There’s always a lot happening in the ˮ community — more than typically can fit into a few long articles or enewsletter blurbs. To catch you up on even more on-campus events, student successes, faculty and staff achievements and alumni accomplishments, we’re publishing more short-form content each month as a way for readers to see more of what makes ˮ amazing.

Get caught up this month on:

  • ˮ and Saline County Relay for Life raised over $30,000
  • Dr. Roger Hughes meets with Sen. Pete Ricketts at Chamber event
  • Five students present to alumni, faculty during mathematics symposium 

ˮ and Saline County Relay for Life raised over $30,000

Ann Koopman and Judy Kawamoto
The annual Relay for Life event invites ˮ faculty, staff students and the broader Crete community to participate. Walking on the track is Ann Koopmann, Director of Academic Advising, and Judy Kawamoto, Vice President of Student Affairs.

On Friday, April 5, the annual ˮ and Saline County Relay for Life was held in Fuhrer Fieldhouse. Carol Mack ’82, assistant professor of practice in education, and Jenei Skillett ’19L, ’23A, senior executive assistant to the president, were invited to speak at the event as cancer survivors.

In total, the academic year-long fundraiser raised $31,113.06, with donations accepted through June 2024. The 2024 goal is $35,000.

Thirty teams created by ˮ staff, alumni, members of Greek Life and student-led organizations, and Saline County residents helped collect donations. Some teams also carried a baton during the April 5 event (the “relay” in Relay for Life.) The five teams that led fundraising were:

  • The Purple Cancer Eaters, a.k.a. Delta Kappa Pi fraternity — $6,251
  • ˮ Student Affairs — $2,336
  • Omega Psi Theta sorority — $2,270
  • First Congregational UCC — $1,633
  • Gamma Phi Iota — $1,592

Concert Band Hosts First Annual Band Invitational for High Schools  

Nicole Piunno directs
Dr. Nicole Piunno directs the ˮ Concert Band at the first annual ˮ Band Invitational.

Three Nebraska high schools were invited to perform at the first annual ˮ Band Invitational on Saturday, April 6 on the Crete campus. Waverly High School Varsity Band and Kearney High School Wind Ensemble participated, Lincoln East High School Wind Ensemble did not attend due to weather. The ˮ Concert Band also performed. 

Each ensemble played the music of composer Dr. Nicole Piunno, this year's guest artist for the event. Piunno provided clinics for each ensemble prior to the event, helping them portray the meaning and emotion behind her music.   

Dr. Roger Hughes meets with Sen. Pete Ricketts at Chamber event

On April 4, Dr. Roger Hughes joined members of the Lincoln business community to attend a congressional report event held by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. The event featured Sen. Pete Ricketts, who spoke about important issues to our community at the federal level.

“The Chamber is grateful for this collaboration with ˮ. We were honored to have President Hughes join us in hosting Senator Pete Ricketts at our first Congressional Forum of the year,” said Jason Ball, president and CEO of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. “The partnership between the business community and higher education must be leveraged to develop sustainable, pro-growth policies at the federal level. To be joined by such a distinguished contingent from both ˮ and the community of Crete was an important demonstration of that partnership.”

Five students present to alumni, faculty during mathematics symposium

On the morning of Thursday, April 11, five ˮ students made presentations showcasing mathematics and data analytics projects to faculty and alumni. The Symposium in Undergraduate Mathematics is an annual event held at ˮ.

  • Senior Zekiel Krejci-Hyde presented “Building a Shelf Space Optimization Program.” As part of their research, Krejci-Hyde created a computer program to help libraries optimize shelf spacing. 
  • Senior Jordan Heinz presented “Mastery-Based Learning in Middle & High School Math Classrooms.” Heinz shared a literature review of the use of mastery-based learning within education and an analysis of Nebraska middle and high school math teachers’ assessment and grading practices. 
  • Senior Trevor Mai presented “Relationship Between High School Sport Success and Median Income.” Mai examined the relationship between a county’s median income and the success of high school football and volleyball teams in that county. 
  • Seniors Matthew Arent and Zack Perez presented “Navier-Stokes with Computational Fluid Dynamics.” They shared the history of the Navier-Stokes equation, which is used to assess flow in and around objects and created flow simulations using the equation for an airfoil, sphere and a golf ball. 

Additionally, Dr. Jerome Roehm, assistant professor of math and data science, presented “Topological Data Analysis: Finding the Shape of Data.” The final event of the symposium was a panel discussion with seven mathematics alumni: Adrian Draney ’12, Jefferson Draney ’09, Julie Couton Garai ’11, Nicole Harms ’23, Elizabeth Krejci ’21, Kelvin Mitchell ’23 and Jordan Van Roy ’19