by partnering with or by utilizing the resources and personnel within the Division of Student Affairs. The Partnership Awards are presented to individuals in four distinct categories: Faculty, Administration, Support Staff/Service Providers, and Off-Campus individuals. Nominations for the aforementioned awards should clearly define how the nominee worked to establish a successful outcome for the student(s) and how they utilized Divisional resources in doing so.
Viero Events Center, Kearney Business & Venue
Sherry Morrow, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Technology
Dr. Doug Biggs, Associate Dean, College of Natural & Social Sciences and Professor, Department of History
Dr. Krista Forrest, Professor, Department of Psychology
Nick's Gyros, Kearney Business
UNK Dining Services
Dr. Dennis Pottoff, Professor, Department of Teacher Education
Mr. Lee McQueen, Director, Department of Facilities Management & Planning
Dr. Ed Scantling, Dean, College of Education
Mrs. Janet Wilke, Dean, Library
Dr. Gary Davis, Director, Honors Program and Professor, Department of Music & Performing Arts
Mr. Ray Schutte
Dr. Linda Van Ingen, Associate Professor, Department of History
Dr. Grace Mims, Chair & Professor, Department of Counseling & School Psychology
The award for Outstanding Student Affairs Professional is presented to a candidate with a minimum of five years experience who demonstrates outstanding commitment to the profession and who have contributed to programs that address the needs of students and are experienced in creating campus environments that promote student learning and personal development, while initiating and maintaining mentoring relationships with new professionals throughout the Division.
Sharon Pelc, Director, Office of Student Life
David Brandt, Disabilities Services Coordinator, Office of Academic Success
Juan Guzman, Director, Office of Multicultural Affairs
Dusty Newton, Director, Office of Undergraduate Recruitment & Admissions
The award for Outstanding New Professional is presented to a candidate who has no more than three years of post-graduate (Bachelor’s or Master’s) experience and is currently employed at least half-time within the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Nebraska – Kearney. Nominees should have displayed creativity in problem-solving, a commitment to their own professional development, and have sought to improve the skills and knowledge of their colleagues while creating successful partnerships with UNK students.
Becky Davidson, Transcriber Supervisor, Office of Academic Success
Traci Gunderson, Advisor, Office of Academic & Career Services
Brette Ensz, Counselor, Office of Undergraduate Recruitment & Admissions
Scott Benson, Assistant Director, Office of Residence Life
The award for Outstanding Support Staff is presented to a candidate who has made significant contributions to their office or department by consistently providing outstanding customer service; by showing attention to detail in all facets of his/her performance; is willing to exceed expectations; is always striving for efficiency of services, programs, budgets; and actively supports all endeavors of the campus-wide community.
Lonna Weiss, Office of the Dean
Julie Smith, Office of Undergraduate Recruitment & Admissions
Jacque Triplett, Office of Financial Aid
Joni Weed, Office of Academic & Career Services
The award for Outstanding Graduate Assistant is presented to a candidate who is currently working to finish a Master’s degree and is employed as a Graduate Assistant within the Division of Student Affairs. Nominees should have displayed a commitment to the provision of outstanding service towards students and other key constituents, will have taken steps to provide innovative and efficient programs or services, and has consistently gone ‘above and beyond’ position requirements in order to maximize both their education and the contribution to their supporting office or department.
Jordan Loschen, Office of Counseling & Health Care and Office of Multicultural Affairs
Caitlin Thomas, Office of Residence Life
Christopher Miller, Office of Residence Life
Monica Mueller, Office of Multicultural Affairs
The University of Nebraska system, composed of UNK, UNL, UNO, and UNMC, recognizes the importance of honoring accomplished faculty, staff, students, and community leaders and organizations for significant contributions and achievements. A University of Nebraska “Kudos Award” recognizes staff who go “above and beyond,” while Resolutions are presented by the Board of Regents to honor service to the University.
Recipients will be announced in August.
No Student Affairs recipients were announced.
Jenny Holen, Office of Multicultural Affairs
For more than 30 years, the Pratt-Heins Foundation has recognized University of Nebraska – Kearney faculty members for their outstanding contributions in the categories of teaching, service, and scholarship and research.
The award for scholarship and research is based upon evidence of the consistent production of original work in the nominee’s discipline. Each nominee submits a list of research documents and publications, evaluations from individuals qualified to evaluate the scholarship and research of the nominee, and administrative evaluations from the department chair and dean.
Selection for the award is also based upon peer evaluations from faculty, student comments from course evaluations, and the chair and dean of the nominee’s department. Pratt-Heins winners receive a plaque and $1,000.
Recipients will be announced in August 2014.
One University-wide Departmental Teaching Award (UDTA) is presented each year in honor and recognition of a department or unit within the University of Nebraska system, composed of UNK, UNL, UNO, and UNMC, that has made a unique and significant contribution to the teaching efforts of the University and which has outstanding “esprit de corps” in its dedication to the education of students at the undergraduate, graduate, or professional levels. This award is presented by the University of Nebraska President, in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
UNK Department of Biology, 2014
UNK Department of Marketing & Management Information Systems, 2012
The Staff Awards for Excellence (SAFE) awards are presented annually to recognize University of Nebraska – Kearney staff members for outstanding service to students, the institution, and higher education in general. The Chancellor grants this honor during the Fall Convocation.
The awards are sponsored by Fidelity Investments and presented directly to staff by Patrick Vaughan, Vice President & Managing Director of Fidelity Investments.
Recipients will be announced in August 2014.
Judy Spellman, Office of the Dean, Division of Student Affairs
Chelsea Swarm, Department of Human Resources
June Kenton, Department of Facilities Management & Planning
Cyndi Schroeder, Office of Student Records & Registration (Registrar)
Claris Lewis, Department of Facilities Management & Planning
Joan DeHaven, Office of Business Services & Accounts Payable
Michelle Hamaker, Department of Police & Parking Services
Dee Goedert, Library
Michelle Smidt, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics