2016 Writing Contest Winners

The winners of the 2016 Nebraska Magazine writing contest ranged from a member of the class of 1945 to the class of 2000. Three award winners and an honorable mention were selected in each of two categories: profiles and nostalgia. 


1st Profile The Patriot 

1st Place: "The Patriot" by Brian Pomplun

Being pinned down in a firefight for forty-five minutes in southern Afghanistan doesn’t allot a Marine with a variety of options. The first is both impatient and dangerous. Get up to return fire and ensure that you don’t walk away. 

2nd Profile UNL Grad Connects Nebraskans to Hollywood Dreams

2nd Place: "UNL Grad Connects Nebraskans to Hollywood Dreams" by Kristine Jacobson 

The limelight follows Todd Nelson wherever he goes. It started shining on him during his childhood in Holdrege, where at age 12, he cast his entire extended family in his adaptation of “Superman,” and it continues today.

3rd Profile Engineering a Dream Career 

3rd Place: "Engineering a Dream Career" by Darrell Anderson

Maureen Anderson has said it herself many times: lives were saved because no one has ever had to drive on a bridge she designed. As a published author and host of a nationally-syndicated radio talk show now, motorists everywhere can rest easy.


Honorable Mention Profile NE Radio Ambassador 

Honorable Mention: "Nebraska's Radio Ambassador" by Jim Schaffer

He didn’t hire Bob Devaney. But he helped. The year was 1962 and Chancellor Clifford Hardin wanted a committee of student leaders to visit with a person he was thinking to hire as the university’s next football coach.


1st Nostalgia UNL WW2 and Dandelions

1st Place: "Nebraska University, WWII and Dandelions" by Dorothy Heuermann Nelson

The fall of 1941 found me enrolled in Nebraska University, Lincoln, School of Agriculture. On a small scholarship as a Home Economics student. I lived the first semester with my Aunt Catherine and Uncle Bill Heuermann. 

2nd Nostalgia C'mon Boys 

2nd Place: "C'mon Boys!!" by Christa M. Britton

Growing up in rural Nebraska work was first priority. There was only one thing that would temporarily interrupt the chaotic workings of fall harvest, a hallowed time when we would consciously and collectively pause for a few moments as a family and experience…Husker football. 

3rd Nostalgia Nebraska Activity 

3rd Place: "Nebraska Activity" by Bruce Woody 

One might not normally consider Air Force ROTC to be a “student activity,” since it was a program offering student credit toward graduation. Yet, it was my favorite, sprinkled around as it was between courses in accounting theory and economics.

HM Nostalgia Burr Hall Bull Fry 

Honorable Mention:  "The Burr Hall Bull Fry" by Betty (Schlautman) Ruegge

The warm air is heavy with the scent of new grass and the possibility of a shower. Spring has sprung everywhere on campus and the students are just like bees exiting the hive, enjoying the change of seasons. Suddenly sand is flying as I dive for the ball...missed.