October 1, 2023


It's Your Education

Discovering the Power to Succeed: Might 2021 University student Commencement Tales | Information

The previous calendar year has been just one unlike any other for university learners across the country. By the COVID-19 pandemic, societal improve, and financial problems, college students from all backgrounds in the May possibly 2021 graduating class uncovered the power to succeed. This year’s team of scholar marshals are just 9 of the virtually 1,700 graduates who commenced their educational journeys at various occasions, but will achieve very important milestones through 7 ceremonies across two times oat Baxter Arena on Friday, Might 7, and Monday, May 10.

Independently, they are moms and dads, initial-generation pupils, foreseeable future leaders, and health employees. Collectively, they are Mavericks.

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Renata Valquier Chavez

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Renata Valquier Chavez

If another person have been to talk to what Renata Valquier Chavez was included in all through her time at UNO, they would get an respond to extra swiftly by asking what she wasn’t included in.

The Omaha-place indigenous lived her Maverick life to the fullest as a student physique president and regent a member of UNO’s monitor and field and cross-state groups a member of the Thompson Finding out Neighborhood a member of the Student Honors Affiliation a point out relations intern with the College of Nebraska System and as a founding member of SustainUNO – an motion-oriented corporation for pupils passionate about the environment.

Valquier Chavez’s UNO story will culminate at commencement with a bachelor’s diploma in political science and minors in environmental science and biology. Her Maverick journey commenced at age 14 during a campus stop by with her more mature brother, exactly where she saw a rock-climbing wall and 1st fell in adore with the school. As she progressed via higher school, the additional enamored she grew to become with the notion of attending UNO.

“I understood that city of Omaha has a whole lot of possibility and a ton of issues I can study from, and the college in just it – UNO – was really integrated,” she claimed. “There are assistance learning alternatives, and I thought it was actually special due to the fact I have in no way witnessed that kind of system within just other universities.”

She also felt that services mastering experiences would help hone her capabilities to grow to be an environmental attorney – a profession that would permit her to have a positive, tangible affect on the globe.

“I really desired to exercise environmental law since I wanted to support people have obtain to clear water and clean up air and to not have any sort of injustices be in the way of that. If you really do not have accessibility to cleanse drinking water and clean air, then it is not likely to be easy to achieve a good deal of things in everyday living. Those people two matters are elementary to are living.”

Just after having on so lots of involvement opportunities, her unrelenting enthusiasm to serve some others felt mind-boggling at periods, but it was the Maverick local community that gave her power.

“To have Maverick Spirit signifies there is a flame in you that is just generally heading to burn off sturdy, and that’s your passion,” she explained. “I feel like when you’re a Maverick, it’s generally just an enjoyable, unexpected journey because there is always one thing fascinating that is likely to transpire.”

Bradley Stuthman

Higher education of Enterprise Administration

Bradley Stuthman

Bradley Stuthman offers the passion UNO offers the alternatives.

An accounting key from Omaha, Stuthman draws his toughness to triumph from a simple personalized philosophy.

“You set your head down and function difficult,” he explained. “That is my mentality: just about every day I’m heading to walk in and get superior. If I’m not receiving much better every day, which is a loss for me.”

At UNO, he discovered near endless alternatives to provide him nearer to his objective of getting to be a qualified community accountant (CPA) and setting his roots down in which he can make a constructive in his home metropolis. A heavily-involved Maverick on and off campus, Stuthman serves as a tax intern at Lutz in its accounting section, takes element in the UNO CBA Students Academy communicates frequently with educational and specialist mentors and is a member of the Beta Alpha Psi small business fraternity amid a lot of other pursuits.

What is the next steppingstone on the road to his professional goals? Right after graduation, he designs to earn his master’s in accounting at UNO and study for his CPA exam. Though he was equipped to propel himself towards his aims through grit and resolve, Stuthman credits his extensive social and expert network and encourages upcoming Mavericks to cultivate their very own.

“If I wasn’t involved in any of the businesses that I was, I almost certainly wouldn’t be the place I’m at now, no matter whether it be professionally or socially. It genuinely created my expertise what it is,” he explained. “I will convey to any one I advocate get involved in just about anything you can, do something you are passionate about and go for it.”

Zach Gilbert

Faculty of Conversation, Wonderful Arts and Media

Zach Gilbert

Zach Gilbert didn’t commence his tutorial occupation at UNO, but he will conclusion it as a proud Maverick.

The transfer university student-turned Gateway information editor will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Conversation, well geared up to prosper as he will work towards his profession aim of working in the amusement market as a communicator and a community relations expert.

Even though the 12 months was outlined for many by its deficiency of connectivity to other people, the Maverick Spirit defined Gilbert’s.

“Appropriate now, much more than ever, Maverick Spirit usually means resilience to me, in particular during this past yr,” he explained. “All people has had to adapt in techniques we in no way imagined we would have to. I have been given very little but the utmost support and guidance from all my good friends, my professors, I imagine we’ve all been forced to glimpse at our lives and determine items out and decide up the pieces of what the pandemic has thrown in disarray. I’m definitely grateful that all people has stepped up to the plate and no a single has remaining any pupil or staff member at the rear of. I definitely come to feel even closer to the community now than ever in advance of.”

Ana Ortiz

School of Education, Overall health, and Human Sciences


Grand Prairie, Texas, is a Dallas suburb that is a 10-hour travel or a two-hour flight from Omaha. It’s wherever Ana Ortiz – a native of Monterrey, Mexico – phone calls house as she pursues her UNO Library Science diploma with a minimal in nonprofit administration.

When you inquire Ortiz what her educational working experience was like, you pretty much can not tell she pursued her academic journey on line a day’s trip from the college wherever she is about to earn her diploma from.

“I experienced so numerous networking opportunities inspite of staying remote,” Ortiz claimed. “We had the probability to discuss specifically with folks in the area and with leaders who were being prepared to share their information and wisdom. I sense like the content we were being taught was present and applicable and the professors took excellent care to present it towards actual existence eventualities.”

There are dozens of schools and universities in the condition of Texas, so how did she land on an on line method in Nebraska? The remedy: a reputation as one of the leading on line library science diploma plans in the nation and an enthusiasm for the online expertise that leapt off her screen.

“I began researching online for a faculty that would supply a high-quality, distant, properly-priced system and UNO arrived up as 1 of the prime 3 possibilities for library science,” she stated. “Each and every overview praised the stage of accessibility for distant pupils offered by the workers and emphasizes the affordability of the degrees available.”

Even though Ortiz may not have had the similar in-human being interactions as some of her Maverick peers, the almost 700-mile hole between her and the Maverick Spirit on campus did not appear significantly at all.

“I have definitely cherished my on the internet experience with UNO,” she explained. “The Library Science method personnel has produced absolutely sure to make us come to feel as a cohesive unit, with visitor speakers, month-to-month conferences, and ongoing discussion. I are not able to say sufficient of how well considered out and prime quality of an education I have acquired.”

Alex Dukart

Higher education of Engineering (UNL)

Alex Dukart

Alex Dukart found a community inside a community at UNO.

The architectural engineering key and Omaha indigenous noticed launching his academic vocation shut to residence as an prospect to establish robust bonds in just the metropolis he loves by connecting with peers and pros in his wished-for profession field. As a significant university student, deciding upon UNL’s UNO-dependent engineering program as the foundation for his instructional and experienced journey was an straightforward choice.

“I observed [UNO] as the very best of both equally worlds,” Dukart mentioned. “I experienced accessibility to an fantastic training while also currently being connected with a good deal of marketplace industry experts proper here in my group.”

As soon as at UNO, he turned concerned in Greek Everyday living, Dance Marathon, the Illuminating Engineering Culture, career fairs, and attended Maverick athletic occasions with buddies. The mix of personalized and expert advancement chances, on campus and in the community, led to an internship with Morrissey Engineering as an electrical intern – a placement he has held for a calendar year.

“When you join a club, it gives you a lot of folks that push you to be your greatest and you uncover strategies to improve oneself and collaborate on ideas and projects to assistance greater the total group,” he claimed.

Throughout a hard yr, even with a vast on campus guidance technique, he continues to attract inspiration, motivation, and strength from his cherished types.

“I consider recognizing I have a team of buddies and spouse and children who are constantly there to support me truly provides me the confidence and discipline that makes it possible for me the power to thrive in daily life.”

Zahraa Wajih Alsafwani

Faculty of Information and facts Science & Know-how


The intersection of Zahraa Wajih Alsafwani’s two passions have a property in the School of Info Science & Technology.

Her educational pursuits of biology and technology are observed in the revolutionary bioinformatics degree method.

Bioinformatics is a speedily increasing industry of study that permits scientists to attain insights and make breakthroughs in comprehension our genetic make-up and supply solutions to biological challenges. The highway to her degree – which features an overall look on the Chancellor’s Record her initially 3 semesters at UNO in a row – was bolstered by friends who present unique views on tutorial do the job and life. Her academic functionality paved the way for her to be the to start with student to enroll in a 4+1 Bioinformatics software by means of IS&T, a degree track that allows learners to finish their undergraduate and master’s levels in 5 yrs.

Alsafwani, a indigenous of Saudi Arabia who speaks English as a next language, reported she benefitted tremendously from the worldwide knowledge UNO provided.

“I experience like getting concerned in academic clubs and pupil corporations aided me a large amount – remaining social and remaining extra interactive with pupils and faculty from various departments, different businesses and also diverse international locations and backgrounds,” Zahraa explained.

Saige Angleton

School of Public Affairs and Neighborhood Providers

Saige Angleton

UNO is home to additional than 6,000 very first-technology students – 37 percent of the full 15,000-as well as student body– every with their have stories. A single of people tales is Saige Angleton.

The emergency management major to begin with chose UNO for its proximity to residence, so in the celebration the university practical experience was not what she experienced hoped, she would have loved ones nearby as a support technique. As a first-era college student, she admittedly struggled to find her footing early on, but when she turned acquainted with UNO’s reverence toward pupils like her and the guidance network the university provided for students like her, it aided felt a lot more at dwelling.

“As I received progressively into faculty listed here, first-technology students are celebrated,” Angleton reported. “There is a First-Era Guild, these pupils are unquestionably prioritized, and you have a spouse and children in it.”

During her time at UNO, she helped launch the UNO men’s club hockey workforce and served as its vice president. She also took on an internship with the Omaha Veterans Affairs Health care Centre the place she worked with the crisis manager on emergency planning. The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a valuable understanding encounter that will serve her perfectly in her dream vocation as a nurse practitioner.

“For pandemic scheduling, we realized some items that we can take into the potential and essentially have pandemic options for our occupations as emergency supervisors,” she said.

Beating a range of issues, she professional throughout her educational occupation has helped her make her have definition of what Maverick Spirit usually means.

“The word Maverick to me just means robust and I imagine Maverick Spirit over-all implies strength and staying equipped to hold continuing,” she claimed. “I know for a whole lot of higher education learners, that is a thing they battle with. College or university is quite tricky and often you want to just give up, but I imagine getting that Maverick Spirit and continuing to push yourself and persevere via individuals tough instances is what the Maverick Spirit is.”

Looking back again on her evolution from an unsure first-era freshman to UNO graduate with a enthusiasm for serving other people, she did it for additional than her have profit.

“I have two younger sisters that I know seem up to me, and I know that I need to established the tone for them and demonstrate them how factors really should be completed. I imagine I’ve completed a great position at that so significantly, so which is certainly been what my power to succeed is.”

Keshia Greve

Graduate School
Higher education of Arts and Sciences

Keshia Greve

Keshia Greve sought out UNO for its prestigious university psychology master’s program and options for palms-on mastering experiences. What she discovered together the way were being was a position exactly where she could have a positive effects on the lives of students in the Omaha region.

Greve, a Wisner, Nebraska, indigenous who attended Creighton University for her undergraduate diploma, reported UNO stood head-and-shoulders previously mentioned other likely graduate systems since of the likelihood to have interaction in support-finding out chances.

“That was large for me when creating my decision about graduate programs, and I imagine UNO does that throughout the board,” she mentioned. “They do that for their undergraduate college students, they do that for their graduate pupils no subject what program they are in there are just tons of partnerships below in the neighborhood that they make certain their college students can really attain that practical experience for when we are thrown out into the true planet, so we’re not just seeking to keep afloat.”

The difficulties generated by the pandemic, and economic, and social problems manufactured for a mentally, physically, and emotionally striving calendar year. Additionally, the time demands that went into hands-on finding out with Omaha spot teachers and college students intended Keshia needed guidance from her peers and college staff to excel. Through it all, Greve said she often felt the presence of the university neighborhood, even in a primarily distant location.

“Even when we did go into on the web discovering or a minor bit of mixed learning this calendar year, I continue to felt that perception of neighborhood and I think that is truly what Maverick Spirit is. I never know if I would have obtained that anyplace else. Everyone just sort of embraces you and takes you in and tends to make positive that even in a world-wide pandemic, we’re all below together, we’ll make do, be versatile and care about every single other.”

Peter Coffey

Graduate College
School of Community Administration and Group Provider

Peter Coffey

Peter Coffey does not in shape the mold of a conventional college or university university student.

Even with an age gap amongst him and a lot of of his younger peers, a track record as a U.S. military services veteran, his occupation as a deputy sheriff in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Workplace, and his purpose as a married father of four, he has in no way felt out of location on campus. In simple fact, Coffey, who will graduate with a master’s degree in prison justice, explained it’s the dissimilarities that manufactured for these types of a deep, prosperous educational encounter at UNO.

“In the military services and in legislation enforcement you are likely to at instances be isolated ideologically, you are not uncovered to a great deal of exterior and differing views, there’s a lifestyle and you are isolated in that society,” he claimed. “Coming to a university campus and speaking to a good deal of professors who have distinct ideologies than you, and definitely college students, you get a distinctive perspective and you start off dwelling your everyday living in a distinct context because you are not in a bubble any more.”

Coffey was born in upstate New York native but has been longtime resident of Omaha next his services in the army. He was to begin with drawn to UNO for its track record as a person of the most military-welcoming universities in the state. The Office of Military services and Veteran Solutions provided important guidance during his time at UNO, performing as a liaison among himself and the U.S. Veterans Administration and translating his army support to higher education credit score. He was also equipped to construct bonds with fellow veterans he encountered on campus.

“From time to time there can be a generational gap among a person just receiving out of the military services and a fresh new faculty scholar,” Coffey claimed. “But I had some friends in which I didn’t come to feel by itself at all.”

Even though a lot of of his fellow Mavericks locate their help devices within just university student corporations, he jokes that he finds his power to triumph in his “club.”

“My club is back again at house, using care of all people, and serving to out,” he stated.