No breakpoint

Highlights Summer 2019

Concordia University, Nebraska was blessed with many successes throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. The following list includes some of the many accomplishments achieved by our faculty, staff and students.

Student Highlights

In 2018, Concordia’s DCE Program placed 18 DCE students on their yearlong internships, serving congregations in 13 states and Canada. They serve congregations as large as 1500 members. These interns work on staff of these congregations helping to plan and implement their educational ministries, with children, youth, adults and families. 

Twenty-four students from Concordia’s cultural anthropology class, former student Delaney Doremus, Susan Mehl, Dr. Kathleen Wheeler and Dr. Kathy Miller volunteered as navigators at Project Homeless Connect at Pinnacle Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on Oct 16th. They also collected coats and winter clothing on campus, and received two Thrivent action grants used to buy Domino’s pizza, bottled water and snack bars for volunteers and guests. Over 500 guests were served. 

Concordia Handbell Choirunder the direction of Jessica Kiteadjunct professor of music, performed at the Nebraska State Capitol for the State Tree Lighting Ceremony in Lincoln in December 2018.

Jackson Abramo presented a proposal titled, “A Study of the Influence of Income on Life Satisfaction” at the annual meeting of the Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention held at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri in March 2019. 

Nicole Affronti, Morgan Brumm, Victoria Cameron, Madalynn Fousek, Anna Gombold, Dakota Grummer, Daria Heuer, Jadyn High, Leah Mussell, Nichol Johnson, Tia Pawlowski, Michelle Porath and Katelinn Wurm attended Dr. Daniel Thurber’s 24th London and Europe Study Tour to England and the Czech Republic in late December 2018 and early January 2019.

Hope Bassett, Ethan Doyle, Emma Gremmer, Anne Pico, Grace Psencik, Cora Rhode, Annie Schmidt, Sara Sauceda and Cody Williams will travel to Phnom Penh Cambodia to participate in the Business as Mission trip on May 5-15, 2019.  They will be engaging with children at two Garuna Christian Schools and will be developing a business plan to assist the Garuna Foundation to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Vincent Beasley, Kaylee Brown and D’Mauria Martin, along with Chris Luther, assistant professor of health and human performance, Von Thomas, multicultural director and Dr. Laurie Zum Hofe, associate professor of English, participated in and presented at the third annual Concordia Diversity Summit held in February 2019 at Concordia College in Bronxville, New York.

McKayla Besel was accepted into the Washington University Program in Physical Therapy at Washington University of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.

Gage Boehm, Noah Fenton, Jonathan Grant, John Kastner, Grant Lammers, Marlene Maier, Caleb Ristvedt, Octavio Velazquez and Samuel Weiss participated in the annual Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) North Central North America Regional Programming Contest in November 2018. These students were split into three groups and competed against universities that extended from Colorado to Wisconsin and from Missouri into Canada. 

Tationa Booker, Taryn Thomas, Malia Ebel, Alia Hurst, Philomena Williams, Jacob Garrison, Nathan Leonard, Lindsay Range, Grace Koehn and Katie Funk qualified for the American Forensic Association (AFA) National Tournament which took place April 4-7 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The team qualified for 17 total events, with Philomena as the team’s first student to qualify in four events for AFA nationals (poetry, program oral interpretation, dramatic interpretation and duo interpretation).

Emma Brand and Aaron Nix, assistant professor of art, were awarded second runners up in the 2018 Omaha Film Festival 48 Hour Film Challenge for writing and directing the short film, Word of Mouth.

Kaylee Brown has been accepted into University of Tennessee College of Law.

Corrianne Cain, Lauren Chumbley, Kate Esser, Callie Firminhac, Katerina Fuller, Jacob Harding, Breann Huber, Abigail Jeppesen, Sarah Johnson, Benjamin Kuefner, Michael Leapley, Samuel Moore, Sarah Niemeier, Lindsey Overbeck and Ethan Pankow were selected to plan and host the Grow a Teacher event at Lutheran Education Association Convocation, October 2019, in St. Louis. The Grow a Teacher event is in conjunction with the convocation and specifically planned for Education students from all Concordia colleges and universities and Valparaiso University.

Madilyn Daly, Connor Ganyo, Harlie Himmelberg, Alexandra La Plant and Tristen Mosier were inducted into Phi Epsilon Kappa, a national health and human performance honor society on March 31, 2019. 

Maria Deeter was accepted into physical therapy school at multiple schools including the University of Iowa.

Gavin DeHaai, Phil Grothaus, Anne Pico, Abby Protzman, Cora Rhode, Sara Sauceda and Katelinn Wurm participated in the Collegiate Leadership Competition in Cleveland, Ohio April 4-7, 2019. 

Gavin DeHaai, Emma Gremmer, Jacy Johnston, Abby Protzman, Sara Sauceda, and Annie Schmidt were awarded the “Servant Leader” award for 2018-2019 by the Concordia Business Club. Gavin and Sara chaired the Graduate and Career Fair committee, Abby chaired the Leadership and Ethics Symposium, Jacy chaired the Women in Business Luncheon, Emma served as the Business Club President, and Annie served as the Manager of 10:31. They all helped organize the first annual Business Club BBQ.

Derek Eitzmann was accepted into Graduate School in Chemistry at Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska. 

Heather Engdahl presented an empirical paper, “Do Empathy and Narcissism Predict Ethical Decision-making Regarding Monetary and Social Dilemmas?” at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology held in Portland, Oregon February 2019. For her research, Heather was awarded the Diversity Undergraduate Registration Award. 

Heather Engdahl presented an empirical paper, “Social Support Factors and Substance Use Among Adolescents in Flint, Michigan” at the annual meeting of the Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention held at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri in March 2019.

Walker Fisher, Alexandra La Plant and Samantha Liermann received the Scholastic Achievement Certificate from Phi Epsilon Kappa, having achieved senior status and a minimum GPA of 3.75. 

Matthew Gerhold, Nathan Klaumann, Cadence Klemp and Allison Mackie were inducted into Concordia’s chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, the national honor society for undergraduate music students on March 19.

Brooke Gettman created artwork in February 2019 for author Heidi Goehmann's book, A Study of Colossians. The book is a Bible study that is being published by Concordia Publishing House. 

Jonathan Grant will be starting at The Boeing Company in St. Louis after graduation. His title will be F-22 Software Engineer to work on the F-22 Raptor. 

Sarah Grimm, a December graduate of the art therapy program, has been accepted to Edinboro University where she will be pursuing dual master’s degrees in counseling in mental health as well as art therapy. 

Jenna Habegger and Kelsey Higgins participated as coaches at the Collegiate Leadership Competition in Cleveland, Ohio on April 4-7, 2019. 

Harlie Himmelberg received the Dr. Jeffery Vessely Memorial Scholarship Award by Phi Epsilon Kappa. 

Harlie Himmelberg, Samantha Liermann and Abigail Reitz were honored as Concordia’s Majors of the Year by SHAPE-Nebraska (Society of Health & Physical Educators) in November 2018.

Makenzie Hofmeister has been accepted into a Master’s in Social Work Program at Metropolitan State University in Denver for Fall 2019.

Olivia Hunt studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile from July-November 2018. Olivia took Spanish and Culture courses to use toward her World & Intercultural Studies major, TESOL major, and Spanish minor.

Sierra Jacob and Whitney Pottschmidt toured and taught classes in the Hosanna School for the Deaf in Hosanna, Ethiopia, over Christmas break of 2018. Hosanna School is a partner of Lutheran Friends of the Deaf.

Alexandra La Plant was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

Josiah McAllister was accepted into medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center through the early acceptance program.

Leah Mussell and Micah Symmank co-authored an article titled, “Why I Want to be a Lutheran Educator,” for Lutheran Education Association’s professional periodical, “Shaping the Future,” Winter, 2019. 

Annie Pico and Olivia Johnson served on a mission team during Christmas Break 2018. The experience, through Open Door Ministries, provided a chance for Annie and Olivia to provide hope through the love of Jesus while serving orphans, abused girls, and hungry children in Tocoa, Honduras.  

Samantha Pietanza is studying abroad in in Melbourne, Australia from February-June 2019. She will be taking courses related to her Theatre, English major and American Sign Language minor.  

Josiah Rensner was accepted into a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in chemistry, summer 2019 at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 

Erin Roland has been accepted into a Ph.D. program in Restoration Ecology at Northern Illinois University.

Anne Spilker has been accepted into a Ph.D. program in Avian Biology at the University of Missouri St. Louis. 

Michaela Stevens was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at High Point University in High Point, North Carolina.

Michael Sylvain, a Master of Business Administration student just received job at NASA. Michael is working on his MBA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management.

Austin Theriot received the Richard Hillert Student Award in Composition presented by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians at the annual Lectures in Church Music conference held at Concordia University Chicago.

Jordyne Vanselow was featured in two art exhibitions. A drawing titled DANGER: Do Not Stand or Sit was selected for exhibition in the University of North Carolina Asheville’s 9th Annual International Contemporary Drawing Exhibition. Vanselow also presented a solo exhibition featuring large-scale mixed-media drawing focusing on the spinal column at Primary Colors Gallery in Independence, Missouri. 

Michael Waldron was accepted into pharmacy school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Emily Wetzel presented a proposal titled, “The Effect of Music on Negative Language in an Individual with ASD: A Case Study” at the annual meeting of the Great Plains Students’ Psychology Convention held at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri in March 2019.

Victoria Woodbrun was accepted into dental school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Dr. Catherine Amitrano, adjunct professor for the master of healthcare administration program, attended the American Society for Health Care Risk Management annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Dr. Vicki Anderson, program director for Master of Education in TESOL, was advanced in rank to associate professor as of January 2019.

Dr. Vicki Anderson presented a keynote and professional development workshop series for Concordia Conference for Professional Development in November 2018 at Buena Vista Concordia International School in Shenzhen, China. Presentation titles included: “The Assessment Survival Guide:  Taking a Long, Hard Look in the Mirror (Teacher Formative Self-Assessment)” (keynote), “The Assessment Survival Guide: Principles of Assessment for Working with English Language Learners,” “The Assessment Survival Guide: Effectiveness from the Beginning,” and “The Assessment Survival Guide:  Maximum Effectiveness in Three Levels of Feedback." 

Dr. Vicki Anderson completed her term as President of MIDTESOL (MidAmerica Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) with a kick-off of MIDTESOL’s 40th anniversary year at the September 2018 annual MIDTESOL conference in Kansas City. She will now serve in an “board officer support” role as MIDTESOL Past President for 2019, as well as the Higher Education/Teacher Training member-at-large for the new MIDTESOL interest section for Program Administrators. 

Dr. Vicki Anderson assisted in the facilitation of ESL teacher training sessions for new recruits for Mission of Christ Network in June 2018.

Dr. Vicki Anderson launched an ESL Endorsement program for its teachers with 10 teachers participating. She is working with Ralston ESL teachers who want to serve as instructors in this new program. 

Dr. Vicki Anderson collaborated with Mill Neck/Lutheran Friends for the Deaf International to launch a certificate program in Deaf studies. 

Dr. Curt Beck was advanced from associate professor to professor of business administration.

Dr. Curt Beck led a group of undergraduates on a trip to Cleveland, Ohio, where the students competed in the Collegiate Leadership Competition on April 4-7, 2019.

Dr. Curt Beck, professor of business administration, and Dr. Shannon Leinen will be leading a group of undergraduate students to Cambodia on a “Business as Mission” trip. The team will depart for Phnom Penh, Cambodia on May 5 and return May 15, 2019. The team will be studying revenue generating projects, and sustainable business practices to assist the Garuna Foundation in an international context to serve and lead.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch, professor of music, published the eighth volume in his series Hymn Introductions, Harmonizations, and Accompaniments, and Interpretations, as well as I Will Praise: 8 Hymn Arrangements for Organ/Piano and the Young Flautist and piano settings of “Grant Peace, O Lord” and “Arise, O Christian People” with Concordia Publishing House. Also published with CPH is a choral anthem, “Herald of Good News,” commissioned by CPH in honor of its 150th anniversary. 

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch published the fourth volume of his collection, “A Thousand Voices:  Hymn Preludes For Organ” and his arrangement of “God’s Own Child, I Gladly Say It” for SATB choir, flute and congregation with Concordia Publishing House.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch was commissioned by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod to arrange a setting of the Divine Service with organ, brass and choir accompaniment to be included in their upcoming hymnal.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch’s article “Singing in Community” appeared in the March issue of the Lutheran Witness. 

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch was commissioned by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to compose an arrangement of the hymn “Go My Children With My Blessing,” to be used at the National Youth Gathering during the summer of 2019.                            

Dr. Benjamin Boche and Dr. Jacob Hollatz, adjunct professors in the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education, published “Faithfully Connected: Integrating Biblical Principles in a Digital World” with​ Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, Missouri, in May 2018.

James Bockelman, professor of art​, exhibited a recent collection of paintings and drawings in a one person exhibition titled, “A Side Long Glance,” held at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln. In addition, one of Bockelman's paintings, “Emerald,” was selected for publication in the Briar Cliff Review, a literary journal of essays, poetry, photography and art. In conjunction with that printing, the painting will be presented at the Sioux City Arts Center this Spring. This January Bockelman was invited to participate in the Sheldon Museum of Art’s strategic planning process as that institution explores new vision and outreach programs in Lincoln.​

James Bockelman was included in Plumes, Prism and Prunes, a group exhibition that highlighted abstract images held at the Pavilion Milchhof in Berlin, Germany. Bockelman also exhibited a body of new oil paintings titled A Grounded Light, presented in August at Modern Arts Midtown in Omaha, Nebraska. In September at Project Project Art Space in South Omaha, he and Lincoln artist Michael Ian Larsen created Cleft, a site-specific installation juxtaposing a full restroom with two video projections and a ceramic goat hoof.

Seth Boggs, associate professor of art, was advanced in rank to associate professor of art.

Seth Boggs designed the cover artwork for the University A Capella CD titled, “Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs: In Celebration of 80 Years,” released in December of 2018.

Seth Boggs was selected to be an artist-in-residence at the Lacawac Sanctuary and Biological Field Station in Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania in July 2019.

Dr. Anna Boriack, assistant professor of education, program director for Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Innovation specialist; Dr. Angie Fedon, director of classroom innovation and online education; Dr. Joanne Garrison, director of Master of Education Core Courses and director of Master of Education Special Education; Dr. Linley Snyder-Rivas, core faculty member; and Angela Walston, core faculty member and program director for Master of Human Services and the Online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology co-presented “Online Faculty Learning Communities: Creating a Collaborative, Engaging Community of Inquiry” at the Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on September 27-28, 2018.

Dr. Sara Brady, assistant professor of psychology, presented a poster of her doctoral work titled, “When a Lie Becomes the Truth: How Opportunity to Lie and Motivation to Impress Induce Attitude Change,” at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology held in Portland Oregon February 2019.

Dr. Julie Jones-Branch, adjunct instructor in the Master of Education in early childhood program, completed the revision of all seven domain trainings for the Nebraska's Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards (formerly the Early Learning Guidelines). Each module (math, science, language/literacy, approaches, social/emotional, creative arts, health/physical) consist of six hours of face-to-face training and are required by law for early childhood providers/teachers in the state of Nebraska.

Dr. Julie Jones-Branch developed and implemented a Train the Trainer series for the newly revised domain trainings for Nebraska's Birth to Five Learning and Development Standards. This training included a six-hour face-to-face training focused on highly effective 'traits of trainers' and 14 three-hour webinar trainings focused on the content of each domain. As part of this piece of the project, she trained more than 140 trainers in seven different locations. Beginning August 1, 2018, the newly revised content of these trainings went into effect in the state of Nebraska. An estimated 40-plus trainings occur each month using these materials.

Dr. Julie Jones-Branch participated as a member of a planning committee for the Carolyn Pope Edwards Piazza to be designed and developed as part of the upcoming, newly built laboratory school for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The piazza is being designed as a space to honor Carolyn's life work as well as a teaching space for those interested in pedagogical documentation.

Dr. Julie Jones-Branch traveled to Nanjing, China in December 2018 to present two lectures to two different groups regarding early childhood care and education in the United States as a part of an International Conference held at Jiangsu Second Normal University in Nanjing. The first lecture titled, “From Policy to Practice: High Quality Care and Education Birth to Three,” was presented to a group of government officials, administrators, and managers and then also a group of researchers, directors and owners of child care facilities. The second lecture titled, “Project Work: A Structure to Guide the Process," was presented to a group of researchers, faculty and students and then a group of third-year in-service students. The China trip has opened several new possibilities for collaboration with researchers, students, and others within the child care field which will be explored throughout 2019.

Dr. Julie Jones-Branch was a proctor for the School Age Connections, an online professional development training/course focused on before and after school providers, offered through the Nebraska Department of Education.

Jessica Brashear, program director for the master of arts in school counseling, developed the master of arts in school counseling program that garnered certification by the Nebraska Department of Education in April 2018 and accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in October of 2018.

Jessica Brashear led professional development for teachers and staff from St. John Lutheran School in Seward on “meeting the emotional and social needs of at-risk students,” on February 18, 2019. 

Laura Busse, adjunct instructor in the master of education in early childhood program, attended Central Illinois District Teachers Conference in October 2018. 

Laura Busse organized a community outreach event, Polar Express Night, in December 2018.

Laura Busse is currently serving on the Early Childhood Leadership team, Leadership team for teacher growth model and the curriculum leadership team (responsible for reviewing and writing early childhood curriculum).

Laura Busse created a Lunch Bunch program, growing the enrichment program for Concordia’s pre-k and kindergarten students in January 2019.

Melinda Carver, adjunct instructor in the master of education in literacy program, had three articles published in the Advances in Social Science Research Journal, including, “Students’ perceptions of synchronous sessions within online courses in higher education,” “Teacher effectiveness: What do students and instructors say?” and “Online learning meets mixed-reality immersive spaces: Result increased learning.”

Melinda Carver gave two presentations, “Vocabulary Knowledge: It’s More Than Definitions,” and “Empowering Teachers To Solve Their Classroom Issues,” at the Annual Conference for Middle Level Education in Orlando, Florida. She also gave a presentation titled, “Engaging Learners In Collaborative Communities of Inquiry Through The Use of Mixed-Reality Immersive Space,” at the Online Learning Consortium in Orlando. 

Dr. James Childers, adjunct professor in the master of healthcare administration program, attended the HR Southwest Conference, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Joel Christiansen, adjunct professor in the master of business administration program, has led ten classes for the Organizational Development Clinic in the Master of Business Administration including: the Concordia Nebraska Center for Liturgical Art, Camp Luther, The Second Closet, Lippy’s BBQ, Anne Ecklund Designs, KZUM Radio, Adam Johnson Insurance, Camp-A-Nation, Butterfly Bakery, and Rejuvenate Studios. These classes help entrepreneurs in the Lincoln/Seward area thrive and allow for students to use their business skills to assist/consult real-life clients.

Rev. Dr. David Coe, assistant professor of theology, presented his paper, “The Bird, the Christian, and the Pagan: Preaching Tips from Søren Kierkegaard,” at the Eighth International Kierkegaard Conference at St. Olaf College at Northfield, Minnesota in June 2018.

Rev. Dr. David Coe reviewed Elizabeth Palmer’s Faith in the Hidden God: Luther, Kierkegaard, and the Binding of Isaac (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2017) in LOGIA (Epiphany 2019).

Alison (Schuerman) Evans was a creative partner of The Paper Ballet, an art project combining dance, paper fashion and photography. The Paper Ballet was held in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 14. 

Dr. Angie Fedon, director of classroom innovation & online education, in collabo­ration with Angie Walston, Drs. Anna Boriack, Joanne Garrison, and Linley Snyder-Rivas, presented Master Course Design: Maintaining a Balance Between Quality and Flexibility at the September 27-28, 2018 Focus on Teaching and Technology Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jennifer Fruend, assistant professor of biology, rescued and triaged more than 75 raptors with Raptor Recovery in the last two years, including an osprey and several bald eagles.

Jennifer Fruend promoted Concordia biology, wildlife and pre-vet students, study tours and outreach as part of the Concordia Zoo Day event. She also presented “STEM Literacy and Literacy with STEM: An Essential and Natural Partnership” at the Plum Creek Literacy Conference.

Dr. Amanda Geidel, associate professor of education and special education program director, presented “How Student Teaching Influences Student Teacher Perceptions toward Inclusion” on March 1, at AACTE in Baltimore. 

Dr. Amanda Geidel presented three sessions at the November 2018 Missouri District LCMS Educators’ Conference. All three sessions were titled The ABC’s of Classroom Adaptations. Dr. Geidel presented to over 200 conference attendees. 

Dr. Amanda Geidel and Dr. Vicki Anderson presented “Including those with Disabilities in the Church” as Children’s Ministry Workshop co-leaders on March 24 at Calvary Lutheran Church, Lincoln. 

Dr. Amanda Geidel and Dr. Vicki Anderson traveled to Mill Neck School for the Deaf, May 17-19, on Long Island, New York, to fulfill Concordia’s High Impact Grant. The purpose of the grant is to seek opportunities for students to use Mill Neck as a student teaching placement and for Special Education American Sign Language students to visit Mill Neck as an enrichment opportunity during spring breaks in the future.

Dr. Amanda Geidel was the writer for CAEP Standard 1 “Content and Pedagogical Knowledge” and assisting with the collection and completion of other data needs for CAEP and NDE Accreditation for both graduate and undergraduate early childhood programs.

Justin Groth, assistant professor of art, participated and exhibited artwork in the Southern Mississippi Ceramics National 2018 as well as at the Clay Center of New Orleans in their show, Sculpted and Small, during the month of October.

Justin Groth exhibited artwork in the “The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction,” the National Council of the Education Ceramic Arts 2019 Annual Exhibition. 

Dr. Gabriel Haley, associate professor of English, advanced in rank to associate professor in January 2018.

Dr. Gabriel Haley published an essay, “The Re-Enchantment of Education: C. S. Lewis’s Idea of the Holy,” in The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning (August 2018). This essay initiated a special section in the journal that included four responses from other scholars. Haley also presented a paper, “Contemplative Ductus as Lyric Aesthetic,” at the 21st Biennial Congress of the New Chaucer Society, in Toronto, Ontario (July 2018).

Dr. Nolan Harms, assistant professor and chair of health and human performance, graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2018 with a Ph.D. in educational studies with an emphasis in instructional technology. The title of his dissertation was, “The Impact of WHOOP Technology on Sleep, Recovery, and Performance in NAIA Baseball Players.” 

Cheryl Haun, adjunct instructor in the master of education in early childhood program, published "The Formative Assessment System" for the LCMS Missouri District.

Cheryl Haun attended the Missouri District Educator Conference and served on the planning committee November 18-20, 2018.

Cheryl Haun led the National Consultant Tele-conference, "From Survive to Thrive: A Director’s Guide for Leading an Early Childhood Program​s," on January 10, 2019.

Cheryl Haun led the STEM Workshop for the ECE Director's in the CNH District February 7-8, 2019 and co-led STEM & Formative Assessment System for the MO District February 20, 2019.

Cheryl Haun served as Co-Chair for the ECE Spring Conference for the LCMS Missouri District held March 2, 2019. 

Philip Hendrickson, director of library services, co-led a panel presentation titled “SCUL(ling) Toward the Future: Small College and University Librarians Pulling Together,” examining the history of peer communities of practice among Nebraska libraries, at the Nebraska Library Association Fall Conference in October 2018. 

Dr. Jacob Hollatz, adjunct instructor in the master of education program, presented “Picking Rocks” at the 2018 Lutheran Educators Conference in Rancho Mirage, California.

Dr. Tim Huntington, associate professor of biology and criminal justice, was consulted as a forensic entomologist in eight murder investigations from five states in the past 12 months. Huntington testified as an expert witness in four homicide trials during the same time period. 

Dr. Tim Huntington was interviewed for the Coroner Talk podcast, a popular training resource for death investigators, on February 18, 2019. Huntington explained the science of forensic entomology, talked about evidence collection techniques, and spoke about some case studies on the broadcast. 

Dr. Jennifer Janousek, associate professor in health & human performance and master of public health program director, presented her experiences serving on medical and health mission trips in Guatemala to the Seward Kiwanis Club. 

Dr. Jennifer Janousek attended the Chronic Disease Summit in York, Nebraska, with Dr. Vicki Boye and current Concordia University, Nebraska students Alex LaPlant, Sebastian Garces, Tanner Schwaninger and Abbie Reitz.

Dr. Jennifer Janousek led a medical mission trip to Guatemala March 1-8, 2019.

Dr. Keith Kerschen, assistant professor of education, successfully defended the dissertation titled, Secondary Mathematics Teacher Retention: A Narrative Case Study of Experienced Teachers on June 18, 2018, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from Baylor University on August 11, 2018.

Dr. Keith Kerschen, is lead author on a journal article accepted and published in the Journal of Research in Childhood Education titled, “The Impact of a Summer Mathematics Academy on Rising Kindergartners’ Understanding of Early Number Concepts” on September 10, 2018.

Dr. Keith Kerschen is co-author on an article accepted and published on September 13, 2018, in the journal, Action in Teacher Education, titled, “Preservice Teachers’ Critical Connections to Effective Mathematical Teaching Practices: An Instructional Approach Using Vignettes.”

Dr. Keith Kerschen is co-author on an article accepted and published in the journal, School Science and Mathematics, titled, “Development and Validation of the Algebra Teachers’ Self-efficacy Instrument: Assessment of Algebra Teachers’ Knowledge and Personal Teaching Efficacy,” on September 23, 2018.

Dr. Keith Kerschen presented two sessions at the School Science and Mathematics Association Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, in October, 2018. Presentations were titled, “Planning for Action: Professional Development to Support Teaching Practices” and “Narratives from the Classroom: Exploring Mathematics Teacher Retention.”

Jessica Kiteadjunct professor of music, served as the guest clinician for the St. Thomas Lutheran Church Omaha Rings! Handbell Festival in February 2019. Concordia Handbell Choir performed and helped lead ringing as part of the mass handbell choir for the event.

Dr. Shannon Leinen, assistant professor in business and master of business administration program director, attended the Hillsdale Freemarket Forum in Kansas City in October 2018 as a guest of the THOM Foundation.

Dr. Shannon Leinen presented at the National Communication Association and Religious Communication conferences in November 2018, where she presented a paper and acted as a respondent. 

Dr. Shannon Leinen is writing a book review for the Journal of Faith and the Academy for spring 2019.

Dr. Shannon Leinen completed a third masters by graduating with the Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with Instructional Technology from Concordia University, Nebraska in May 2018.

Dr. Shannon Leinen presented two papers for the National Social Science Association Conference in April 2019.

Robert McEwen, J.D., adjunct professor, successfully argued a case in front of the Nebraska Supreme Court: Webb v. Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services et al., 301 Neb. 810 (2018), December 2018.

Dr. Matt McNiff, adjunct professor in the master of education in special education program, presented Functional Behavior Assessment/BIPS at ESO 10 in Kearney, Nebraska on November 1, 2018.

Dr. Matt McNiff and Dr. Brenda Maniff, adjunct instructors in the master of education in special

education program, were Keynote speakers at the First Annual Richard L. Simpson Conference

on Autism in Overland, Kansas.

Dr. Kevin Miller, adjunct professor in the College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education, published two articles: "An American Professor in Armenia: Reflections on special education, speech-language pathology, and university teaching" in Communication Disorders Quarterly and "Reflections on special education administration: A case study" in the Journal of Special Education Leadership.

Dr. Kevin Miller gave two presentations at the Council for Exceptional Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The titles of the presentations were “Deaf education: Where are we and where do we need to be?” and A look at Armenia: Supporting students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in general education settings.”

Dr. Kevin Miller gave three guest lectures on working with students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to speech-language pathology majors at Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol, Cyprus. 

Jonathon Moberly, JD, MBA, dean of the college of graduate studies and adult education, completed the requirements for his Colloquy in October 2018 and was inducted as a Minister of Religion at the Concordia University, Nebraska Chapel service on November 9, 2018. 

Jonathon Moberly in conjunction with Head Coach Patrick Daberkow developed and facilitated the Player Development Program for Concordia University, Nebraska Football, beginning with the incoming freshman class in August 2018, that involved assisting freshman football players in setting personal, academic and football goals, reflecting on their faith and revisiting those goals throughout their time as a student-athlete at the university.

Dr. Kristen Nugent, associate professor of education, (with a colleague from Lewis and Clark University in Portland, Oregon) presented at the American Council in the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference in New Orleans in November. The topic of their presentation was Teaching Culture in the Foreign Language Classroom While Continuing to Use the Language Being Taught.

Dr. Annette Oliver, associate professor of education, was advanced in rank to associate professor as of January 2018.

Dr. Annette Oliver, presented three sessions at the November 2018 Missouri District LCMS Educators’ Conference: Family and School Partnerships; Designing Indoor and Outdoor Spaces; and Full STEAM Ahead. This conference provided the additional opportunity to promote Concordia’s undergraduate and graduate Education programs.

Dr. Annette Oliver provided professional development for faculty and staff at St. John Child Development Center in January and February 2019.

Dr. Annette Oliver will host the 2019 Early Childhood Conference Full STEAM Ahead in June, 2019. The conference will partner with the LCMS Nebraska District and invite LCMS Districts Iowa East, Iowa West, Kansas, Missouri, Rocky Mountain. and South Dakota. 

Dr. Annette Oliver was the writer for CAEP Standard 3 “Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity” and assisted with the collection and completion of other data needs for CAEP and NDE Accreditation for both graduate and undergraduate early childhood programs in Summer 2018.

Dr. Beth Pester, director of middle level education and student teaching and assistant professor of education, successfully defended her dissertation, earning her Doctorate of Philosophy in Education in June 2018. Her dissertation was titled: Traditional and Block Scheduling: A Comparison of College Academic Performance Levels of First-Year Students Who Report Different High School Academic Scheduling Plans, in June 2018.

Dr. Jerrald Pfabe, emeritus professor, gave a presentation at Seward Memorial Library titled “Seward County Women Go to Court: Women Plaintiffs in the Seward County District Court, 1869-88,” based on his research in the records of the District Court. He has also submitted this research for publication.

Dr. C. Matthew Phillips, professor of history, published a chapter entitled, “The Typology of the Cross and Crusade Preaching,” In Crusading in Art, Thought, and Will. Eds. Matthew H. Parker, Benjamin Halliburton and Anne Romine. Leiden: Brill, 2018, pp. 166-185.  

Dr. C. Matthew Phillips presented a paper entitled, “Bearing the Cross of Love: An Exegetical Theme in Monastic and Crusade Sermons,” at the Fourth International Symposium on the Crusades at Saint Louis University in June 2018. 

Ken Sankey, master of education in education administration program director, attended the Gospel Conference on July 11-12, 2018 and presented an update on the Lutheran School Ministry Program to the group.

Ken Sankey attended the Nebraska District Fall Administrators Conference on September 28, 2018 and provided an update to administrators on the Lutheran School Ministry Program and the Nebraska District.

Ken Sankey attended the Heartland Summit held on the campus of Concordia University, Nebraska on October 7-9, 2018 and presented the Lutheran School Ministry Program program to the LCMS secondary principals, district education executives, and representatives from Concordia-Chicago and Concordia-Wisconsin and Ann Arbor.

Ken Sankey led two sectionals titled “Behaviors of Successful School Leaders” at the Nebraska District Educator’s Conference in Omaha on October 18-19, 2018.

Ken Sankey attended the Lutheran Education Association Administrator’s Conference in Washington D.C in February 2019.

Ken Sankey attended the Association of Lutheran Secondary School Conference in New York, New York in March 2019.

Dr. Lorinda Sankey, professor of education, was advanced in rank to professor as of January 2019. 

Dr. Lorinda Sankey presented two sessions at the Iowa East and West Districts LCMS in October 2018. The titles of these sessions were Core Values, Rules, Consequences from the Genesis Model and Cultural Competence with Families and Students. 

Dylan Teut, executive director of Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival, was named to the Mazza National Advisory Board of Visitors through the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. The Mazza Museum houses most diverse collection of original art from picture books in the world. 

Dylan Teut was named to the Mathical Book Prize Selection committee by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) in partnership with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and in coordination with the Children’s Book Council (CBC). He will meet with the committee once a year in New York to award the prizes as a representative of the NCTE.

Dylan Teut facilitated a full day workshop at the International Literacy Association’s Children’s Literature Day in Austin, Texas on July 23, where he provided over 200 educators with tips and strategies for using biographies in the primary classroom curriculum, as part of the ILA’s “Putting Books to Work” program.

Dylan Teut presented two workshops at the Iowa District West and Iowa District East LCMS Teacher’s Conference on October 23 in Des Moines, Iowa. The topics were, “Reading and Writing to Change the World,” and “All Around: Disciplinary Literacy Strategies for Every Content Area.” 

Dylan Teut moderated a panel for the National Council of Teachers of English at their annual convention in Houston, Texas in November 2018. The panel was titled, “The Dirty Truth about Nonfiction,” and features four award-winning non-fiction authors and illustrators.

Dylan Teut has been invited to work closely with the International Literacy Association to plan a portion of the 2019 international conference's Children's Literature Day. This role will include working closely with ILA leadership, publisher, and authors to connect curriculum, teachers, and children's book authors.

Dr. Daniel Thurber, professor Emeritus of English, led his 24th London and Europe Study Tour to England and the Czech Republic in late December 2018 and early January 2019. He led a group of 17 participants to major historical, literary and cultural sites. Dr. Thurber has taken more than 500 students on his trips and he plans a special 25th Study Tour for this upcoming December and January.

Dr. Kathleen Wheeler, graduate assessment and accreditation coordinator and program director for the master of education in literacy, developed a phase-in plan in conjunction with Dr. Lorinda Sankey for the Master of Education programs in preparation for the Council of Accreditation for Education Preparation (CAEP) visit in April 2019.

Dr. Tirizia York, program director for the Master of Healthcare Administration, attended the American Medical Billing Association national conference October 17-20, 2018.