2015 Alumni Masters

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W. Kim Austen, '77

W. Kim Austen is president and chief operating officer (retired) at Nationwide. He led the former Allied Group, which included responsibility for Nationwide’s Allied Insurance, Scottsdale Insurance, Harleysville Insurance, Nationwide Agribusiness, and Titan Insurance business units. Austen serves on the board of directors of the United Way of Central Iowa and the Grand View University Board of Trustees. He received a B.S. degree in mathematics from UNL in 1977, and holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. A native of Fairbury, Nebraska, he is hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences.

 

 

Bob Cullinan, '77

Bob Cullinan has built a 40+ year career in nearly every facet of communications. After sportscasting stints in Omaha, Denver and California, he launched a career as a media and public relations consultant in 1989. A passion for cycling led to another career change in 2006, when he began working as a reporter and photographer at major bike racing events around the world. In April 2013 while biking, Cullinan was the victim of a hit-and-run crash near his home in Marin County, California. After a long recuperation, he’s back biking, and plotting his next move in the media. The 1977 UNL broadcast journalism grad is hosted by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

 

 

Erleen Hatfield, '91, '96

Erleen Hatfield is a partner of Buro Happold, a global multi-disciplinary engineering consulting firm, and is based in New York. She sits on many national industry committees and co-chairs the American Institute of Architects New York City Technology Committee. Among her notable projects are the World Trade Center Memorial Museum, the Atlanta Falcons new retractable roof stadium, Yale University’s School of Management, Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Abu Dhabi Media Zone. Hatfield teaches graduate architecture classes at Yale University and lectures at Pratt University. A Lincoln native and 1991 and 1996 UNL graduate, she is hosted by the College of Architecture.

 

 

Verne Holoubek, '67

Verne Holoubek, founder of Holoubek Studios, began the business as a street artist, earning money for college. As a college senior he created an iron-on heat-transfer and became an industry legend, with many of his T-shirts considered collectibles. His enterprise became a full-scale garment production plant in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, with Holoubek as CEO until the sale of Holoubek, Inc. in 2005. Today the environmentalist and his spouse, Terri, operate a 400-acre farm, 90 percent powered by solar energy. He is president of the Terri and Verne Holoubek Family Foundation, funding children's health and education. A 1967 UNL graduate, he is hosted by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

 

 

Garth Johnson, '97

Garth Johnson is curator of ceramics at the Arizona State University Art Museum in Tempe. He previously served as the Curator of Artistic Programs at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and spent seven years as a professor at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. Johnson, a 1997 UNL graduate, is a self-described craft activist who explores craft’s influence and relevance in the 21st century. He is leading a task force for a publication that will anthologize contributions to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Journal for their 50th Anniversary in 2016. The Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts is hosting his visit.

 

 

Dr. Al Kurtenbach, '62

Dr. Al Kurtenbach is cofounder of Daktronics Inc. and recently retired after 45 years as chairman of its board of directors. Twice named South Dakota’s Small Businessman of the Year, he currently serves on the boards of the South Dakota Enterprise Institute, the Growth Partnership, and the National Association of Manufacturers. He and his wife, Irene, live in the Sioux River Valley south of Brookings, South Dakota, where he is a conservationist and develops wildlife habitat. Kurtenbach received a master of science in electrical engineering from UNL in 1962 and is hosted by the College of Engineering.
 

 

 

Laura A. Schulte, '81

Laura A. Schulte has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, leading the largest banking divisions for Wells Fargo & Company. She currently serves as an executive management business adviser and consultant for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and also for Grubb Properties Inc., a major commercial real estate developer in the southern United States. Schulte has been named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking and one of the Top 25 Women to Watch in Banking. A 1981 accounting graduate of UNL, she is hosted by the College of Business Administration.