2009 Outstanding Family Award to be Presented to Family of Samantha Chessmore Saturday, Oct. 3, During Family Day Activities

Heather Wolf
coordinator of Student Activities, Nebraskan Student Union, 308.865.839

UNK- The 2009 Outstanding Family Award at the University of Nebraska at Kearney will be presented to the winning student’s in-laws Saturday (Oct. 3).

“On Family Day, we pay tribute to the families of all UNK students,” said Heather Wolf, UNK coordinator of Student Activities. “We have a tradition of honoring one family with our Outstanding Family Award. The award is based on what the student most admires about his or her family, as well as the impact family members have had on their lives and how they have encouraged their education at UNK.”

The 2009 Outstanding Family Award recipient will be UNK student Samantha Chessmore’s husband’s parents. Originally from Hibbing, Minn., Samantha is majoring in Spanish and aviation. She has a 3.9 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. Samantha and her husband Maurice have two daughters, Mary and Lila. Samantha’s mother-in-law is Peggy Chessmore; her father-in-law is Todd Chessmore.

On her application for the award, Samantha wrote: “I have an amazing family. What makes my family special is their commitment to education and that they are also my husband’s parents. I was afraid to attend college, because no one in my family had even graduated from high school. I didn’t know how to go about registering for college. My inspiring father-in-law Todd Chessmore signed me up to take the ACT exam. Both he and my mother-in-law Peggy received their undergraduate degrees from UNK, with majors in education.

“Peggy (Mom) has been an inspiration to me in so many ways,” she said. “Not only has she taught me the importance of education and supported me, she has also shown me that it is possible to have a family while attending a university and to excel to your fullest potential. It makes me happy that because of their good example, their love for each other, and their love for education, that I can follow in their footsteps. I know they are proud of me; I hope that someday my little girls can look back at my education and be proud also.”

Samantha will receive a $200 scholarship from the Loper Programming and Activities Council, a $50 scholarship from the Antelope Bookstore, and tickets the UNK theatre production of “Dear Edwina.”

Along with the Chessmore family, the following students and their families will also be given special recognition:

Dalton – Abbie Olson – Abbie, a psychology major, wrote that her family has taught her to value honesty, integrity, leadership and accountability. She has three sisters and is the daughter of Steve and Cindy Olson of Dalton. Abbie’s mother, her aunts and her uncles have all attended UNK. On her application, Abbie wrote: “UNK is very special to us. My grandmother and grandfather, Aldon and Mary Ann Sobieszczyk of Kimball, met at Kearney State College (UNK) when they were studying for their teaching degrees.”

Juniata – Justin Drudik – The Drudik family has two students at UNK, Justin and Adam. Both Justin and Adam are student athletes and are members of the football team. Their younger brother Brock is a senior at Adams Central High School. Justin is majoring in sports administration/business administration. Justin wrote: “My parents have instilled hard work and discipline in our lives by constantly setting an example in their own lives.” His parents are Janet and Ron Drudik of Juniata. Janet holds a master’s degree from UNK.

Kearney – Waco and Bill Phipps – son and father, both are seniors at UNK. Waco is majoring in industrial distribution. He wrote: “I talked my dad into returning to UNK and finishing his degree after 22 years. I couldn’t be prouder of my dad!”

Bill is majoring in physical science. He and his wife Robin are parents of four children. Bill wrote: “I was fearful and a bit hesitant initially at the thought of going back to college. However, my family’s support has been priceless! My kids think it is ‘cool’ that their dad is going to college at the same time they are, and they gave me a ‘crash course’ in Lotus Notes, Blackboard and other technology. They emphasized, ‘It’ll be one of the greatest decisions you’ll ever make.’” Bill’s parents are Doug and Alice Phipps of Mullen. Many members of the family, including Bill’s mother, attended UNK when it was called Kearney State College.

Lindsay – Jennifer Wegener – Jennifer is a sophomore elementary education major who carries a 4.0 (straight “A’s”) grade point average. Her sister Ashley is also a UNK student. She is majoring in business administration and maintains a 3.9 grade point average.  Jennifer and Ashley have three younger siblings: Kyle, Anna and Matthew. Their parents Mark and Sandy Wegener of Lindsay farm in the Lindsey area.

Omaha – Briana Mohr – Briana is majoring in elementary education and has a 3.9 GPA. Her younger sister Kaitlyn is a student at Millard West High School. Her parents are Mike and Sue Mohr of Omaha. Mike is the senior director of Strategic Sourcing at West Corporation; Sue is marketing director for Prestige Title and Escrow. Also joining Briana will be her grandparents Bill and Dee Lewis. On her application for the award, Briana wrote: “My parents had to stay at local colleges in Omaha because of finances. They encouraged me to pick a school where I could take advantage of the full college experience.”