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April 13, 2021

Kathy's Point: Our Time To Celebrate

Kathy's Point: Our Time To Celebrate
Dean Kathy Farrell attended the graduation ceremony for the recent participants of the Governor’s Leadership Academy at the College of Business. The academy is one example of how the Center for Executive and Professional Development (CEPD) partners with businesses and organizations to design customized programs to help their talent gain knowledge and expertise to help drive critical change.

April is a time for celebration for our Nebraska Business community. This is when the diligent and difficult work manifests itself into good grades, summer internship placements, competition wins, graduation, honors and more.

First, I would like to invite you to join me virtually on Friday, April 23, 12 p.m. (CDT) as we celebrate our 2020 and 2021 College of Business Advisory Board Awards recipients. Honorees include our Liftetime Achievement Award recipient Allan Noddle, ’62; Business Leadership Award recipient Mike Dunlap, ’86 and ’88; Young Alumni Award recipient Jack O’Holleran, ’05; and Corporate Leadership Award recipient Kiewit. Registration and recipient information is available at:

Recently the university named Chancellor's Scholars and it included a remarkable number of Nebraska Business students. Ten business students earned this recognition by receiving an A in every undergraduate class. Kudos to Braelyn Isernhagen, Ronan Jansen, Lane Knott, Molly Konopik, Kyle Krupski, Logan Lewis, Raymond Majorins, Mary Elizabeth Morton, Lauren Niesen and Dean Ziegelman. Details regarding Commencement can be found here.

An important recognition in academics is rankings, and our MBA@Nebraska program recently received its third top 20 ranking this year. Named the No. 1 best value for the money in the U.S., our MBA@Nebraska also ranked No. 14 in the world by the Financial Times. Our Business Career Center was also recognized for providing the fourth best career services in the world. These honors demonstrate how we continue to be a leader in this space.

A few weeks ago, I joined the Governor's Leadership Academy in celebrating the completion of a second successful cohort. Through the program, high potential Nebraska government officials honed their leadership skills and interacted with peers as they covered topics such as strengths-based leadership, adaptive leadership, strategic decision-making, managing diversity and inclusion, conflict resolution, and other issues related to public financing and Nebraska’s economy. The academy is one example of how the Center for Executive and Professional Development collaborates and creates partnerships to support our businesses, communities and the state. The center also recently provided professional development to local hospital staff and businesses. Currently piloting their latest certificate on Diversity and Inclusion with college faculty and staff, the center plans to launch this important and impactful training to businesses and organizations soon. If you are interested in this training, please reach out to Dr. Emre Unlu, executive director of CEPD at

Some recent experiential learning opportunities included:

  • Sixteen teams of students honed skills needed to become ethical business leaders in the inaugural State Farm Business with Integrity Case Competition. The competition created a deeper learning experience allowing teams to prepare and present an ethics case in front of a panel of judges. Additionally, they interacted with and received feedback from CoB advisory board members who are executives representing a number of outstanding organizations.
  • Students across campus competed in the annual New Venture Competition, a celebration of entrepreneurial learning and competition where teams compete for more than $75,000 in prizes for their startups.
  • A student organization connected to the Clifton Strengths Institute, the Clifton Strengths Organization, helped students transform ideas into action by running their own businesses during a week-long simulation called The Crash Course. With stores set up through an e-commerce platform, teams managed a website, marketing, packaging and shipping, and tracked inventory and financials. I enjoyed their final presentations about their experiences navigating challenges and coming together as a team during their final presentations.

As we continue to see favorable trends in COVID-19 numbers, we also anticipate more in-person opportunities through the community. For the first time since December 2019, our graduates have the opportunity to cross the Commencement stage and celebrate this milestone with their families. The in-person Commencement ceremonies will be held at Memorial Stadium and Pinnacle Bank Arena. This too is a reason for celebration.

We appreciate all you do to help us prepare students for the future of business. I also hope you will help us celebrate these Nebraska Business successes and recognize our Advisory Board Award recipients on Friday, April 23.

Dean Kathy Farrell