Highlights Summer 2020

Student Highlights

Concordia Handbell Choir provided special handbell music for the Circuit Reformation Worship Service at St. John Lutheran Church in Alma, Kansas, on October 27th, 2019.

Undergraduate business students had the opportunity to travel to Phnom Penh Cambodia in May 2019 as part of a class to help students at two Christian schools and to collaborate with a local nonprofit with international reach, the Garuna Foundation, on the development of a business plan for sustainable revenue growth. The students were able to immerse themselves in a new culture, gain valuable international experience and be involved in hands-on work.

Ashleigh Baker, Abigail Deloach, Chelsea Irwin, Monica Lennington and Daniel Spaulding traveled to a small village just outside of Wisła, Poland with Holy Savior Church. These students administered an ESL summer camp by teaching children from ages 8 to 14 English lessons, some English sports and different American crafts.

Hunter Bartels, Breann Huber, Kennedy McMullin and Treianne Park accompanied Dr. Vicki Anderson on a field experience to the Mill Neck School for the Deaf in Long Island, New York, on May 4-11, 2019. While there, they decided to form an ASL Club, the first of its kind on campus. 

Emma Brand, Jacob Garrison, Kassidy Grosserode, Sarah Johnson, Jordyne Vanselow and Aaron Nix, assistant professor of art, created, starred in and were members of the crew for a short film (Hi. I’m Kassi.) that participated in the 2019 Omaha Film Festival 48-hour Challenge.

Sonja Brandt, Victoria Cameron, Cassandra Eberth and Laura VonKampen traveled to Anchorage, Alaska with Can-Do Missions and St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, volunteered at several centers for homeless and at-risk youth, food banks, churches, a Lutheran school and a pregnancy center. They served in a variety of ways, including Bible study, devotions, a basketball tournament, cleaning and yard work.

Kirsten Hall, Olivia Hunt, Erin Johnson, Kianna Ogilvie, Andria Ostovich, Tia Pawlowski, Audrey Quandt, Hayden Rensner,​ Adrianna Shaw and Danae Welling accompanied Dr. Vicki Anderson on a field experience to teach in English camps from June 20-27, 2019, in Shenzhen, China, at Buena Vista Concordia International School. This is the seventh summer Concordia has sent a team or teams to Shenzhen to conduct ESL summer camps; this summer's camps had a space science and robotics theme of "Interstellar STEAM."

Dr. Kathy Miller, Kathy Rippstein, circulation director and Concordia students Sonja Brandt, Victoria Cameron, Lauren Chumbley, Alison Coomer, Kyndle Kirby, Kennedy McMullin, Jack Rolland and Kirsten Wagner, as well as Concordia alum Clyde Ericson are going on a mission trip to Akiachak, Alaska, a fishing village in the bush of Southwest Alaska, June 12-20, for Bible camp and basketball camp.

Organ students Aaron Jackson and Renata Peperkorn participated in a joint project with UNL composition students in which composers were paired with organists to create and then perform new, original works for the organ. 

Church music student Jacob Roggow completed an internship in the music department of Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis.

The University A Cappella Choir performed at the Nebraska Music Education Association conference in Lincoln, Nebraska in November 2019. Choirs are chosen by audio audition and every three years a choir is eligible to audition. Every three years since the choir first auditioned in 2001, the A Cappella Choir has been chosen to perform.

Brooke Gettman opened her art show “Response” at the Norfolk Arts Center in Norfolk, NE. Her show ran from December 2019 through February 2020.

Kassidy Grosserode had her photograph “Separation” selected for the juried exhibition “Who Are You?” at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Her work was featured alongside artists from all over the world.

Jordyne Vanselow was selected for the curatorial internship at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha. She worked alongside curator-in-residence, Sylvie Fortin.

William Helmer has been accepted into the geography graduate programs and received a graduate assistantship position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jackson Abramo was accepted into all four graduate schools to which he applied and has decided to attend the University of Nebraska­-Lincoln’s master’s program in school psychology in the fall.

Tayler Gipe presented her paper titled, “The Proposed Effects of Educational Intervention on Attitudes and Beliefs Towards ECT Treatment,” at the Great Plains Psychology Students’ Conference in St. Joseph, Mo., March 6-7, 2020.

Sara Kettelhake presented her paper titled, “The Proposed Effects of Caffeine Use on Academic Responsibility,” at the Great Plains Psychology Students’ Conference in St. Joseph, Mo., March 6-7, 2020.

Rachel Kunkel presented her paper titled, “The Impact of Military Deployments on Military Families: A Proposal,” at the Great Plains Psychology Students’ Conference in St. Joseph, Mo., March 6-7, 2020.

Lauren Chumbley, Breann Huber Michael Leapley, Samuel Moore and Sarah Niemeier presented at Lutheran Education Convocation in St. Louis in October. Their presentation, Answering the Call, was a session about why they are preparing to teach in Lutheran schools. 

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Rev. Dr. David Coe, Assistant Professor of Theology, published his article, “The Bird, the Christian, and the Pagan: Preaching Tips from Søren Kierkegaard,” in Taking Kierkegaard Personally (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2020).

Rev. Dr. David Coe, Assistant Professor of Theology, had two books approved for publication in 2020. Kierkegaard and Luther will be published by Fortress Academic Press, and Provoking Proverbs will be published by Concordia Publishing House.

Dr. Erica Lamm advanced in rank to associate professor of communication in February 2020.

Dr. Erica Lamm presented on two panels at the National Communication Association annual conference in November 2019.

Dr. Erica Lamm and Dr. Shannon Leinen, MBA program director, presented “Developing an Organizational Development Clinic” at the October 2019 Women in Educational Leadership Conference at the University Nebraska-Lincoln. The presentation was based on the MBA Organization Development Clinic that Dr. Leinen has managed over the past four years at Concordia University, Nebraska. The Organization Development Clinic allows small business owners, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurs in the area who need help with marketing, operations, and business plan development to have an MBA course built around them where the they work alongside Concordia MBA students for eight weeks and the students help them develop a solution for success. The MBA Organization Development Clinic has assisted 15 organizations over the past four years. 

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch, professor of music, published several new pieces with Concordia Publishing House:  The 9th volume of his series of Hymn Introductions and Harmonizations, “Triumphant Gladness: 5 Preludes for Organ based on Easter Hymns”, an anthem for SATB chorus entitled “Welcome,” and “O Savior of Our Fallen Race” which has been a part of the annual Christmas at Concordia celebrations since 2003.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch was commissioned by the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod to arrange five hymns for use in their new hymnal.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch performed hymn festivals at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Lansing, Michigan (May 2019) and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis (August 2019). He also had three new works released by Concordia Publishing House in May 2019: The 8th volume of Hymn Introductions, Harmonizations, Interpretations, Reflections, I Will Praise: 8 pieces for the beginning flutist and organ/piano, and choral anthem “Herald of Good News,” commissioned by Concordia Publishing House on the occasion of their 150th anniversary.

Dr. Joseph Herl, professor of music, wrote the chapter “German Lutheran Hymnody 1650–1750” for the book Hymns and Hymnody: Historical and Theological Introductions, vol. 2, edited by Mark A. Lamport, Benjamin K. Forrest, and Vernon M. Whaley (Cascade Books, 2019).

Dr. Joseph Herl edited (with Peter C. Reske and Jon D. Vieker) Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Hymns, 2 vols., which was published in December 2019 by Concordia Publishing House.

Dr. Joseph Herl has been appointed research professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where, in addition to his work at Concordia, will direct the Hymn Tune Index, an online census of hymn tunes published with English-language texts before 1821.

Dr. Joseph Herl reviewed The Hymnal: A Reading History, by Christopher N. Phillips, in the Fall–Winter 2019 issue of Cross Accent: Journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.

Dr. Joseph Herl read papers at the annual meeting of the Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie in Halle/Saale in August 2019 and at the Good Shepherd Institute in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in November 2019.

Dr. Joseph Herl presented workshops at conferences sponsored by St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Topeka, Kansas, in August 2019 and by Zion Lutheran Church in Ainsworth, Nebraska, in September 2019.

Dr. Joseph Herl lectured on “Crafting Faithful and Effective Hymn Translations” and served as a hymn-writing mentor at a symposium for hymn translators in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in November 2019.

Dr. Joseph Herl served as a final-round judge for a hymn competition of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians in November 2019.

Dr. Joseph Herl was interviewed for podcasts by the Gottesdienst Crowd and the Center for Worship Leadership at Concordia University Irvine.

Dr. Kurt E. von Kampen, professor of music, chair of the music department and director of choral activities, was invited to conduct the Texas Private School Music Education Association Region Three Honor Choir in Houston, Texas in January 2020. Concordia graduates Michael Palomaki and Theron Jenkins had students accepted into the honor choir.

Jessica Kite, director of handbell choirs, served as the clinician for the JuBellation Ringers' Handbell Workshop in Alma, Kansas, on October 26, 2019. Multiple handbell choirs from Kansas joined in a day of ringing and performed a concert along with the Concordia Handbell Choir to conclude the event.

Dr. Brian Albright, professor of mathematics, published the second edition of his textbook “Mathematical Modeling with Excel” in November 2019. Student Jessica Wang designed the artwork for the cover.