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Clifton Strengths Institute Introduces New Coaches

42 Students Selected to Mentor First-Year Business Undergraduates
Clifton Strengths Institute Introduces New Coaches
Forty-two students make up the latest group of student strengths coaches selected for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln continued its groundbreaking approach to impact student success with the addition of 42 new undergraduate student strengths coaches for the 2020-21 academic year. The students join a team of returning coaches to serve as mentors to more than 750 first-year College of Business students enrolled in Professional Enhancement I: Investing in Strengths (BSAD 111).

In the BSAD 111 course, each student strengths coach leads a team of 10 students in weekly meetings, facilitates one-on-one strengths coaching sessions for each team member and helps coordinate discussions during class. Required for all first-year business students, the course demonstrates how to take one’s top strengths from the CliftonStrengths® Assessment and develop and apply them to achieve academic, personal and professional success.

“Transitioning from high school to college often brings big challenges,” said Dr. Tim Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute. “Students receive frequent feedback during their first few weeks on campus that informs their identity. Our focus in BSAD 111 is to ensure that our new College of Business students receive positive feedback, with an intense focus on helping the students build their character and reach their potential. The CliftonStrengths® assessment and our time in class gives students a good foundation, but the most impactful development often happens when they meet one-on-one with our amazing student coaches.”

After completing the application and interview process in the fall semester, selected coaches enroll in the three-credit-hour Strengths Coaching, Theory and Practice (MNGT 451) course in the spring. The class functions as a training course for new student strengths coaches, providing an in-depth knowledge of strengths-based development and enhancing the skills necessary to succeed in positively impacting student development.

"In this course, strengths coaches develop their talents and gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to successfully coach their students in the fall to build lives of meaning, purpose and impact," said Samantha Kennelly, associate director of the Clifton Strengths Institute.

Exhibiting a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences, the newest student strengths coaches represent 21 unique majors and eight different states. Thirty-two of the new coaches attend the College of Business.

"Selected students have the passion and energy to positively impact the lives of others and the natural talent to easily connect and communicate with people to help steer their development," Kennelly said. "First-year students experience the most success when our coaches recognize their unique potential and guide them to succeed by leading with their strengths."

Along with welcoming new coaches, the Clifton Strengths Institute announced the addition of a second section of MNGT 451 reserved for the students of the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy (NCPA). Regarded as an innovative college access program preparing first generation and low-income students to achieve personal and academic success, the NCPA provides personalized development plans featuring academic and social counseling, leadership building and personal wellness.

“Our mission at the Clifton Strengths Institute includes being a resource for those in the College of Business, across campus and beyond who want to lead with strengths,” said Hodges. “We are excited about early discussions with other colleges and programs around campus who see the value and are interested in investing in their students as future peer coaches as well.”

To learn more about strengths coaches and the Clifton Strengths Institute, visit:
The new strengths coaches for the 2020-21 school year, in the spring 2020 semester and academic major(s), are:


Aurora: Jadyn Cattau, human development and family science and pre-occupational therapy

Elkhorn: Rachel Greufe, business administration; Hannah Headley, business administration

Grand Island: Joshua Wiemers, business administration

Lincoln: Erika Casarin, management; Benjamin Hohensee, management; Jacob Jesske, accounting; Peyton Potratz, marketing; Addison Wanser, business administration

Omaha: Cristopher Fishback, actuarial science; Mason Fridrich, business administration; Andrew Hall, accounting; Caroline Hites, advertising and public relations; Gabrielle Jaaper, marketing; Sarah Lies, political science and global studies; Ridley Miller, finance; Tori Pedersen, agricultural leadership, education and communication; Meghan Schuette, international business and marketing; Carson Scott, business administration; Brandon Zohlen, marketing

Papillion: Delaney Stienblock, finance; Alyssa Zabawa, marketing

Plattsmouth: Cooper Moore, finance

Scottsbluff: Payton Flower, agricultural economics

Wahoo: Madison Talbert, marketing and pre-law

Waverly: Andrew Moylan, finance


Apple Valley, Minnesota: Ana Rodriguez, advertising and public relations

Astoria, Oregon: Maria Heyen, international business and Clifton Builders management

Barrington Hills, Illinois: Jordan Jansen Van Vuren, accounting

Clive, Iowa: Leah Hunter, management

Colleyville, Texas: Kendall Munoz, international business

Eden Prairie, Minnesota: Mikayla Capouch, microbiology and biochemistry; Olivia Dohmen, management; Bryn Pursey, business administration

Houston, Texas: Collin Smith, biology

Manchester, Iowa: Alexander Schnieders, actuarial science

Missoula, Montana: Nora Higgins, finance

Naperville, Illinois: Alexander Kearns, management

Orlando, Florida: Emma Kollar, marketing

Wanamingo, Minnesota: Madisyn Alme, finance

Woodberry, Minnesota: Kate Gaulke, political science; Clare Vavro, marketing

Published: January 28, 2020