April 18, 2023

Peteranetz earns diversity leadership honor for staff

Markeya Peteranetz accepts the Diversity Leadership Staff award from Marco Barker, vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion.

Markeya Peteranetz accepts the Diversity Leadership Staff award from Marco Barker, vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln recently honored six individuals and one student organization during its annual Nebraska Diversity, Equity and Inclusion awards.

Organized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the honors recognize individuals and groups who actively advance diversity, equity and inclusion in transformative and sustainable ways on campus and in the community.

The University Communication and Marketing team reached out to the honorees to learn more about what drives them to help build a more inclusive community on campus and in the broader community. The series continues with Markeya Peteranetz, assistant director of assessment and analytics for the College of Engineering, who earned the Diversity Leadership Staff award.

Peteranetz has helped guide the successful implementation of Nebraska Engineering’s collegewide climate survey. She single-handedly built the survey in a web-based platform, managed its distribution and completed all quantitative and qualitative analyses of its results.

She also helped develop rubrics the college uses when evaluating candidates for positions in the college. The project is focuses on increasing objectivity and fairness of the hiring process. And, more recently, Peteranetz has been co-leading the research and assessment of the college’s Complete Engineer program, working to improve it in the future.

What does receiving the Diversity Leadership Staff Award mean to you?

The ways my work relates to advancing equity and inclusivity often involves small steps and working through systems that move slowly. There are times when it is hard to know if all the time and effort that go into it is having any impact. It is very moving to receive an award like this because it is a signal that other people see value in my efforts. As a staff member who mostly works with other staff and administrators, my work is less visible than some my colleagues who are student-facing. It means a lot to me to receive an award like this when I often feel like my day-to-day work is under the radar.

What do you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?

I have two preschool children, so one of my most important life goals is to raise them to be kind people who want to make a positive contribution to their communities, wherever they may find themselves. On a professional level, I hope to help make the University of Nebraska a better place for the students who come to our campuses. Having been born and raised in central Nebraska, the University has been part of my life from an early age, and it has impacted me in countless ways. I hope I can use my working years to help the University continue to have that sort impact on our current and future students.

What or who inspires you?

My kids. They are unbelievably energetic, and they live in the moment in a way that I find hard as an adult. They keep me on my toes, remind me to relax and be silly, and bring so much joy into my life.

What is your advice to others looking to make an impact?

Look for opportunities, and be persistent, but be patient. Sometimes you will recognize an opportunity and the timing will not be right in terms of resources, schedules, or even colleagues being in a place to see what you are seeing. Make progress where you can and remember that just because something doesn’t seem possible now, that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

Learn more about the awards and honorees in Nebraska Today.