Editor’s Note — This is part of a Women’s History Month series featuring women who make a positive impact on the campus community through their work as office/service employees. The Women of Service series is organized by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women. Stories will run in Nebraska Today through March 30.
Simply put, Jill Hochstein is a Husker who gets things done for Dear Old Nebraska U.
A longtime employee, Hochstein is currently the technical project manager for the Nebraska Food for Health Center and the Maize Genetics Group. Her primary tasks include grant administration, field preparations for crops and planning events for both entities.
An example of her work is the inaugural Agriculture and Health Summit held in October. Planning took nearly three years and Hochstein served as the event organizer and lined up sponsors. And, when COVID-19 came calling, she started shifting those plans.
“Event with the many unforeseen pandemic obstacles thrown in, Jill overcame and played a huge part in shifting the conference to an online platform while also coordinating an in-person studio experience for the local moderators,” said Andy Benson, director of the Food for Health Center. “The conference was a huge success because of Jill’s dedication.”
Yolanda Sanz, a speaker at the conference and director of the Spanish National Research Council, was especially impressed by the event.
“(The conference featured) high-quality speakers and talks which provided new ideas, results, viewpoints,” Sanz said. “It was organized extremely well. Thanks to Jill and everyone on the organizing committee.”
The Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women reached out to get to know Hochstein and learn more about her dedication to students, faculty and staff at Nebraska U. Her interview follows.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Born and raised in small town Nebraska, I graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln with degrees in business education and computer science, as well as a master’s degree in agriculture leadership and communication. I have served the university for 23 years, starting as a computer technician and becoming a project manager for several grants over the years. Currently, I am the technical project manager for the Food for Health Center and the Maize Genetics Group (Schnable Lab). I help with grant administration, field preparations for crops and events for both entities.
What do you look forward to when you come to work?
My work focuses on the logistics of getting things done. I like the details of projects and bringing them to fruition. I look forward to the challenge of growing and producing food crops bred for the benefit human health. It all starts with one seed, and growing that seed into thousands for the benefit of our future food production.
What is your favorite memory at the university?
There are so many. I have worked on many grants through my years at UNL and worked on projects with faculty all over the country. My favorite memories are showcasing the university and Nebraska at the BIO and International Association of Food Protection trade shows, and the USDA-NIFA CAP grant 160° Is Good campaign.
What is your life like outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, hiking and going to lots of baseball games.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I co-started a group called Women in Science and Technology (WIST) back in 1994 to help women in technology succeed as the internet expansion began.