No breakpoint

Highlights Winter 2019

Student Highlights

Additional Concordia undergraduate students who traveled abroad include Kimberly Sleeper, who studied abroad in Chile, as well as Rebecca Hoffschneider, who studied abroad in Greece with the American Institute for Foreign Study and Rachel Smithley experienced Peru as she studied abroad through Veritas. Kate Esser traveled to Ethiopia with Lutheran Bible Translators on a vision trip. Vision trips allow students to shadow those who are Lutheran Bible Translators and envision themselves working in that position. Spain saw some Concordia students studying abroad, with Rachel Kunkel also through AIFS, Stephanie Barry through Academic Programs International and Josie Mottl with Spanish Studies. Bethany Gillet visited Scotland through Veritas on a study abroad trip and studied at the University of Sterling, where she took nonfiction creative writing and Scottish film classes, attended a refuge church and watched 25 individuals become baptized, in addition to exploring the country.

Jessica Wang, studio art, art therapy and physical science major, designed the artwork for the cover of the textbook Mathematical Modeling with Excel by professor of mathematics, Dr. Brian Albright.

Annie Pico, Grace Psencik, Henry Reimer and Joshua Schick were selected to present on “Why a Concordia Education Matters” for the dedication of the new Dunklau Center for Science, Math, and Business.

Melody Niemoth was accepted into the music therapy internship program at Midwest Music Therapy Services in St. Louis, Missouri. Melody began her position in September and will continue throughout the school year.

Tristen (Mosier) Metzger was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Cadence Klemp graduated with her degree in music therapy in August. She is the first graduate of this degree program. Cadence became board certified and is now working as a music therapist

Thomas Johnson’s choral composition Tavern was named a finalist in the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s 4th Biennial Young Composers’ Competition and was performed by the choir at the Youth & Music 2019 concert in May.

Harlie Himmelberg, Tristen (Mosier) Metzger, Johanna (Ragland) Owen, and Abigail Reitz were recognized as Major of the Year award recipients in their respective majors by SHAPE Nebraska.

Harlie Himmelberg was accepted into the Physician Assistant Program at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

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-June 27, 2019, in Shenzhen, China, at Buena Vista Concordia International School. This is the seventh summer CUNE 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."

Lauren Chumbley, Callie Firminhac, Breann Huber, Michael Leapley, Sam Moore and Sarah Niemeier presented at the Lutheran Education Association national conference in St. Louis in October.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Faculty and Staff Highlights

Dr. Tirizia York, Master of Healthcare Administration Program Director, was a member of the planning committee and mission team for a mission trip to Trinidad & Tobago in July 2019.

Dylan Teut was invited to facilitate a full day workshop at the International Literacy Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 10, 2019. Dylan's workshop was a part of the Children's Literature Day and was titled "Moving Classrooms Forward with Picture Books," and featured five best-selling authors/illustrators.

Dylan Teut, Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival Director, presented at Concordia University, Nebraska's Early Childhood Conference on Monday, June 10, and spoke about "Igniting a Spark for S.T.E.A.M. through Picture Books.”

Dr. Benjamin Stellwagen, Director of Dual Credit and School Partnerships, earned his Ph.D. in History from Indiana University in June 2019. He presented parts of his dissertation, “‘Out-Sourcing’ the Self: Ethnoreligious Identity of German Christians in Soviet Villages, 1917-1945,” at the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Conference in San Francisco in November 2019.

Dr. C. Matthew Phillips, Professor of History, gave a scholarly presentation entitled, ““Preaching the Cross of Penance: The Use of the Image of the Cross as a Guide for Penance in Early Scholastic Sermons,” at the Fifty-Fourth International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University on May 10, 2019. 

Dr. Annette Oliver, program director for Early Childhood Education, presented three sectionals at the October 2019 Lutheran Education Association in St. Louis, Missouri: Full STEAM Ahead, Assessment Tools for Children Ages 3 – 5, and Why Do We Do It?

Aaron Nix starred in a regional commercial for Schaefer’s in November 2019.

Aaron Nix starred in a video produced by Lincoln, Nebraska based ad agency redthread on behalf of Aurora Cooperative. Concordia alumni were also involed with the production including producer Eva Lube and drone operator Luke Riley.

Aaron Nix, assistant professor of art, directed a short film (Hi. I’m Kassi.) that participated in the 2019 Omaha Film Festival 48 hour Challenge. Concordia students involved with the cast and crew include Emma Brand, Jacob Garrison, Kassidy Grosserode, Sarah Johnson and Jordyne Vanselow.

Dr. Andrew Langewisch participated in the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Accreditation Institute, a 3-day event to prepare our department for reaccreditation, and will lead our effort in preparing for that.  Our last re-accreditation was in 2014, and our Self-Study year is 2020-21. The quality of the IACBE accreditation has been found to be so rigorous that the Higher Learning Commission, our regional university-wide accreditation body, has at several institutions accepted IACBE accreditation with no need for further documentation. This year the IACBE will recognize our transition to a college.  Because the online Bachelor of Science courses have the same learning objectives and assessment plan but just a different modality, that program will enjoy immediate accreditation.

Dr. Erica Lamm, assistant professor of communication, 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 CUNE 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. 

Jessica Kite, Concordia's Director of Handbell Choirs, served as the clinician for the JuBellation Ringers' Handbell Workshop in Alma, Kansas, on October 26th, 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. Keith Kerschen presented two sessions at the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA) Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on November 8, 2019. Presentations were titled, “Validation of the Algebra Teachers’ Self-efficacy Instrument (ATSEI) for Preservice Teachers” and “Supporting the Retention of Mathematics and Science Teachers: Addressing CAEP Standard 4.3.”

Dr. Keith Kerschen is a co-author on the article, “The Impact of a Varied Field Experience on Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of their Personal Growth: A Summer Math Academy for Early Learners” accepted for publication in the journal The Teacher Educator on May 9, 2019.

Dr. Keith Kerschen, assistant professor of education, participated in a mission trip to Trinec, Czech Republic, where he taught at a VBS and English Camp from July 1 – 5th, 2019.

Todd Johnson, assistant professor of business, attended the Hillsdale Freemarket Forum in Philadeliphia, Pennsylvania, in October 2019 as a guest of the THOM Foundation.

Philip Hendrickson, Director of Library Services, wrote four devotions in the Portals of Prayer Devotional Bible, published by Concordia Publishing House in 2019.

The following faculty and students presented at the Lutheran Education Association national conference in St. Louis in October.

Dr. Amanda Geidel, associate professor of education and special education program director, Dr. Beth Pester, assistant professor of education and director of middle level education, Kristen Nugent, assistant professor of education and program director of secondary education, Dr. Annette Oliver, assistant professor of education and early childhood education program director, Shanna Opfer, assistant professor of education and elementary education program director, Ken Sankey, director of education administration, and Dr. Lorinda Sankey, dean of the college of education, health and human sciences, presented at the Lutheran Education Association national conference in St. Louis in October.

Rev. Dr. David Coe, Assistant Professor of Theology, has two books approved for publication in 2020. Kierkegaard and Luther, to be published by Fortress Academic Press, opens the Luther sermons nineteenth-century Danish Lutheran philosopher Søren Kierkegaard read, reveals what Kierkegaard lauded, lanced, missed and misjudged of Luther, and spotlights the concord they actually share, namely, the negative yet necessary role Christian suffering (Anfechtung) plays in Christian life. Provoking Proverbs, to be published by Concordia Publishing House, categorizes the Book of Proverbs according to the Ten Commandments so that students can easily personalize and memorize their favorite Proverb for each Commandment, provoking them to fear, love and trust in God above all things because God forgives, loves and treasures them first (1 John 4:19).

Jennifer Bockelman, adjunct professor of art, exhibited her work in two solo exhibitions this year. In May she presented new collages and sculptures at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska. Titled, “Temporary Imaginary,” the show featured stitched hangings that she initiated during her residency at the Brashnar Creative Project located in Skopje, Macedonia. This August her embroidery samplers were highlighted in a solo exhibition at the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney as part of the Nebraska Now series. In addition to a public talk, Bockelman led a workshop program for the community. This autumn her work was included in two shows, “Mac’N Cheese with Diet Coke” held at the JuiceBox Art Space in Denver, Colorado, and “Studio Champloo” at the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. In January, Jennifer's new embroidery will be displayed in “Fiberfest: Females, Fibers and Finesse” at the LUX Center.

Dr. Jeffrey Blersch, professor of Music, 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.

Evan Balleweg, operations manager for the Center for Liturgical Art; Aaron Nix, assistant professor of art; and Michael Scheer, art and design coordinator for the Center for Liturgical Art, won third place in the Geeks Who Drink trivia night at HopCat in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Dr. Lisa Ashby, professor of English, and the leadership team for Nebraska Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster was honored with the 2019 Step Forward Award for Volunteerism in Disaster in October for their work with the 2019 midwestern flooding.

Dr. Vicki Anderson and adjunct Jon Anderson led a team of ten CUNE undergraduates on a field experience to teach in English camps from June 20-June 27, 2019, in Shenzhen, China, at Buena Vista Concordia International School. This is the seventh summer CUNE 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." The students who participated in this experience were Kirsten Hall, Olivia Hunt, Erin Johnson, Kianna Ogilvie, Andria Ostovich, Tia Pawlowski, Audrey Quandt, Hayden Rensner,​ Adrianna Shaw and Danae Welling.

Dr. Vicki Anderson was appointed as future Conference Chair for MIDTESOL 2021 (which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, in September, 2021).

Dr. Vicki Anderson, chair of the intercultural studies & modern language program, TESOL graduate program director, ESL/ELL/TESOL undergraduate program director and associate professor of education, presented at MIDTESOL (MidAmerica Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) 2019 on September 27, in Omaha, Nebraska, about a method of enhancing mentoring of CUNE undergraduates who work with her in China each summer entitled "Co-Construction of Professional Development for Teacher Candidates Working with ELLs."

Dr. Brian Albright, professor of mathematics, published the second edition of his textbook Mathematical Modeling with Excel in November 2019. Jessica Wang, studio art, art therapy and physical science major, designed the artwork for the cover.