Sutherland’s Maverick Naughtin is among the 4,640 first-year Huskers striking out this fall on a path toward impacting Nebraska and beyond.
A Kiewit Scholar in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s College of Engineering, Naughtin has aspirations to be a team player — something he learned earning an Eagle Scout award and a trait that melds well with his goal of becoming a civil engineer.
“When something is needed, say some trusses or a dam, anything really, I’ll have the opportunity to work with a team of engineers and other experts to design, build and install the solution,” Naughtin said. “It’s incredible to think about because, in the end, it will be work that makes the world a little better place.”
As Naughtin begins his career journey this fall, he is part of a record 3,235 future builders enrolled in the Nebraska’s College of Engineering. That tally — up 212 Huskers from 2021, an increase of 7% — is part of a 10-year growth trend for the college and one of a number of positives reflected in the university’s student body. Learn more about the university’s fall 2022 enrollment.
In his search for a university, Naughtin was committed to Nebraska Engineering, having narrowed his selection down to the college’s locations at UNL and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He was swayed to UNL when he was named a Kiewit Scholar — a program that offers students unique leadership and career develop opportunities.
“There are a lot of great things about this campus, its professors and opportunities, plus there’s a legacy as UNL is where other family members have gone,” Naughtin said. “But, earning the Kiewit Scholarship made me feel special, that all of my hard work in the classroom had paid off.
“It was also intimidating — but in a good way, one that will keep me on my heels and focused on doing my best.”
Experience on his Eagle Scout project — which replaced a gazebo over a picnic area in a Sutherland park — along with family members in the field led Naughtin to a desire to be an engineer. And, his selection to pursue civil engineering was partially influenced by his western Nebraska community.
“I didn’t realize it at the time, but Sutherland is smack-dab in the middle of a bunch of civil engineering projects,” Naughtin said. “Lake McConaughy and the Kingsley Dam are nearby. As are the Sutherland Reservoir, Gerald Gentleman Station (which is Nebraska’s largest electricity generating plant and a Kiewit project), and there are smaller hydroelectric plants by North Platte.
“Growing up around those dams, power plants and bridges — all of which are made to help people — are why I’m going into civil engineering.”
In his first year on campus, Naughtin is hoping to meet new people and get involved in student groups — possibly joining a choir or helping fellow engineers build a concrete boat. He’s also a fan of residence hall food.
Ultimately he’s most looking forward to the opportunities that being a Kiewit Scholar will offer his future career path.
“We’re guaranteed at least one internship with Kiewit at one of their offices nationwide — including Alaska and Hawaii,” Naughtin said. “I plan on making the most of that opportunity because, if you do a good job, it can lead to more offers and experiences.”
And through his college experience, Naughtin will always be looking forward to helping improve the world.
“I’ll go wherever life takes me,” Naughtin said. “That might mean building a big power plant up in Alaska or maybe it’ll be replacing the tiny, old, single-lane bridge north of Southerland.
“It’s going to be fun working with others and developing solutions that benefit people and communities.”