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Faculty, Staff and Students Find Silver Linings During Pandemic

Community Makes the Most of Challenging Times
Faculty, Staff and Students Find Silver Linings During Pandemic
College of Business faculty, staff and students made their time matter during the COVID-19 pandemic through service, entrepreneurial ventures and learning new skills.

From learning to use Zoom to discovering new in-home workouts, the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the way people spend their time. As more than 4,000 students and 200 faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business worked and learned remotely this spring and summer and some courses continue to be taught or taken in different formats this fall, many decided to make their newfound free time during the pandemic matter.

Emma Stewart, career coach in the Business Career Center, spent her time advancing her education as she worked on her master’s degree in counseling. As part of her program, she finished her clinical counseling hours at Mourning Hope Grief Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. There she led virtual support groups and counseled people of all ages grieving the loss of someone significant.

“The opportunity gave me so much perspective about what people may be going through. You never know what someone is dealing with, and this experience has taught me to be much more compassionate and empathetic towards our business students,” she said.

Also challenging herself, Theresa Luensmann, coordinator in the Nebraska Business Honors Academy, decided to learn a new language. With an interest in many languages, she focused her efforts on French.

“I used to feel that I didn’t have the time to learn something new. This spring and summer presented the perfect time to take on a new challenge while I was spending most of my time at home alone. I wanted to feel more productive in my free time and do something to challenge myself mentally. Learning a new language was a great way to do that,” she said.

Shawntell Kroese, assistant professor of practice in supply chain management and analytics, began her full-time teaching career this fall. With more than 20 years of experience in the supply chain field, she used her expertise to consult with entrepreneurs.

“I've been working with startups who have developed solutions to make the supply chain more efficient. This is a big emerging space that interests me. It is a fascinating time to study and work in the supply chain area. It is critically important, and there is a lot of application to what we study and what is happening all around the world,” said Kroese, who joined the college this fall alongside nine other new faculty members.

Students also found ways to impact others in their free time. Senior Mike Addante, a management major and former Nebraska baseball player from Algonquin, Illinois, turned tough luck into a chance to help others by selling protective equipment. Read more about how he leaned into an entrepreneurial spirit during the pandemic in the Aug. 22 Lincoln Journal Star article at:

In addition, senior Noah Floersch, a marketing major from Omaha, Nebraska, released music for the first time as a solo artist during the pandemic. He grew his brand by garnering almost a million Spotify listens on his most popular song, "Girl from the Sidewalk." Read more in the Aug. 21 Lincoln Journal Star article at:

If you are a faculty, staff or student at the College of Business and want to share how you made your time matter during the pandemic, go to:

Published: October 13, 2020