Twenty-eight students embark on their journey as Clifton Builders this fall at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The Clifton Builders Program, in its fourth year as a part of the Clifton Strengths Institute, enables its students to learn from, study alongside and network with fellow entrepreneurial minded individuals.
Designed by Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton, the Clifton Builders program aims to help Nebraska, the nation and the world identify the next generation of high-achieving leaders, entrepreneurs and business developers to develop economic growth and prosperity. This year’s cohort is the largest group of Builders to be selected for the program.
“The program was created to find and develop entrepreneurs, startup types, rainmakers and extraordinarily talented salespeople and leaders – people who have a natural gift to create economic energy where none existed before,” said Clifton. “The United States has an oversupply of innovators and an under supply of entrepreneurs.”
Dr. Tim Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and associate professor of practice in management, believes the Clifton Builders management major and minor equip students with the tools to build, lead and manage people. The program consists of three tracks: business builder, team builder and community builder. Experimental components of each track provide students with elite real-world experiences that will make them a disruptive force in industry. In addition to their track of focus, students attend networking events, activities within the College of Business, business-related field trips and more.
"The students in our Clifton Builders program have natural talents that help them create a positive impact in their communities, businesses and teams,” said Hodges. “They have been called 'disruptive,' a term not always seen as a positive. But we believe there is no changing the future without disrupting the present. Disruption is not a threat – it is an invitation to move on and to redefine normal.”
Selection requirements included: a student’s Gallup’s Builder Profile 10 assessment results, application and interview performance.
“These students have what it takes to lead us to a better future and we are doing everything we can to help make that happen,” Hodges said.
Selected in the spring of their first year, builders begin courses the fall of their sophomore year. First-year students of all majors who have aspirations to change the world by building business, teams or communities through leadership and involvement are encouraged to apply. Applications for the Fall 2020 cohort are due November 1. For more information, visit: https://business.unl.edu/builders
The 2019-20 Cohort of Clifton Builders includes:
Bellevue: Maggie Targy, Clifton Builders management
Elkhorn: Sidney Therkelsen, Clifton Builders management
Fremont: Tanner Wilson, construction management
Grand Island: Brent Lucke, marketing
Hickman: Shaun Edgecombe, Clifton Builders management
Lincoln: Devan Buescher, management; Ashley Clegg, Clifton Builders management and marketing; Riley McGerr, finance; William Spethman, business administration
Norfolk: Clayton Spray, entrepreneurship and music composition
Omaha: Adam Folsom, business administration; Joey Kaplan, Clifton Builders management; Adrianna Mcking, Clifton Builders management and marketing
Papillion: Cody Klinkacek, finance
Plymouth: Riley Knust, economics and finance
Scottsbluff: Grace Heggem, economics
Waterloo: Tyler Rogert, economics and finance
Barrington, Illinois: Jordan Jansen Van Vuren, business administration
Des Moines, Iowa: Reagan Porter, Clifton Builders management
El Segundo, California: Timothy Schartz, accounting and Clifton Builders management
Grafton, Wisconsin: Katie Lamb, management
Gregory, Michigan: Jordan Seitz, supply chain management
Jaipur, India: Arihant Mittal, international business and PGA golf management
Lawrence, Kansas: Paxton Brittingham, Clifton Builders management
Le Mars, Iowa: Carlyn Bretey, international business and marketing
Plano, Texas: Jessica Aragon, finance
Rapid City, South Dakota: Grace Partridge, Clifton Builders management
West Concord, Minnesota: Madisyn Alme, finance and marketing