Clifton Strengths Institute at Nebraska selects 46 new coaches

· 4 min read

Clifton Strengths Institute at Nebraska selects 46 new coaches

Students will mentor first-year business undergraduates
Forty-four students sit on an outdoor staircase.
Murengezi Atali Benimana | Business
The Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln recently welcomed 46 new student strengths coaches. The coaches serve as mentors to new College of Business students in Professional Enhancement I: Investing in Strengths.

The Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has selected 46 students to serve as new strengths coaches for the 2024-25 academic year. The students will join more than 100 returning coaches to mentor about 1,000 new students enrolled in the College of Business’ Professional Enhancement I: Investing in Strengths (BSAD 111).

The required course for all first-year business students empowers them to excel using their natural talents, learned from taking the CliftonStrengths assessment. Strengths coaches help new students develop as they learn to leverage their top strengths.

“A student’s college experience can be the most transformative years of their life, especially during times of life transitions and self-discovery,” said Alyson Lenz, assistant director of the strengths program. “Within the College of Business, students can identify their natural talents and dive into the qualities that make them unique. Focusing on their strengths, along with their student strengths coach’s guidance and support, sets students up to be successful and more confident throughout their college careers.”

The program requires all new coaches to enroll in Strengths Coaching, Theory and Practice (MNGT 451) this spring, where they learn about strengths-based development and techniques to maximize individuals’ potential. These skills are used to make positive impacts within the college and community, and in their professional careers.

“Our student coaches play a pivotal role in fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of students’ unique talents,” Lenz said. “They possess a passion and energy for investing in others, cultivating trusting relationships and empowering students to excel, leaving a lasting impact beyond the classroom.”

Each new strengths coach receives personalized guidance from experienced student mentors.

“We believe prioritizing investment in these new coaches’ development is essential,” Lenz said. “This mentorship ensures they are well-equipped to effectively support first-year students while remaining authentic to their unique approach and coaching philosophy.”

The new strengths coaches represent six colleges, including the College of Business. Among the new coaches is Grace Timm, a sophomore agribusiness major from Chappell, Nebraska. Her studies are largely in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Sciences and she hopes to attend law school, but her involvement in the Clifton Strengths Institute allows her to build up fellow students.

“As a student outside of the College of Business, I always wondered what opportunities I could have experienced as a freshman, especially through the BSAD 111 class,” she said. “I’ve realized I can still make an impact and find those opportunities through student strengths coaching. Seeing what drives other people and pushing them to reach their passions and goals has always been something that comes naturally to me, and I’m thrilled to continue nurturing the next generation of leaders, achievers and doers.”

The new strengths coaches, with their year in school in the spring 2024 semester and academic major(s), are:


  • Bassett: Gracie Swanson, freshman, accounting
  • Blair: Kendra Loseke, junior, agricultural education
  • Chappell: Grace Timm, junior, agribusiness and pre-law
  • Elkhorn: Kylie Eads, sophomore, marketing; and Gabriel Edstrand, freshman, business administration
  • Garland: Katherine Lewis, sophomore, management
  • Grand Island: Caden Keller, freshman, accounting and finance; Claire Kelly, sophomore, elementary education; and Taylor Mazour, freshman, actuarial science
  • Gretna: Liam Hodges, freshman, economics
  • Hastings: Lindsay Amaya, freshman, international business; and Charli Coil, freshman, accounting and pre-law
  • Kearney: Ceci Henning, freshman, business administration
  • Lincoln: Zainab Al-Jayashi, freshman, psychology and ethnic studies; Kyra Boesiger, junior, marketing and Clifton Builders management; Grace Fahleson, junior, sports media and communications; Cooper Finnegan, freshman, business administration; Jackson Griesch, freshman, finance; Tate Hughes, freshman, business administration; Tenley Katt, junior, finance and biochemistry; Johnny Liesveld, freshman, marketing; Emersyn Liljehorn, sophomore, Clifton Builders management; Megan McCormick, freshman, finance; Amani Mfinanga, junior, finance; Brooklyn Shotkoski, freshman, biochemistry; Katy Taylor, freshman, actuarial science; and Kylie Wray, freshman, biochemistry
  • Oakland: L.J. McNeill, freshman, business administration
  • Omaha: Lauryn Christensen, sophomore, international business and pre-law; Delaney Cutler, junior, biology and pre-health; Michelle Montenegro, freshman, advertising and public relations; Natalie Moore, freshman, business administration; Amanda Smolsky, junior, marketing; and Ella Stine, sophomore, advertising and public relations
  • Papillion: Andrea Boslaugh, sophomore, marketing
  • Pender: Lexi Bodlak, sophomore, agricultural communications
  • Raymond: Larkin Barry, freshman, marketing
  • Schuyler: Niurka Castro, freshman, accounting
  • Wahoo: Danielle Blum, sophomore, graphic design

Elsewhere in the U.S.

  • Chandler, Arizona: Makayla Larntz, sophomore, human development and family science
  • Ankeny, Iowa: Brooke O’Connor, freshman, business administration
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa: Maddy Nuzum, sophomore, marketing
  • South Elgin, Illinois: Peyton LaCroix, freshman, marketing, and advertising and public relations
  • Olathe, Kansas: Grace Nab, sophomore, nutrition and health sciences
  • Stillwater, Minnesota: Emily Elletson, freshman, marketing
  • North Sioux City, South Dakota: Zoey Zeller, sophomore, marketing

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