Alumni Stories

Alumni Stories
Alumni Stories

Our alumni span the globe, moved by curiosity. Here are some of their unfolding adventures.

Marlan Downey, geology, was a highly-accomplished geologist who received the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AAPG, in 2008 for his outstanding contributions to oil and gas exploration. He passed away Memorial Day, 2017. more


Lynnette Kelly, Urban Studies, is Executive Director at Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and was recently named a Freda Johnson Trailblazing Women in Public Finance 2016 honoree. more


Mary Ann McDowell, biological sciences, is associate professor at the University of Notre Dame. more


Janet Ahler, anthropology, lived with a Yu'pik family and has worked with many native tribes. She is now an emerita professor at the University of North Dakota. more


Jerry Janulewicz, psychology, is Grand Island, Nebraska's city attorney. more


Todd Bahensky, psychology, is Hall County corrections director in Grand Island, Nebr. more


Kathleen King, English, taught at Idaho State University. She has had poems, stories, essays, and a novel published, and she has edited and published many literary magazines. more


James Carr, chemistry, is an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry. more


Loren Eiseley, English, anthropology, geology, was an anthropologist and writer. more


Morgan Montgomery, English, is part of the coaching staff of the Nebraska School of Gymnastics program. more


Iris Elezi, film studies, received Oscar consideration for her first feature film, “Bota.” more


Jennifer Dugdale, English, is an instructor at Lincoln East High School who was named Teacher of the Month in April, 2016. more


Johnny Henderson, mathematics, is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at Baylor University and received the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year award. more


Rebecca Fahrlander, sociology, is a decorated instructor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and was inducted into her high school's Hall of Fame. more


Amanda Barker, poltical science, economics, and English, is the Deputy Executive Director and Director of Civic Health Programs at Nebraskans for Civic Reform. more


Fred Zwonechek, sociology, has served with the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety for 42 years, the past 35 as administrator, making him the longest-serving state traffic safety director in the country. more


Chad Myers, meteorology, is a CNN meteorologist who wrote “I, for one, have changed my conclusion over time on whether humans are responsible for the increased heat content of the Earth. I write this article not to change your mind about global warming; I simply want to show you why I changed mine.” more


Donor Gwinnie Berexa did what her great-grandfather, alum John D. Clark, did decades ago. more


Leo Sierra, psychology and Spanish ('14), is coordinator of the Scotts Bluff County TEAMS Program and also works at the AIM Institute. more


Christina Riesselmangeology, works on the Antarctic ice shelf and at sea, collecting sediment cores from hundreds of meters under the sea floor and reads the climate history of millennia past. more


Erin Healy, political science and Latin, ('09) is a consumer insights specialist at Lawrence & Schiller. more


Rebecca Richards-Kortum, physics and mathematics, is Rice University’s Stanley C. Moore Professor of Bioengineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering. She is a dual member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering as of April 2015, a status few scientists hold. more

L.W. (Roy) Stoesz, geology, spent 45 years in the energy exploration trenches, traveling over the world for Shell Oil Co. and later his own consulting company. more


Benjamin Miller, biochemistry, is a supervisor in the water permits division of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was recently accepted into the seventh class of the Nebraska Water Leaders Academy. more


David Allen Lindsey, geology, found his lifetime job - field research in minerals and mapping at the U.S. Geological Survey - rewarding. more


Molly Merrell, English, is currently the Locations Coordinator for FOX drama "Shots Fired" and is assisting with Cinemax's "Outcast." more


Nathan Sanderson, history, is the director of Policy and Operations for the State of South Dakota. more


Natasha Scholz, psychology, is case manager at Live Yes Studios. more


Nick Starling, political science, is a reporter at KMTV Action 3 News in Omaha, Nebr. more


Natalie Wagner is a vice president at State Street Global Advisors, the second largest institutional asset manager in the world. more


W. Kim Austen, mathematics, is president and chief operating officer (retired) at Nationwide. more


David Penn, psychology, is heading new research that could revolutionize schizophrenia treatment. more


Faith Colburn, political science, is the author of two memoirs, 'Threshold' and 'Prairie Landscapes.' more


Tom Casady, political science, is public safety director for Lincoln, Nebraska, responsible for the Lincoln Police Department, 911 Emergency Communications, and Lincoln Fire and Rescue. more


Christine Ngaruiya, sociology, is a practicing physician in the emergency room at Yale University New Haven Hospital and a social activist for equal healthcare access. more


Ali Nilsen, psychology, is Talent Specialist at Lincoln Industries. more


Brooke Mullen, international studies, owns Sapahn (“suh-pawn”), a fair-trade and ethically sourced accessory shop that she runs from Lincoln and Thailand. more


Katie Brossy, sociology, is an attorney for Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, one of the most influential lobbying firms in the country. more


Thomas Williams, chemistry, is Nebraska's chief medical officer. more


Rev. Eliot Schwer, psychology, serves at St. Patrick’s Church in Fremont, Nebraska, and had a winding journey to get there. more


Zachary Smith, Modern Languages, doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, analyzes critique from Mizrahi radicals in Israel in this podcast. more


Barbara Hendricks, chemistry and mathematics, is a world-renowned opera singer in Europe. Born in the United States, she raised a family in Switzerland and travels as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. more


John Schiel ('04, '09) is a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology coordinating bioanalytical efforts of the Biomanufacturing Program. He is the Nebraska Alumni Association Early Achiever Award 2014 Winner. more


Pippa White, English, had an extensive career in theatre and television on the West Coast and created and performs Love in Action, a one act solo performance that explores the lives of Florence Nightingale, Lillian Wald, and Margaret Sanger. more


Emily McKeone, environmental studies and sociology, was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Zambia who raised money to refurbish wells. more

Mallory Netz, psychology, is a third year graduate student at the University of Florida in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology studying Pediatric Psychology. more


Zain Saleh, psychology, works at the Clyde Malone Community Center in Lincoln, Nebraska as the Youth Program Coordinator. more


Mark Baxa, biological sciences, discovered a new species while studying at Cedar Point Biological Station and has given back. more


Reid DeSpiegelaere, English, history, and political science, is leading a startup in connection with United Way in Phoenix, AZ. more


Katie Czapanskiy, philosophy and political science, is a law student at Marquette University Law School. more


Theodore Wheeler, English, is a fiction writer and legal reporter in Omaha, Nebraska. more


Todd Arrington, history, is Site Manager at James A. Garfield National Historic Site and an Army veteran. more


Mary Ann McDowell, biological sciences, is an associate professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and the past chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Eck Institute for Global Health. more


Kathie Starkweather, sociology, works for the Center for Rural Affairs as its farm and community program director. more


James Dolton, political science, is chief imagineer at Jake's Construction. more


Mari Lane Gewecke, political science and history, founded Lane Gewecke Consulting, has served on numerous boards, and is on the advisory committee of Nebraska Alumni Association's Nebraska Women's Leadership Network. more


Bub Windle, political science, is a lawyer at Mueller Robak LLC. more


Shams Al-Badry, political science, works with Teach America and is an Iraqi refugee. more


Andrew Molthan, meteorology (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences), is with the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and received a Presidential Early Career Award in February, 2016. more


Eric Leyden, history, is executive chef at Sandhills Golf Club in Mullen, Nebraska. more


Cynthia Harris, sociology, is administrator of the Office of Consumer Affairs at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division. more


Aleah Peters, communication studies, was crowned Miss Nebraska. Her platform is “Cyberbullying Prevention — Make Kindness Viral.” more


Tyrone Jaeger, Theodore Wheeler, and Dave Madden, English, are writers who met each other during their time as students. more


Bradley Peters, psychology, studied photography at Yale and teaches at Southeast Community College. more


Shahidrah Cowgill, psychology, is the clinical director at Fundamental Foundations Counseling Center in Frisco, TX and attends events like Carry the Load. more


Former Husker wrestlers Jordan Burroughs and James Green, sociology, represented the United States men’s freestyle team in the 2015 World Championships at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. more


Eleanor "Jean" Kops, sociology, returned to the University of Nebraska in 2015 after a 68-year hiatus to finish her degree. more


Noboko Tsukui, English, was a child living in Tokyo when the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings killed more than 200,000 people in 1945. She moved to the United States in September 1961 and completed her doctorate here. more


Ayman Sahli is CEO of Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries (Julphar) in the United Arab Emirates. After earning his Ph.D., Sahli worked in process development in Syngenta, Ala. and Wyeth, N.Y. more