The Nebraska Alumni Association will recognize 20 accomplished University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumni, eight promising students and an outstanding family at the annual Alumni Awards Banquet May 5 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive.
The reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner and awards presentation shortly afterward.
The 2016 award winners represent all nine UNL colleges and have achieved successes in their careers and communities. The winners were chosen by a selection committee of UNL alumni from across the country. A comprehensive list of the 2016 award winners and complete biographies can be found here.
Reservations for the Alumni Awards Banquet will be accepted through May 2 or until sold out. Tickets are $37.50 per person, and no refunds will be given after May 2. Register online here or contact Alex Cerveny at (402) 672-8936 or email@example.com.
The following is a list of award recipients, including graduation year(s) and current city of residence.
Early Achiever Awards:
Kyle Arganbright, 2006, Valentine: Arganbright is the co-founder and chief development officer of Sandhills State Bank. He also is the mayor of Valentine and recently co-founded Bolo Beer Company.
Jessica Terrill, 2001, 2003, Des Moines, Iowa: Terrill is an architect with Substance Architecture in Des Moines, where she has been a collaborator on a number of projects recognized for design excellence at both state and regional levels.
John Lohr, 2006, Poland: Lohr is the director of development at Hosco, the world’s leading hospitality network with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. He previously represented the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute in Europe as the international education training consultant.
Katie Weichman Zulkoski, 2005, Lincoln: Zulkoski is an attorney specializing in lobbying and government affairs at Zulkoski Weber LLC. She also is the founder of Rise Lincoln, a solutions-oriented speaker series for women in business.
Amanda Valentine, 2004, Nashville, Tennessee: Valentine runs her own clothing line, Valentine Valentine, in Nashville. She participated in Lifetime TV’s “Project Runway,” Season 11, and was voted back by fans to compete on Season 13, finishing second with a showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
Andres Torres, 2005, Omaha: Torres is engineering project manager for the Engineered Infrastructure Products Division at Valmont Industries. A licensed professional civil engineer in Nebraska, he designs tubular steel structures that are used to support transmission lines, highway lighting and traffic lights for overseas customers.
Jonathan Nielsen, 2008, Chicago: Nielsen is associate creative director for Gogo in Chicago, where he has developed advertising and branding for companies at the forefront of technology and thought.
Brandi Kruse, 2010, Seattle: Kruse is a special projects correspondent for Q13 FOX News in Seattle, bringing viewers in-depth reports and perspective on major issues. Prior to joining Q13 FOX in March 2015, she spent four years as an investigative reporter at the CBS Radio affiliate in Seattle.
Molly M. Egley Brummond, 2000, 2003, Lincoln: Brummond is the College of Law’s assistant dean of student and alumni relations and annual giving. She oversees student organizations, develops programs and devotes time to alumni programming and outreach.
Alumni Achievement Awards:
Steve Bliss, 1975, Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Bliss is senior exercise specialist at the Sanford Hospital Wellness Performance Center. He was the second assistant strength coach for the NU Athletic Department and the first full-time strength coach for the athletic departments at the University of Miami, Ohio State University and North Dakota State University before joining Sanford in 1998.
Sara Boyd, 1999, Omaha: Boyd has worked at the Omaha Community Foundation for more than 15 years and as their president since July 1, 2013, after working in Chicago with Andersen Consulting. Boyd is an alumna of Leadership Omaha and past recipient of the Omaha Jaycee’s TOYO and Midlands Business Journal “40 Under 40” awards.
Joan A. Christen, 2001, 2008, Tecumseh: Christen is a science instructor and professional learning community facilitator for Beatrice High School and an adjunct professor at Peru State College. She holds master’s and doctoral degrees from UNL in entomology and molecular genetics. She previously was a science instructor and chair at Southeast Nebraska Consolidated Schools in Stella, where she received $930,557 in scientific and technology grants.
Ken Fouts, 1964, Cincinnati: Fouts enjoyed a successful career in sports broadcasting, covering more than 3,000 events in 17 countries. After stints as a producer-director at local stations in three states, Fouts became staff director for NBC Sports in New York City in 1974. He followed that with positions as staff director for ABC Sports, producer-director for Turner Sports and director for “American Gladiators,” ESPN, The Baseball Network and Fox Sports.
Dwight Hanson, 1990, 1997, Ithaca: Hanson is owner and president of H2Optimal Inc. in Ithaca. He has also worked as facilities manager for the UNL Agricultural Research and Development Center, an engineer for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, project manager for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, hydrogeologist for Wardrop Engineering Inc. and owner-manager of Hanson Well Drilling Co. and Hanson Environmental and Engineering Inc.
Erin R. Kuwitzky, 2005, Denver: Kuwitzky is principal and founder of 517 Search Labs, based in Denver. Her company focuses on the development and execution of integrated, multidisciplinary digital marketing strategies that drive new business and exceed client expectations. In 2011, Kuwitzky was elected president of the Colorado American Marketing Association.
Jere McGaffey, 1957, Mequon, Wisconsin: McGaffey, retired partner and management committee member of Foley and Lardner, graduated first in his class at UNL, with degrees from the Colleges of Business Administration and Arts and Sciences. He also graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, where he was a member of Law Review.
H. Nicholas Windeshausen, 1954, 1955, 1962, Citrus Heights, California: Windeshausen enjoyed a successful career as a business professor, first at UNL and then for decades at California State University, Sacramento. As an educational consultant for Main Event Management Corp., he introduced Model-Netics to numerous universities, including Cal State and UNL. He was also a founder of the Cal State chapter of Delta Sigma Pi and a lifetime adviser for the national fraternity.
Additional alumni award winners:
Outstanding International Alumnus Award: Christine Ngaruiya, 2006, 2010, New Haven, Connecticut.
** Family Tree Award:** Tom and Marion Clark Family, various class years, locations and colleges.
Doc Elliott Award: Alan Seagren, 1953, 1958, 1962, Lincoln.
Distinguished Service Award: Jeannine Falter, 1976, 1995, 2000, Lincoln.
Student award winners:
Charlotte Kramer Foreign Study Scholarship: Jessica Zubiate, Omaha.
Jack and Sharon Miller Scholarships: Ryan Evers, Papillion; Alex Fernando, Jefferson, South Dakota; Kelli Griffin, Kenosha, Wisconsin; Kelsey Koski, Omaha.
Roy and Catherine Yaley Student Leadership Award: Dillon Thoman, Old Monroe, Missouri.
Vann Student Leadership Award: Claire Shea, Memphis, Tennessee.
Shane Osborn Student Leadership Award: Linsey Armstrong, Scribner.