July 14, 2023

40 first-year students join Nebraska Business Honors Academy

Howard Hawks Hall
Craig Chandler | University Communication

Craig Chandler | University Communication

Forty high-achieving first-year students have been selected to join the Nebraska Business Honors Academy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln this fall. Comprising the academy’s 11th cohort, the students hail from two countries, nine U.S. states and 12 Nebraska communities.

“Nebraska Business Honors Academy alumni have taken their talents to careers and graduate schools spanning 32 states and five countries, with 25% of alumni heading straight into a graduate or professional degree program,” said Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business. “The talented students in the 11th cohort will learn to challenge themselves in new and different ways from day one. They will stretch their strengths both in and out of the classroom and hone their academic, interpersonal and leadership skills as they prepare to lead the future of business.”

The incoming cohort plans to study in nine academic majors within the College of Business. Students will complete most of their core and foundation business curriculum together, using an action-based learning style focused on the development of critical thinking, technical and communication skills.

The new students will participate in leadership activities and student competitions across the country to enhance their professional communication. They will also participate in internships and study abroad experiences.

“We’re incredibly excited to welcome the next cohort to the Nebraska Business Honors Academy,” said Erin Burnette, the academy’s director. “Throughout the selection process, it was clear they each were eager to challenge themselves and find ways to positively impact the community at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. We on the academy team are honored to be able to have a front-row seat as we help them learn, grow and realize their potential as they progress through their college career.”

Academy students are involved in more than 150 student organizations on campus, serving in a variety of leadership roles. This summer, more than 60% of the students participated in paid internships across 14 states and two countries. Since January, 23% of the students have studied abroad in eight countries.

Applications for the 2024 cohort open in August and will be accepted through Nov. 15. Learn more.

The following students will join the fall 2023 cohort of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. The student’s high school is included in parentheses if it differs from the hometown.



  • Ellie Whitehead, actuarial science (Ashland-Greenwood)


  • Madeline Rentschler, business and law (West Holt)


  • Justin Kerkman, actuarial science (Pius X)


  • Hunter Bohl, accounting

Grand Island:

  • Taylor Mazour, actuarial science (Northwest)


  • Liam Hodges, marketing


  • Rylie Wright, marketing


  • Karson Walters, business administration


  • Graceyn Anderson, accounting (Lincoln Southeast)
  • Will Blatchford, economics (Pius X)
  • Will Brown, business administration (Lincoln North Star)
  • Nicholas Loriaux, finance (Lincoln Southwest)
  • Megan McCormick, international business (Lincoln Southwest)
  • Jonah Mitchell, accounting (Lincoln Southwest)
  • Caleb Sajevic, management (Lincoln Southwest)


  • Cecilia Beckerbauer, business administration (Millard West)
  • Evan Burns, actuarial science (Millard North)
  • Charlie Cox, finance (Westside)
  • Jacob Hyder, business administration (Millard North)
  • Karyssa Johnson, international business (Millard North)
  • Fletcher Kelly, business administration (Creighton Prep)
  • Cassy Limley, business administration (Elkhorn)
  • Sam Mullin, business administration (Creighton Prep)
  • Ryan Tillotson, economics (Mount Michael)


  • Sam Lockhart, finance (Papillion-La Vista)
  • Brayan Valadez, business administration (Papillion-La Vista)


  • Jack Welch, business administration (Conestoga)


Tuscon, Arizona:

  • Daniel Sutherland, actuarial science (Catalina Foothills)

Albers, Illinois:

  • Sophia Bretz, actuarial science (Central Community)

Geneva, Illinois:

  • Brock Mason, actuarial science

South Elgin, Illinois:

  • Peyton LaCroix, marketing (St. Charles East)

Leawood, Kansas:

  • JP Moore, actuarial science (Barstow School)

Overland Park, Kansas:

  • John Jacobson, marketing (St. James Academy)
  • Miles Wirth, business administration (Blue Valley Southwest)

Elko New Market, Minnesota:

  • Mia Monroe, business administration (New Prague)

Manchester, Missouri:

  • Derrien Gatchel, business administration (Parkway West)

Round Rock, Texas:

  • Faye Shrader, actuarial science (Gateway College Prep)

Franklin, Wisconsin:

  • Jack Goelz, actuarial science (Wisconsin Lutheran)

Nashotah, Wisconsin:

  • Charlie Kubik, accounting (Arrowhead Union North)

Pyeongtaek, South Korea:

  • Katelyn Ganske, accounting (Osan American)

News Release Contact(s)

Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and External Relations, College of Business