New hires expand Nebraska U's commitment to rural communities

· 3 min read

New hires expand Nebraska U’s commitment to rural communities

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has hired three new rural recruitment coordinators to strengthen service to students from across the Cornhusker State.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has hired three new rural recruitment coordinators to strengthen service to students from across the Cornhusker State.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has hired three new rural recruitment coordinators to reinforce its commitment to serve students from across the state.

“We are establishing a new rural recruitment program that builds upon the university’s strength and commitment to students from all areas of the state,” said Abby Freeman, director of admissions. “Nebraska already is recognized as one of the few universities that makes it a priority to visit students from every high school in the state. With the help of Nebraska Extension, and its 83 county offices that serve all 93 counties, we truly are fulfilling the vision of the university as a ‘500-mile campus.’”

The new coordinators, who will represent the university in 10 northeast and central Nebraska communities, have completed training and have started to host recruiting events, meeting with prospective students and their families, and serving as a contact and resource on behalf of the Office of Admissions.

The Office of Admissions collaborated with Nebraska Extension and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources to develop the rural recruitment program, which is intended to increase access for rural students and their families on their path toward a University of Nebraska-Lincoln degree.

The goal is to eventually expand to six rural recruitment coordinators, with evaluations made each year to determine where to add additional coordinators.

The three new rural recruitment coordinators and the communities they will serve are as follows:


Todd Kirshenbaum will serve the students and families in the York, Aurora, Stromsburg, Utica and Waco communities. Kirshenbaum worked more than 20 years for the Nebraska Tourism Office, where he recruited, trained and supervised an annual staff of 45 travel counselors stationed from Omaha to Kimball to assist travelers to the state. An Omaha native and former Chamber of Commerce director in York and Seward, he has 30 years of experience in marketing, public relations and human resources. He holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication with an emphasis in public relations from Nebraska. He currently works in York Public Schools and has a small catering business. He can be contacted at


Andres Gamboa-Barrera will serve the students and families in the west-central Nebraska region with a focus on Grand Island. Gamboa-Barrera has worked eight years as a recruiter in private industry. He holds an economics degree from Nebraska. A native of Colombia, he moved to Grand Island at age seven, where he graduated from high school. He is passionate about serving his community, particularly helping high school seniors make their final decisions and generating college-going interest among high school juniors. He can be contacted at


Hilary Maricle will serve the students and families in the Albion, Columbus, Humphrey and Genoa (Twin River High School) communities. Maricle has worked extensively with community college transfer students as they align their coursework and transition to campus after completing an associate’s degree. She and her family farm near Albion, where she is active in several community and agricultural organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UNL in animal science and agricultural leadership, education and communication, and a master’s degree in leadership education. She has taught agriculture education in grades 7-12 and currently teaches collegiate courses as an adjunct faculty at two area colleges. She enjoys helping students find the career that best matches their passion, interests, and looks forward to working with students of all ages in rural Nebraska as they find their collegiate home. She can be contacted at

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