Highlights Winter 2015

Concordia University, Nebraska was blessed with many successes throughout the 2014-15 academic year. The following list includes some of the many accomplishments achieved by our students, faculty and staff. 

Student Highlights

Jonathon Anderson, Peter Deberny, Jonathan Grant, Jacob Henson, Luke Kaldahl, Nehemiah Langness, Caleb Ristvedt, Caleb Pfeil and Cole Wohlgemuth participated in the annual Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) North Central North America Regional Programming Contest on Oct. 31, 2015. These students were split into three groups and competed against universities that extended from Colorado to Wisconsin and from Missouri into Canada. The Concordia team “FFoD,” which included Luke Kaldahl, Nehemiah Langness and Caleb Pfeil, placed in the top 20 percent, achieving a rank of 39 out of 223 teams.

Sean Carpenter completed an internship during the summer of 2015 with Concordia Publishing House in the music/worship department. He also published settings in CPH’s creative worship resources this year.

Laura Hedstrom won first place in the first round of competition of the Regional Competition for Young Organists in March 2015. Her first place finish qualified her to compete in the final round of competition during the convention of the American Guild of Organists held in St. Louis, Missouri, in June, where she received third place.

Laura Hedstrom, Barb Leising, Peter Klinge and Tom Wyatt participated in a master class with international performing and recording artist Dr. Gail Archer in September.

Emma Heidorn attended the Minnesota Iowa Nebraska Kansas (MINK) Women in Computing (WIC) conference in Kansas City, Missouri Oct. 15-16.

Jacob Kettner, an exercise science major, Adam Meirose, an exercise science major, and Creighton Pearse, a health and physical education major received College Student of the Year awards at the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE Nebraska) awards luncheon in Kearney, Nebraska, Nov. 3. Meirose and Pearse were also recognized as overall Students of the Year for Nebraska in exercise science and health education, respectively.

Mary Leising, an accounting major, was awarded with a $2,000 Society Award Scholarship in the name of Professor Emeritus of Business Administration Dr. Stan Obermueller.

Meredith Locke was awarded first place in both the Sophomore Women and Lower College Women Musical Theatre categories during the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) music competition in October.

Kyle Munson was awarded a Chengdu Mayor’s Scholarship and the Wu-foo Scholarship to help pay for his academic program as he studied abroad in Chengdu, China. While in China, Kyle studied the Mandarin language and the Chinese culture.

Ann Schmidt was offered a job at Lexmark Enterprise Software in Kansas City, Missouri, as a software engineer.

Brett Shaw was accepted into the Master of Arts program in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education with an emphasis in mathematics teaching at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Megan Sparling composed an original song entitled, “Deep in Love,” which was performed by the University A Cappella Choir on the 2015 spring tour.

Lauren Staehr was awarded first place in the Senior Women Classical category during the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) music competition in October.

Rebekah Uden, an accounting major, was awarded with a $1,500 Scholarship in the name of Professor Emeritus of Business Administration Dr. Stan Obermueller.

Claire White, an environmental science/geography major, was awarded the Raymond A. Burke Scholarship.

The University A Cappella Choir released a two-CD set entitled “Just the Voice” and “With Instruments.” Music on the discs includes repertoire from the 2012-14 University A Cappella Choirs. 

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Dr. Vicki Anderson, associate professor of education, and Dr. Erica Lamm, assistant professor of communication, led a group of undergraduates on a trip to Shenzhen, China, where the students taught English camp to K-8 grade Chinese students at the Buena Vista Concordia International School.

Dr. Jeffery Blersch, professor of music, had two collections of pieces released from Concordia Publishing House. The first piece, “For Manuals Only,” is a collection of 14 hymn tune arrangements for organ, and the second piece, “Feast after Feast,” volume 2, is a collection of eight arrangements for organ on communion hymns.

Professor of Art James Bockelman took part in an artist talk at the Joslyn Museum of Art in Omaha, Nebraska. The talk took place on July 30, 2015, and included three other artists whose work was in the exhibit.

James Bockelman was part of a two-person exhibition at the Circuitous Succession Gallery in Memphis, Tennessee, where six of his paintings were featured during the summer of 2015.

James Bockelman’s artwork was on display at the Ironton Gallery in Denver, Colorado, during the summer of 2015. The exhibition was titled “Bordering” and explored domestic and public spaces, cultural and geographic spheres and experiences that are both real and virtual.

Associate Dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Dr. Ronald Bork has been approved as a Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) site visitor for accreditation visits that begin in the spring semester of 2015-16.

Professor of Health and Human Performance Dr. Vicki Boye, Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance Dr. Jennifer Janousek, and adjunct professor Dr. Lea Pounds presented a breakout session entitled “Health & Religion: A Determining Factor” at the Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN) conference on Sept. 23, 2015.

Dr. Amanda Geidel, assistant professor of education, successfully defended her dissertation from Northcentral University in Arizona in the area of exceptional learners.

Dr. Amanda Geidel presented “Successful Intervention Plans from Start to Finish” at the LCMS Nebraska District Educators’ Conference on Oct. 22, 2015.

Director of Strategic Enrollment Initiatives Jeremy Geidel presented “Admission and Recruitment Essentials for ALL Lutheran Schools” at a teachers’ conference in August 2015 at Rockford Lutheran High School in Rockford, Illinois.

Rev. Dr. Terence Groth, assistant professor of theology, published an article on the Biblical and Confessional understanding of sin for the Circuit Winkel Bible Study as a resource on The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod website as part of the “Words of Life for the Church and the World” series.

Director of Library Services Phil Hendrickson appeared live on YouTube in July 2015 on a show hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission. He presented “Why a Small University Library Has Grown a Monthly Board Game Night.”

Professor of Music Dr. Joseph Herl’s article, “Earliest Source of ‘Cwm Rhondda’ Found” appeared in the summer 2015 issue of The Hymn Society Bulletin, the journal of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland. It reports the discovery in Wales of a program from the 1907 hymn festival at which the tune “Cwm Rhondda,” commonly sung today to “Guide me, O thou great Redeemer” and “God of grace and God of glory,” was first sung.

Dr. Joseph Herl presented with Peter Reske of Concordia Publishing House a paper on producing a hymnal companion using primary sources at the joint conference of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and the International Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie at the University of Cambridge in July 2015.

Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance Dr. Jennifer Janousek was named the co-chair of the Public Health Education Section of the Public Health Association of Nebraska (PHAN).

Dr. Jennifer Janousek was selected as Wiley Faculty Fellow. The following description was taken directly from Wiley: “Fellows are selected from the network of Wiley partner schools. They share a distinguished record of accomplishment in their profession as well as enthusiasm for new pedagogical and technological approaches to their instruction. The Wiley Faculty Fellows program both honors these educators and advances their innovative work via collaboration with one another as well as with Wiley.”

Dr. Erica Lamm, assistant professor of communication, edited the newest edition of Listening Education, an online publication of the International Listening Association. The issue can be found at listen.org.

Dr. Sharon Link, an adjunct faculty member in the MBA program, and her 20-year-old autistic son were invited to be keynote speakers and present six workshops at the Idaho Council for Exceptional Children’s Conference that was held on Oct. 3 and 4, 2015.

Professor of Sociology Dr. Kathy Miller took a mission trip to Pilger, Nebraska, in July to reshingle a garage, tear off old siding that had been damaged and repaint a home.

Dr. Russell Mosemann, professor of computing sciences, successfully completed the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) Reverse Engineering Malware (GREM) exam. Mosemann was also invited to become a member of the SAN/GIAC Advisory Board based upon his outstanding performance/grade on the certification exam.  

Dr. Stan Obermueller, professor emeritus of business administration, was honored by the Nebraska Society of Certified Public Accountants as the 2015 Educator of the Year. Two senior accounting students, Mary Leising and Rebekah Uden, were awarded scholarships in his name.

Assistant Professors of Education Annette Oliver and Beth Pester were featured in the CALMS newsletter as ambassadors for Concordia University, Nebraska after helping lead a week of training seminars in July 2015 for key Belizean educators selected by the Belize Department of Education.

Assistant Professor of Education Shanna Opfer presented “The Truth Behind the Common Core Standards” and “Integrating Technology: Every Student Response Assessment Strategies” at The Lutheran Church—Hong Kong Synod International School Professional Development Conference in Shenzhen, China.

Beth Pester presented at a back-to-back teachers conference in August 2015 at Rockford Lutheran High School in Rockford, Illinois. Pester presented “Crash Course on the Middle School Student Mind.”

Assistant Professor of Theology Rev. Dr. Dirk Reek received his Ph.D. from Trinity Theological Seminary in Evansville, Indiana. His thesis, “AN INVESTIGATION OF THE NOTIONS OF ‘TRUTH’ AND ‘FAITH’ IN CURRENT APPROACHES TO THE APOLOGETIC TASK,” was accepted during the summer of 2015.

Professor of Art Lynn Soloway was a keynote speaker at the 2015 Women’s Conference Nov. 6-7, 2015, in Fremont, California. She presented how God worked in unique ways to bring her to Jesus.

Dylan Teut, Concordia’s Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival coordinator, was announced as an honoree named to the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) inaugural 30 Under 30 list. This list recognizes the next generation of young innovators, advocates and educators who are leading efforts to address the challenges of today’s evolving education landscape and make a difference in the global literacy landscape.

Associate Professor of Education Dr. Bernie Tonjes presented at a back-to-back teachers conference in August 2015 at Rockford Lutheran High School in Rockford, Ill. Tonjes presented “The Teacher’s Brain and the Cognitive Miser.”

Professor of Education Dr. Janell Uffelman completed 20 years as director of the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival.

Dr. Janell Uffelman presented at the Nebraska District Educators Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, on Oct. 23, 2015. She provided teachers with strategies and materials to foster engaging vocabulary instruction.

Professor of Music Dr. Kurt von Kampen’s choral piece “O Lux Beata Trinitas” was accepted for publication by Colla Voce Music Publishers. The piece was selected to be featured in the summer of 2015 at conventions for the Texas, Iowa and Indiana Choral Associations.