Thirty-five students are starting their journey this fall as the largest cohort yet of Clifton Builders at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The program continues to grow in its fifth year as a part of the Clifton Strengths Institute, enabling its students to learn from, study alongside and network with fellow entrepreneurial-minded people.
Designed by Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, the Clifton Builders program aims to help Nebraska, the nation and the world identify the next generation of high-achieving leaders, entrepreneurs and business developers. Students are admitted to the program based on a combination of their Gallup Builder Profile 10 assessment results, application strength and interview performance.
“The program was created to find and develop entrepreneurs, startup types, rainmakers and extraordinarily talented salespeople and leaders — people who have a natural gift to create economic energy where none existed before,” Clifton said.
Tim Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management, says the Clifton Builders management major and minor equip students with tools to build, lead and manage people. The program consists of three tracks: business builder, team builder and community builder. Experimental components of each track provide students with elite real-world experiences that will make them a disruptive force in industry. In addition to their track of focus, students build connections, participate in activities in the College of Business, visit businesses and more.
“The students in our Clifton Builders program have natural talents that help them create a positive impact in their communities, businesses and teams,” Hodges said. “They have been called ‘disruptive’ — a term not always seen as a positive. But we believe there is no changing the future without disrupting the present. Disruption is not a threat, it is an invitation to move on and to redefine normal, especially in trying times such as a pandemic. These students have what it takes to lead us to a better future.”
Selected in the spring of their first year, builders begin courses the fall of their sophomore year. First-year students of all majors who aspire to change the world by building business, teams or communities through leadership and involvement should apply. Applications for the fall 2021 cohort are due Oct. 16. Learn more.
The 2020 Clifton Builders are:
- Bellevue: Jace Noble, business administration
- Elkhorn: Robert Khorram, finance; Alex Mueller, business administration
- Gretna: Grace Fuller, accounting
- Hastings: McLean Witte, finance and marketing
- Lincoln: Jake Bowman, accounting; Maddie Elbracht, Clifton Builders management and marketing; Trevor LeGrande, Clifton Builders management
- Madison: Eduardo Mora, advertising and public relations
- Omaha: Nicholas Anderson, Clifton Builders management; Bailey Hanus, business administration; Nathan Hauser, Clifton Builders management and finance; Hailey Hutfless, finance; Jack Johnson, finance; Sam Lilly, Clifton Builders management; Ridley Miller, finance; Alex Nielsen, Clifton Builders management; Jacob Zadalis, Clifton Builders management
- O’Neill: Jacob Wiese, business administration
- Osmond: Anthony Heiman, Clifton Builders management
- Phillips: Lauren Eihusen, Clifton Builders management
- Cave Creek, Arizona: Brook Bowman, business administration
- Franktown, Colorado: Elizabeth Jardee, business administration
- Wilmington, Delaware: Julia Michener, actuarial science
- Downers Grove, Illinois: Nicholas Chapa, accounting
- Plainfield, Illinois: Patrick Malec, Clifton Builders management and finance; Thomas Rouse, business administration
- Leawood, Kansas: Zach Molzer, Clifton Builders management
- Olathe, Kansas: Mason Mattes, Clifton Builders management
- Eden Prairie, Minnesota: Olivia Dohmen, Clifton Builders management
- Maple Grove, Minnesota: Caleb Druckemiller, actuarial science
- Rosemount, Minnesota: Carter Baune, finance
- Shorewood, Minnesota: Charles Dutton, supply chain management
- Springfield, Missouri: Grace Laflen, accounting and global studies
- Astoria, Oregon: Maria Heyen, Clifton Builders management and international business