Alumni Spotlights

Eric Lund, '11
Former Husker track athlete Eric Lund has channeled his competitive spirit and perseverance growing his childhood farm into a 42-acre farm, Twin Lakes. After his father’s death in 2013, the horticulture and landscape design major knew farming would honor his dad’s memory.

Lee Briese, '19
Lee Briese is currently pursuing a doctorate of plant health degree at Nebraska. The North Dakota native still lives there and commutes to campus on a weekly basis to attend classes as a full-time student. Even while juggling a full-time job, as well, Lee has enjoyed every second of being a Husker.

Adelaide Paradise, '55
Patience and persistence were key for Adelaide “Addy” Paradise, who started her education at UNL in 1934 and graduated in 1955. She celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year and wrote about her UNL experiences in this story about her life. 

Twyla M. Hansen, ’79
Nebraska State Poet Twyla M. Hanson says her passion for writing was fueled by her experiences on the family farm she grew up on in northeast Nebraska.

Josh Cox, '10
Raikes School grad Josh Cox has a “thing for four-letter tech companies.” He began his career as a developer for Hudl and is now an engineer at Uber where he’s a member of the developer tools team.

Daniel Dawes, '06
A nationally recognized leader in healthcare law and policy, Daniel has led numerous efforts to address health issues impacting vulnerable and underserved populations. The Law College alum was honored this fall as an Alumni Master and was also an instrumental figure in shaping the Affordable Care Act. Watch our video interview. »

Emily Fay, ‘05
Emily Fay’s marketing passion and savvy were just the combination she needed to start the Nashville Huskers chapter in 2011. As the chapter leader, she’s able to channel her talents toward the group’s growth.

Desiree Bartels, UNL Senior
If you’re in need of a holiday sweater, Desiree Bartels has you covered. The senior theatre performance major combined her quirky holiday spirit and an entrepreneurial mind to start a seasonal business of renting out her collection of holiday sweaters.

Josh Marreel, ‘14
A young Marine turned his experience in Afghanistan into inspiration for helping fellow soldiers cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His nonprofit organization, Miles for Heroes, raises awareness for the 22 service men and women who take their own lives every day.

Joe Starita, ‘78
While writing his most recent book, “A Warrior of the People,” CoJMC grad and professor Joe Starita walked miles through his neighborhood thinking about the story he was writing – the story of the American West from a female Native American doctor’s point of view.

Caroline Okelberry, Class of '20
UNL freshman, 72-year-old Caroline Okelberry, is excited to be spending her retirement getting a college education, something she didn’t get to do earlier in her life.

Jane Green, '82
To Jane Green, Nebraska means home. And that’s not just because the Harvard, Nebraska, native is a graduate herself, married to NU’s chancellor and the mother of four UNL students.

Jon, ’90, ’94, and Marianella Jost, ’94
Jon and Marianella Jost met as students while attending UNL. After residing in Massachusetts, Texas and Florida, the couple decided to pursue their dream of moving to Costa Rica to become coffee farmers. 

Andrea Cranford, ’71
After 45 years of service as the editor of our Nebraska Magazine, Andrea Cranford, senior director of publications, will be retiring this summer. She has been a trailblazer, a mentor and a confidant to many people within our organization and the university. Her trademark laugh, editor’s eye for detail and role as NAA historian will also be missed around the office.

Kyle Arganbright, 06
Valentine, Nebraska native, Kyle Arganbright, is the mayor of Valentine, co-founder of Sandhills State Bank and, most recently, co-founder of Bolo Beer Company. While that may seem overwhelming, he’s passionate about his multi-faceted career path and loves that he’s working to make a difference.

Pete Allman, ’79, ’92
Co-founder and board president for Lighthouse Pete Allman knows trouble starts after the school bell rings for many Lincoln youth. But, Lighthouse provides a safe harbor for students with nowhere else to go.

Betsy Hardin, May 2016
McCook, Nebraska, native Betsy Hardin will graduate in May with a degree in Child, Youth and Family Studies with a specialization in Family Science and a minor in Education. When she started her senior year in fall 2015 and reflected upon her undergraduate career at UNL, one of her biggest regrets was not pursuing the opportunity to study abroad. So, when a professor approached her about traveling to India, she eagerly applied.   

Former Student's Film Received Oscar Consideration
Iris Elezi’s “Bota” was among 80 semifinal candidates for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and previously collected more than a dozen awards in film festivals internationally.

Melissa Dohmen ('08, '10) & Carson Vaughan ('10)
UNL graduates and native Nebraskans Melissa Dohmen and Carson Vaughan recently made their dream of traveling cross-country on a yearlong road trip a reality. 

Verne Holoubek, '67
Verne Holoubek’s more than 40-year career was a whirlwind. As the creator of the iron-on heat-transfer process for screen printing, he worked with high-profile clients and saw the industry evolve. His life hasn’t slowed down today, even after retirement. Holoubek and his wife Terri are focused on contributing to youth education and health through their foundation. 

Live B1G: MFA Student Educates through Comics
Bob Hall, an MFA student at UNL, hopes to educate middle school students about infectious particles – a typically dry and technical topic – in an unconventional way. Hall is using his writing and illustrating skills to create a 'World of Viruses' comic that engages students in a fun, visual manner. Watch how »

Monica Sucha Vickers, '76
Life as a congenital triple amputee could have been bleak for Monica Sucha Vickers, but she was determined to overcome the daily challenges she faced. Her memoir, “My Extraordinary Life,” was published in 2013.  

Kay Kunze, '98
For some, scuba diving along the Great Barrier Reef off the Australian coast may be the mark of an exotic vacation, but for Kay Kunze, it’s just part of an average workday. 

Madeleine Sheils, '12
Maddie Sheils, one of the best Husker golfers in history, is now making a name for herself in the professional arena. She recently solidified her first win on the Symetra Tour and has her sights set on the 2016 LPGA tour.

Christopher Jeffers, '12
Lt. Christopher Jeffers’ curiosity and fascination with flying led him to pursue a civil engineering degree at UNL. Now that he has graduated, he’s on his way to becoming a U.S. F-16 fighter pilot. 

Paul ('09) and Stephanie ('05) Jarrett
Journalism College graduates Paul and Stephanie Jarrett each found success in their own careers, working for advertising agencies and companies on the coasts, before taking a chance as entrepreneurs. In 2012, they founded Bulu Box in Lincoln, Nebraska and have been experiencing amazing success ever since. 

Adam Morfeld, '09, '12
Morfeld is well-deserving of the Early Achiever Award he was honored with at the 2015 Alumni Awards Banquet. He founded the nonprofit Nebraskans for Civic Reform, earned a law degree and was elected state senator all before the age of 30. His passion for bettering the community is evident in all of the work he has already done and continues to do. 

Christine Ngaruiya, M.D., '06, '10
At the tender age of 28, Christine Ngaruiya, M.D., is already a practicing physician working daily in the emergency room at Yale University New Haven Hospital. She’s also a fiercely dedicated social activist who spends most of her free time fighting for equal access to healthcare.

Edward Kodet Jr., UNL '68
“When you graduate, you kind of leave, it takes about 10 years and then you see that those relationships and good times (at UNL) were really more genuine than you thought they were at the time.”

Ayman Sahli, UNL '94
“There is something about the quality of the brand, the brand called Nebraska. You see it everywhere. Combine the quality with substance, it’s something. Not everybody has both.” 

Harod Lester Schudel, UNL '40, '41
As the co-founder of the Oregon-based Holiday Tree Farms, Inc. – the world’s largest supplier of Christmas trees, with more than one million shipped each year – Hal Schudel built an immense agricultural enterprise that’s often described as one of the most successful “start-ups” in the history of modern American business.

Zachary Schmahl, UNL '06
When this New York City cookie entrepreneur landed in the Big Apple in the summer of 2008, he thought he wanted to be a star on Broadway. But life was preparing something else for the former UNL theatre major ... today the hugely successful operator of a $2-million-a-year gourmet cookie business known as “Schmackary’s.”

Alex Gordon, UNL '06
With the 2014 Major League Baseball Post Season in full swing – particularly the Kansas City Royals – Nebraska Magazine opts to revisit our cover story for our summer magazine a year ago. It’s the tale of Nebraska’s favorite Royal – Alex Gordon – who, around July 4, 2013, was doing all he could to get his team to the playoffs. 

Marty Liggett, '72 UNL Graduate
Marty Liggett is the veteran executive director for the American Society of Hematology, a professional association that includes the world's largest group of physicians and researchers dedicated to fighting blood diseases of every kind.