September 23, 2015

Business College Dean Named Woman of the Year; Student Receives Future Business Leader Award

Dr. Donde Plowman, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, was named the Inspire Woman of the Year on Tuesday, September 22. Plowman received the recognition and a standing ovation at a special awards luncheon held at the Marriott Cornhusker Hotel.

“This is the year of Donde Plowman. She has definitely Started Something since her arrival in 2010,” a nominator wrote. “In five years, Dean Plowman has proven she connects the business college with the business community. Her ‘Start Something’ motto is something she takes very seriously and models it in every aspect of her life. Quite simply, she makes things happen and she inspires others to make great things happen as well.”

Plowman and Whitacre receive award
Plowman and Whitacre receive award
Some of Plowman’s accomplishments listed in her nomination included:
· Hiring 50 new faculty to better serve students and increase the enrollment capacity to meet UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s five-year plan.
· Adding a new communications, marketing and external relations focus to increase student enrollment and engage alumni, business partners and friends. In five years, freshmen enrollment is up 58 percent.
· Creating new supply chain management and entrepreneurship majors to give our business students more career options in the workforce.
· Establishing the Don Clifton Strengths Institute with a landmark donation from Gallup and the Clifton Foundation which includes the largest Strength Lab.
· Starting the Center for Sales Excellence made possible by a major gift of $1.5 million from the National Research Corporation in 2014. Launching a new business minor for non-business majors to emphasize the importance of a business education for any UNL student who will work in a business setting.
· Establishing the CBA Honors Academy, where high-achieving students take classes together in cohorts.
· Collaborating with the UNL Department of Athletics to offer a Master of Arts in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration program, which offers a Big Ten graduate degree with an internship in Husker Athletics.
· Having the vision for a new CBA building designed by Robert Stern Architects of New York and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Nebraska, built by Hausmann Construction and funded by alumni for alumni. The building is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Plowman said, “Five years ago, the University took a big chance on me and I’ve been grateful ever since. I am privileged to be part of the leadership team at UNL.”
CBA junior Elizabeth Whitacre management and veterinary science major from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, received the Future Business Leader Award at the luncheon. She started a Progressive Animal Welfare Rescue (PAWR) in Nebraska. PAWR is a no-kill, open admission, animal humane society offering programs like spay and neuter, tailored and service dog training, educational programs and financial assistance for low income owners. She always dreamed of operating an animal shelter and entrepreneurship classes helped her realize running her own business was more than possible.

Ava Thomas, president and publisher of the Lincoln Journal-Star and founder of Inspire, presented Plowman with her award. Thomas founded the Inspire – Celebrating Women’s Leadership Awards to celebrate women’s leadership, and recognize outstanding women who have excelled in their professional lives and have emerged as leaders and role models in the Lincoln community.

More than 120 nominations were reviewed by the Inspire Advisory Board, which included: Thomas; Barbara Bartle, president of the Lincoln Community Foundation; Wendy Birdsall, president of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce; Pamela Bourne, partner at Woods & Aiken; Patty Pansing Brooks, state senator; Jenni Christiansen, commercial relationship management, Wells Fargo Bank; Connie Duncan, Duncan Family Trust; Kim Moore, president and CEO of CHI Health St. Elizabeth; Jackie Ostrowicki, assistant vice president for university affairs and director of marketing and strategic communications at the University of Nebraska; Lisa Smith, investment consultant at Smith Hayes; Natalia Wiita, advertising director at the Lincoln Journal Star and Katie Zulkowski, lobbyist at Zulkoski Weber.

Read more about the Inspire – Celebrating Women’s Leadership Awards: