Volume 16 Issue 5                                                                              December 2009

                     “Our mission is to provide qualifying students with comprehensive and
                            individualized academic support in higher education.”

                                               DISTINGUISHED TUTOR FALL 2009!
 Memorial Student Affairs Bldg
 Kearney, NE 68849-2365                               VALERIE
 Office: (308) 865-8988                                     SIS
 FAX: (308) 865-8286

 Director                                Valerie Sis is the Academic Success Fall 2009 Distinguished
  Amanda Granrud, M.A.                Tutor! Valerie has assisted UNK students with Math and Spanish
  granrudal@unk.edu                   since Fall 2008. She earned CRLA (College Reading and Learning
                                      Association) Master Certification in Spring 2009. As a Math and
 STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES             Spanish education major from Atwood, Kansas, Valerie became a
                                      tutor because she loves to help people and thought tutoring would be
 Assistant Director                   good practice for her career as a teacher after graduating in Spring
   Rashawn Harvey, B.A.
                                      2011. One of Valerie's nominating tutees praised her "well-spoken"
 Office Associate                     and "calm" approach to tutoring, as well as her ability to make math
   Beth Reid, B.S.                    "fun and easy" for the students she serves. Accordingly, Valerie
   reide@unk.edu                      advises students not to be afraid of getting help: "Tutoring is one of
 Office Assistant                     the best ways to stay 'on top' of your homework. Just don't wait until
   Kristi Marshall, B.S.              it's too late!" Valerie's academic prowess, approachable personality,
   marshallka@unk.edu                 and active leadership help make the Academic Peer Tutoring
 Advisor                              Program an accessible and significant resource for UNK. We are
   Bridgette Swenson, B.S.            proud to honor her outstanding efforts to build a supportive and
   swensonbl@unk.edu                  innovative department. Congratulations, Valerie!
   Megan Friesen, B.A.
   friesenmm@unk.edu                            OUTSTANDING TUTEE FALL 2009!
 LEARNING STRATEGIES OFFICE             Joe Beaumont is a senior from Camarillo, California majoring in
                                      Psychobiology (comprehensive). Joe was nominated for this award
 Assistant Director
   David Brandt, M.F.A.               by Writing Tutor Elizabeth Thomas, who says that Joe makes
   brandtdl@unk.edu                   tutoring very rewarding. He is positive, self-motivated, and very
 Instruction Coordinator              appreciative of the assistance Academic Success provides: "When I
   Shelley Yentes, B.S.               help him by making corrections, [Joe] always says...that he is "very
   yentessj@unk.edu                   grateful" for what I've taught him and that he really likes just
 Tutor/Assessment Coordinator         improving--which he is definitely doing!" Joe feels that Academic
   Keri Pearson, B.S.                 Success has helped him become a more effective student and writer,
   pearsonka@unk.edu                  and advises students to use tutoring because "...the tutors have a lot
 Graduate Assistant                   to offer." After he graduates, Joe plans to go to nursing school, pay
   Corrie Clay, B.A.
                                      off loans, and spend his life working in third world countries.
 Transcription Supervisor             Congratulations, Joe!
    Dawn Oltman, B.S.
                                      The following students should also be commended as nominees for
                                      the Outstanding Tutee Award this semester:
    Becky Davidson, B.A
                                        Whitney Dahl              Taylor Franzen        Kristen Mikulan
                                        Cameron Deter             David Garretson       Paul Stuart
    Aisha Goodridge                     Tiffany Doss              Garret Johnson        Pedro Vasquez

  The Outstanding Student Award is presented to upper-classmen students who exemplify
scholarship, leadership, and service to UNK and to the community. Award recipients epitomize a
successful blend of ability, work ethic, and spirit of the pursuit of excellence.

Alisha Eden
  Alisha is from Hildreth, Nebraska majoring in Family Studies. Awards/honors she has received at UNK include being
on the Dean’s list for four consecutive semesters and receiving the SSS Pacesetter award during her freshmen year.
Two goals she has set for the future are to find a position as an Activities Director and to be successful in that position
wherever it may take her. Her advice for entering freshmen is to work hard, but also have some fun as well. How has
SSS supported her academic goals? “SSS has made the playing field more leveled; I had an equal chance to succeed
as much as anyone else.”

“Alisha has always been a very hard working student determined to succeed and she has! She doesn't give up and
when there is a barrier she moves it out of her way so it won't interfere with her goals. Bridgette Swenson, Nominator

Barnabas Kiir
   Barnabas, a senior Political Science major from Sudan, Africa, has been selected as the Fall 2009 Outstanding
Student. Barnabas has been an active member of Student Support Services since arriving to UNK as a transfer student
in January 2008. Barnabas is on his way to earning a degree from UNK after many life victories. Barnabas arrived in
the US in 2001 with the Refugee Settlement Program. He eventually settled in Lincoln, where he enrolled at Southeast
Community College and connected with the SSS program. After earning his Associates Degree, he came to UNK to
pursue a Bacherlor’s Degree. Barnabas will be graduating in May 2010 and has plans to stay in America and pursue his
Masters Degree in Political Science. According to Barnabas, “Connecting with Student Support Services at UNK has
helped me stay on track because I get to talk with my SSS advisor, Rashawn, about my classes, schedule and life
events. SSS has always led me in the right direction!”

"Barnabas is a student that could have easily given up due to all the challenges he has faced. His determination has
gotten him this far and I don’t believe there's a limit to what he will accomplish." Rashawn Harvey, Nominator

 The Pacesetter Award is presented to SSS freshmen who have demonstrated that they are
developing the necessary skills, habits, and motivation to become very successful students.

Cody Bland
  Cody Bland, from Blue Hill, NE, is a Criminal Justice major. After he graduates from UNK, he plans to attend the
Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Academy to become a state patrolman or more likely, a county sheriff. Being a
sheriff would give Cody an opportunity to patrol the unincorporated areas where he has lived nearly his entire life.
Ultimately, Cody wants to do police work because he wants to help people, plus he says would rather not be “stuck with
an inside job!”
  Cody has the following to say about SSS at UNK, “SSS has truly helped me! It is the academic support that will help
keep me in school. I have never been horrible in school, but SSS helps push me to do better. I know that there are
people there who care about how I do in college and in life!”

“Cody has been a student that stood out from the first day. He consistently participates during class, he is involved on
campus, plus he is applying what he is learning from college” Rashawn Harvey, Nominator

Amaryah Fritz
   Amaryah is a freshman Music Education major from Hildreth, Nebraska. She is actively involved in Student Support
Services, the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, and the Collegiate Music Educator National Conference (CMENC). In high
school she was active in National Honor Society, was class Salutatorian, a Girls’ State Representative, received the
UNK Band Day Best Drum Major Award in 2008, and recently received her second-degree black belt. Amaryah’s goals
for the future including graduating from college with honors, making a positive difference in the lives of her future
students, and expressing her love of music to all those around her everywhere she goes. To freshmen, she suggests
“watch how much money you spend, especially in the first months of school. Also, time management is crucial. College
is a time of homework and fun. One should not outweigh the other.” Academic Success has helped Amaryah in many
ways. She states that “doing the grade report really helped me realize that everything you do in class contributes to your
grades. We’re definitely not in high school anymore! Also, interviewing one of my professors really helped me
understand her much better. I believe that feeling is mutual.”

“Amaryah values her educational opportunities and strives to achieve high academic honors. Her motivation and zest for
life sings through her heart and radiates to those around her. She constantly seeks out new opportunities to better
herself and build her wealth of life experiences.” Megan Friesen, Nominator

Codie Milford
  Codie is from Burlington, Colorado. He is majoring in Public Relations with a Music minor. His three goals for the
future are: 1) Make a good living; 2) Do what he loves; 3) Have a family. His best advice to offer entering freshmen:
“Pay attention in class and get enough sleep. Make new friends and go and do things with your friends, but remember to
get your homework done. Get involved in as much as you can – step out of your comfort zone and experience new
things.” How has SSS supported his academic goals? He has learned to manage his time more effectively and how to
study better. He has also learned how to take better notes and how to work with people more efficiently.
“Codie is very proactive when it comes to his goals and is a very hardworking student. I admire his determination and
positive attitude and for that reason I believe he stands out as a Pacesetter student.” Bridgette Swenson, Nominator

Ashley Vaughn
  Ashley is from Omaha, Nebraska. Her major field of study is History Education. Her three goals for the future are: 1)
Graduate from college; 2) Become a History Teacher at Omaha Benson (her old high school); 3) Become a college
professor. Her best advice for entering freshmen: Stick to your dreams no matter how crazy people may say they are.
How has SSS supported her academic goals? They have helped her with picking out her classes and staying focused on
her goals.
“Ashley is a gentle natured student, yet a very strong person. She is extremely motivated and ambitious. Ashley’s “go
getter” attitude has earned her the title of Pacesetter student!” Bridgette Swenson, Nominator

Blanca Vera Chavez
   Blanca, an Education major with endorsements in Spanish and ESL, is a freshman from Ord, Nebraska. She is very
active on campus through Student Support Services, the Hispanic Student Association, Ladies Mix, Student Kouncil of
Intertribal Nations, CEDE Council, Multicultural Scholars and Leaders Day, the Nebraska Cultural Unity Conference,
intramural volleyball, and the Newman Center. Blanca’s goals for the future include graduating from college, studying
abroad, and traveling to Spain and other countries around the world in order to learn about new cultures and language.
She advises incoming freshman to “be involved and use all the resources available”. While in pursuit of her goals,
Blanca says that “Academic Success has been really helpful with everything, especially Megan. She has answered all
my questions and helped me with everything. But what I really like about her is that I get along with her so well and feel
comfortable around her. The tutors are also a big help because they help me understand the information in my classes

“Blanca is a very motivated and hard-working student. She seeks involvement and personal development opportunities
and strives to get to take advantage of the opportunities presented to her. Blanca models what it truly means to be a
pacesetter.” Megan Friesen, Nominator

Heather Walker
  Heather Walker, from Kearney, Nebraska, is a Nursing major. What’s unique about Heather is that she was born with
Spina Bifida, but she doesn’t let it slow her down! Her parents were told that Heather would never move from the waist
down, plus she would be restricted to a wheelchair for her entire life. Due to her family’s determination, Heather’s
brother and mother worked daily to exercise Heather four hours per day. With exercise, prayers, community support,
family and friends, they all proved the doctors and specialists wrong! While pursing her nursing degree, Heather actively
participants in CIA, socialization, and most of all, “The Pride of The Plains” UNK Marching Band. After earning her
degree, Heather plans to earn a degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics from Century College in Minnesota. Her brother in
pursing the same degree and they have plans to own a business together to help others that may be facing challenges
from Spina Bifida.
   SSS has helped Heather by planning a major role in her transition into college. Heather states, “I was able to visit with
David Brandt and he helped me tremendously with accessibility on campus for my scooter and where to live, whether on
campus or at home. I’m so glad I decided to live on campus. It has helped me get to know more people and to learn
more about myself, realizing now that I can make it on my own!”

“Anyone who spends time with Heather will realize she is a determined and disciplined young lady that won’t let anything
stop her from achieving her goals. She doesn’t let her disability get in her way! Heather is a fighter and a winner!”
Rashawn Harvey, Nominator

From the Academic Mentor… Cody Jorgensen

  As we finish this hectic semester, we go in the Christmas season and break. This is not only a
great time to relax at home with family or to enjoy sweets and presents. It can also be used to pre-
pare and get ready for next semester. So, let’s not forget important knowledge that we may need for
next semester and be ready for another semester that will hopefully not be as stressful! Also, every-
one have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and remember our services here at Academic

                                                 EMILY SCHEEL

  After each semester, Academic Success organizes an awards ceremony called the “Awards and Recognition Social”
as an effort to recognize the achievements of our students and to celebrate the end of another semester. In the fall,
one special award is received by a student mentor. The Mentoring Excellence Award was established in the fall of
2007 to recognize one student mentor for their exceptional commitment and dedication in providing top notch
mentoring services to their mentee(s) in order to make a difference in the lives of fellow students. Mentors are selected
for this award based on their willingness and ability to make the extra effort in their mentoring relationships and their
overall dependability and performance with the Academic Success program. Mentors can be nominated for this award
by their mentee, or a faculty or staff member.
  This fall seven individual mentors were nominated to receive the Mentoring Excellence Award by their mentees. This
is by far the record of the amount of nominations received! I am proud of every mentor this fall and feel honored to
have worked with each one of them. One student stands out slightly above the rest and this student is our Mentoring
Excellence Award Recipient.
  Academic Success is proud to announce that Emily Scheel, a second year student from Lincoln, Nebraska is our
official recipient of the Fall 2009 Mentoring Excellence Award! Emily was nominated by one of her mentees for this
award. Throughout the fall semester, Emily met with her mentees consistently and outside of the regular mentoring
meetings. Each week, she sent random messages and phone calls, attended additional fun activities, and genuinely
served as a trusted friend and confidant to her mentees. Emily’s mentee who nominated her stated that she “deserves
this award because she was always there when I needed her and I always looked forward to our mentor meetings
because we had so much fun together. She makes me want to be a mentor in the near future!”
  Please help us in congratulating Emily on her outstanding mentoring achievements! MF

                                   CAMPUS CALENDAR

    Monday, Dec 14                 Finals Week!
     Thursday, Dec 17

    Friday, Dec 1                  Winter Commencement, Health & Sports Center, 10 a.m.

    Thursday, Dec 24 -             UNK offices closed for holidays
     Friday, Jan 1

    Friday, Jan 8                  Residence Halls open, 10:00 a.m.
                                   Open Registration for spring semester classes, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m,
                                   Registrar’s Office

    Monday, Jan 11                 All classes begin

    Monday, Jan 11 -               OPEN DROP/ADD and Late Registration
     Friday, Jan 15

    Monday, Jan 18                 Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday/all classes dismissed

    Friday, Jan 22                 2010 Summer Session Class Schedules available, Registrar’s Office,
                                   Founders Hall, Nebraskan, Academic Success Offices

    Monday, Feb 1                  Last Day to File Graduation Application for Spring Commencement

                                           Student Support Services
                                           MSAB 172
                                           Kearney, NE 68849-2365

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