The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Clifton Strengths Institute recently selected 45 undergraduate students as strengths coaches for the 2022-23 academic year. Alongside returning coaches, they mentor approximately 1,000 new students in the College of Business course Professional Enhancement I: Investing in Strengths (BSAD 111).
As a required course for all first-year business students, BSAD 111 empowers students to delve deep into their top strengths from the CliftonStrengths® assessment and teaches them how to apply their natural talents across academic, personal and professional experiences.
“Students receive frequent feedback during their first few weeks on campus that informs their identity,” said Timothy Hodges, executive director of the Clifton Strengths Institute and assistant professor of practice in management. “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.”
Strengths coaches accepted into the program enrolled in Strengths Coaching, Theory and Practice (MNGT 451) this 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.
“The course guides students toward deeper knowledge of self, intentional connection and strengths-based conversation to support College of Business students as they begin their college experience. Our coaches truly generate impact by identifying, celebrating and encouraging the talents of first-year students,” said Taylor Lofdahl.
Representing 20 majors and varying levels of involvement across campus, student coaches bring their experiences into each coaching session to help foster an inclusive environment for new business students to grow in and be set up for success. The MNGT 451 course helps coaches lean into their distinct coaching style.
“The best part about coaching is the range of successful techniques, practices and styles that exist. Each new coach engages in course discussions, coaching conversations and reflective exercises to identify the unique talents that drive their success as a coach. Each coach develops their own coaching philosophy and style and have the opportunity to grow with and learn from their students as they discuss well-being, engagement and goals for their time at Nebraska,” Lofdahl said.
Student strengths coaches play a key role within the college, striving to bring out the best in people and maximize their talents at the university where strengths-based psychology originated through the work of Dr. Don Clifton ’48, ’49, ’59 & ’90. Clifton, who developed the CliftonStrengths assessment, asked the question, “What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them?”
“Great coaches ask great questions. Our student strengths coaches serve our mission by investing in the growth and development of students throughout the College of Business,” said Hodges.
To learn more about strengths coaches and the Clifton Strengths Institute, visit: https://business.unl.edu/strengths.
The new strengths coaches for the 2022-23 school year, with their year in school in the spring 2022 semester and academic major(s), are:
Beatrice: Avery Plessel, freshman marketing major
Brule: Rachel Orth, sophomore biological sciences major
Columbus: Simon Schumacher, freshman business administration major
Grand Island: Kelly Solis, freshman business administration and management major
Holdrege: Carly Janssen, sophomore marketing major
Leigh: Cassidy Hoffman, freshman accounting major
Lexington: Chris Dominguez, sophomore finance major
Lincoln: Anna Coffey, freshman finance major; Nicole Davis, freshman business administration major; Addison Priess, freshman business administration major; Cora Scott, freshman nursing major; Jacob Vanderford, sophomore sports media and communication and music major
Nebraska City: Ellie Higgins, freshman secondary English language arts education major
Omaha: Hannah Coldiron, freshman business administration and biochemistry major; Naomi Delkamiller, freshman journalism and advertising and public relations major; Alex Kiihne, freshman finance major; Olivia Palmer, freshman marketing major; Adella Smolsky, junior management major
Springfield: Liz Iverson, junior marketing major
Stapleton: Hannah Burnside, freshman child, youth and family studies major
Wahoo: Emily Obert, junior management major
Waverly: Lindsay Rickers, freshman marketing and Clifton Builders management major
San Francisco, California: Julia Kiehn, freshman economics major
San Luis Obispo, California: Alexis Haas, freshman management major
Tehachapi, California: Z Gividen, sophomore marketing major
Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Penh Pheak, freshman international business major
Longmont, Colorado: Jordan Westenbroek, freshman business administration major
Berthoud, Colorado: Ellie Dodd, freshman management major
Denver, Colorado: Ellie McWhirter, sophomore nutrition, exercise and health science major
Council Bluffs, Iowa: Haedyn Jorgenson, freshman advertising and public relations major
Glenwood, Iowa: Erin Stanley, junior marketing major
Ellicott City, Maryland: Rachel Van Osdel, sophomore finance major
Delano, Minnesota: Gabby Paskach, junior marketing major
Edina, Minnesota: Lucia Golfis, sophomore Clifton Builders management major
Lakeville, Minnesota: Sophie Thomas, freshman marketing major
Savage, Minnesota: Kelsie Caven, sophomore Clifton Builders management major
Shakopee, Minnesota: Carly Gorter, freshman business administration major
Lee's Summit, Missouri: Jack Kemper, freshman business administration major
Kansas City, Missouri: Makena Cornelius, freshman supply chain management major
Lake Winnebago, Missouri: Sophie Brendel, sophomore Clifton Builders management major
Sandy, Utah: Carlie Davis, freshman management major
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Linh Tran, sophomore marketing major
Appleton, Wisconsin: Kaitlyn Pope, sophomore finance major
Grafton, Wisconsin: Kate Aleknavicius, freshman management major
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin: John Trilling, freshman business administration major