Innocents Society, Mortar Board members inducted for 2020-21

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Innocents Society, Mortar Board members inducted for 2020-21

Students have until Friday, May 29, 2020 to switch a graduate course from a letter grade to P/NP.

Forty-one University of Nebraska–Lincoln students were recently inducted into Mortar Board and the Innocents Society based on their outstanding scholarship, leadership and service to the university and community.

One of the longest-standing university traditions, Ivy Day, was reformatted this year to a virtual ceremony. The website features a keynote address by Maj. Joseph Manglitz, U.S. Air Force instructor pilot and Innocents Society alumnus, as well as video messages from Chancellor Ronnie Green; Jared Noetzel, vice president of the outgoing Innocents Society class; and Vinny Malene, vice president of the outgoing Mortar Board class. The site also includes the Ivy Day program, available for download.

Manglitz is an instructor pilot for the B-2 Stealth Bomber and T-38 Talon. He has logged more than 2,000 flying hours and has been awarded the Aerial Achievement and Meritorious Service medals, among other decorations. He has deployed twice to the Pacific Area of Operations and served as wing executive officer at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Manglitz is currently a student at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In June, he will transfer to Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue to become the chief of air-delivered strike capabilities for U.S. Strategic Command. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and master’s degree in educational administration and leadership.

An honorary membership in the Innocents Society has been presented to Lori Romano, director of the Center for Academic Success and Transition at Nebraska.

Honorary Mortar Board memberships have been presented to Tom Field, director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and Engler Chair in Entrepreneurship at Nebraska; Howard L. Hawks, University of Nebraska regent, University of Nebraska–Lincoln benefactor, and founder and chairman of independent energy company Tenaska; and Terry S. Thomas, family nurse practitioner at the University Health Center and chair of the legislative committee for Nebraska Nurse Practitioners.

The 2020-21 presidents of the societies are Erika Swenson of Blair for Mortar Board and Jared Long of Beloit, Kansas, for the Innocents Society.

The Innocents Society inducts 13 new members each spring, with selection based on leadership, academic achievement and service to the university and greater community. The Innocents Society was founded in 1903 to promote the spirit of the university and is the chancellor’s senior honorary. It is uniquely Nebraskan.

New members of Mortar Board are tapped into the Black Masque Chapter each spring by Mortar Boarders wearing black masks and robes. The 28 new members were selected on the basis of advancing scholarship, leadership and service.

Following is a list by hometown of the 2020 inductees into the Innocents Society and the Black Masque Chapter of Mortar Board. Information includes each student’s academic major(s) and parent names.


  • Blair: Carli Pfeil, Mortar Board, marketing, daughter of Rex and Kris Pfeil; Erika Swenson, Mortar Board, fisheries and wildlife, daughter of Roger and Kris Swenson.
  • Columbus: Luke Bogus, Mortar Board, marketing and management, son of Rick and Dawn Bogus and Mary Sowers.
  • Crete: Roni Miller, Mortar Board, political science and Spanish, daughter of Troy and Danene Miller.
  • Falls City: Sydney Brewer, Mortar Board, fisheries and wildlife, daughter of Mark and Becky Brewer.
  • Hastings: Cole Shardelow, Innocents Society, philosophy, son of Scott and Diane Shardelow.
  • Hickman: Sydney Wilkinson, Mortar Board, biological sciences, daughter of Heith and Jodi Wilkinson.
  • Lincoln: Ahmed Ahmed, Innocents Society, accounting, son of Mustafa Ahmed and Bakhita Hassan; Cameron Azimi, Mortar Board, global studies and political science, son of Amir and Kris Azimi; Anna Barent, Mortar Board, biological sciences, daughter of Rick and Betsy Barent; Aden Davis, Innocents Society, history, philosophy and classical studies, son of Aaron and Brooke Davis; Simon Hovis, Mortar Board, business administration, son of Phill and Ann Hovis; Anna Krause, Mortar Board, history, daughter of Scott and Beth Krause; Grace Oh, Innocents Society, biochemistry, daughter of Byung-Taek Oh and Sina Kang; Adrian Pilkington, Innocents Society, software engineering, son of Doug and Jill Pilkington; Keegan Schuchart, Mortar Board, biochemistry, son of Michael and Felicia Schuchart; Ramey Vachal, Mortar Board, political science and journalism, daughter of Paul and Kim Vachal; Parker Williams, Mortar Board, mechanical engineering, son of Lincoln and Kristi Williams.
  • North Platte: Zakary Folchert, Mortar Board, biological sciences, son of Ken and Dawn Folchert.
  • Omaha: Saisha Adhikari, Innocents Society, biology and psychology, daughter of Ramesh and Sasmita Adhikari; Elizabeth Byrnes, Mortar Board, sociology and communications studies, daughter of Robert and Mary Byrnes; Emma Clausen, Mortar Board, computer science, daughter of Matthew and Anna Clausen; Haley DeWitt, Innocents Society, biology, daughter of Christopher and Melisa DeWitt; John Ellis, Mortar Board, political science and history, son of Craig and Cindy Ellis; Matthew Gromowsky, Innocents Society, chemistry and biochemistry, son of Jeff and Amy Gromowsky; Drew Harrahill, Innocents Society, biochemistry, son of Bill and Tiffany Harrahill; Sheng-Jie Lim, Innocents Society, computer science and economics, son of Ing-Wah Lim and Jung-Hui Lai; Lauren Mott, Mortar Board, biological sciences, daughter of Justin and Kristina Mott; Madeline Reddel, Innocents Society, music education, daughter of David and Julia Reddel; Rohan Thakker, Mortar Board, computer science and economics, son of Jayesh and Angeli Thakker.
  • Smithfield: Cooper Grabenstein, Mortar Board, agricultural business, son of Todd and Tricia Grabenstein.


  • Fort Collins, Colorado: Peyton Walker, Mortar Board, supply chain management, daughter of Scott and Amy Walker.
  • Western Springs, Illinois: Alexis Karkazis, Mortar Board, computer science, daughter of John and Jill Karkazis.
  • Iowa City, Iowa: Grace Brown, Mortar Board, child, youth and family studies, daughter of Greg and Kristen Brown.
  • Beloit, Kansas: Jared Long, Innocents Society, political science and journalism, son of Ed and Lisa Long.
  • Shawnee, Kansas: Jacob Peddicord, Mortar Board, computer science, son of Tom and Kelly Peddicord.
  • Osage Beach, Missouri: Kylie Becker, Mortar Board, actuarial science, daughter of Tyler and Cathy Becker.
  • Flower Mound, Texas: Riley Young, Mortar Board, athletic training, daughter of Brad and Meg Young.
  • Jalandhar, India: Salan Preet Kaur, Mortar Board, biological sciences, daughter of Rabinder Singh and Palwinder Kaur.
  • Kigali, Rwanda: Victor Nsengiyumva Mpore, Mortar Board, integrated science, son of Francoise Muteteli.
  • Khartoum, Sudan: Aiah Nour, Innocents Society, biochemistry, daughter of Siddig Nour and Samia Gamie.

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