Dee Ellingson
Department of Psychology, 308.865.8235

Inspired by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, members of the Staff Senate Professional Development Committee at the University of Nebraska at Kearney recently sponsored a Loper Office Makeover on the campus.

The results will be showcased at the Loper Office Makeover open house from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, in the Memorial Student Affairs Building, Room 172. The open house is open to the community as well as the campus.

In all, eight offices were entered in the Loper Office Makeover competition. From among the eight, Brandon Benitz, UNK Student Support Services adviser, was the recipient of the office makeover. He, with input from his colleagues, selected a favorite from four group projects designed by student groups in the Interior Design Studio Class I.

Designs were submitted by members of a Department of Family Studies/Interior Design class taught by Dr. Janice Kimmons, UNK assistant professor of Family Studies/Interior Design. The class was divided into four teams, and each team developed a design plan. The students’ plans were based on having an $800 budget to use to purchase supplies.

According to Dee Ellingson, UNK Staff Senate Professional Development Committee chair, the purpose of the project was to improve a university office while giving UNK students an opportunity to work in a real-life situation with an actual client. The students met with Benitz to determine how his office space could be designed to best fit his needs, as well as what his personal tastes and interests were. Each team presented their office makeover proposals to the Staff Senate Professional Development Committee and Benitz.

“We tried to make this project as realistic as we could,” Ellingson said. “We were really impressed with the students’ work. I think Brandon had a hard time choosing.” The newly designed office is done in dark blue and khaki colors, and decorated with a Civil War theme to mirror one of Benitz’s interests.

“This was a great experience for the students, who went through a client interview and now will see one of their designs actually finished,” Dr. Kimmons said. “All of the designs were of a quality that demonstrated the students’ professionalism. We look forward to working with the committee on the next office makeover.”

Students who created the winning design include: Jenny Stahla of Lexington, Andrea Hartman of  Weeping Water, and Stephanie Budden and Traci Richardson, both of Kearney.

All four group project designs will be on display during the Loper Office Makeover open house. Student design team members (listed by group number, not in order of design selection) included:

 Broken Bow- Ginger McCandless
Gothenburg- Jill Bates
Grand Island- Bryan White
Omaha- Tim Franco
South Sioux City- Kayla Kotalik

Grand Island- Angela Kucera
  Kearney- Shawna Meyer
Malcom- Allison Nisson
Nehawka- Sydney Marshall
 O’Neill- Allison Fontenez

Falls City- Erin Flynn
Stromsburg- Alyssa McCumber

Kumiko Awarawa and Harumi Tasaki

Members of the Staff Senate Professional Development Committee, in addition to Ellingson, are listed alphabetically: Kristi Anderson, Landscaping and Grounds leader; Cheryl Bressington, director of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity and assistant director for Human Resources; Linda Clark, Human Resources specialist; Dianne Holcomb, assistant director of Sponsored Programs; Audrey Kauders, director/curator of the Museum of Nebraska Art; Anita Kucera, associate director for staffing/training for Residential and Greek Life; Mark Morehouse, assistant director operations service, Facilities Management and Planning; Paula Rivera-Shah, Quality Assurance and Training coordinator, Facilities Management and Planning; and Glenda Wilson, computer software technician for Calvin T. Ryan Library.

Project labor was financed by the Facilities Department. Employees who worked on the project, listed alphabetically, include: Swede Anderson, Mark Moorehouse and Dave Webster.