Sharon Pelc
Nebraskan Student Union director, 308.865.8523

Eleven students were recently selected to serve as the 2011-2012 Chancellor’s Ambassadors at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The Chancellor’s Student Ambassadors assist in hosting special events. Ambassadors are frequently asked to welcome university guests, including foreign diplomats, alumni and government officials, and to share their student experience at UNK.

Ambassadors are selected based on availability and willingness to serve, knowledge of the university, leadership, campus involvement, academic background, poise, and interpersonal and communication skills.

“The Ambassador Board considers the overall membership of the group to obtain the best representation of the student body,” said Sharon Pelc, director of UNK Nebraskan Student Union.

Students must have completed a minimum of 45 credit hours to be selected. After applications of have been reviewed, the Ambassador Board holds interviews to make their final selection.

The Chancellor’s Ambassadors will attend a one-day retreat on Friday, Aug. 12, where they will study the history of the university, discuss etiquette and tour campus facilities. Through the Ambassadors, students are able to improve their leadership skills, increase self-confidence, learn to better serve others, learn more about UNK while interacting with other student ambassadors, members of the faculty and administration, state and national leaders.

Chancellor’s Ambassadors for the 2011-2012 academic year are listed alphabetically by hometown:

Aurora – Ryan Grossnicklaus, a business administration major, is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the UNK Golf Team, Honors program, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Loper Liaisons. He was recently selected for Mortar Board, was named Order of Omega Outstanding Emerging Leader of the Year, Sigma Phi Epsilon New Member of the Year, National Federation of Independent Businesses Young Entrepreneur Award winner and has been on the Dean’s List. While at UNK, Grossnicklaus has been involved with the  Big Event, Nebraska Kidney Association Golf Classic, Stride and Ride for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and St. Jude’s Up Til’ Dawn.

Aurora – Alicia Titus, a math comprehensive major, was a finalist for the Omaha World-Herald/Kearney Hub Scholarship and is a Dean’s List student. She is a Student Diplomat, Academic Peer Tutor, a member of the Honors program, Loper Liaisons, Math Club, Student Government Cabinet, Community Assembly Night and is a grader for the math department. While at UNK, Titus has volunteered with the Big Event, Kearney Press on Youth Center and Youth Summer Softball.

Dixon – Heath Erwin is a business administration major. Erwin is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, Health Science Club, Loper Liaisons, Student Government secretary to the treasury, Blue and Gold Welcome Week and intramural sports. He has spent time volunteering with Buddy Bowling, Kidz Explore, Save the World Theatre, ARC dances, Fireman’s BBQ, Central Elementary Spaghetti Feed and the Big Event. Erwin is a Dean’s List student and earned the Oldfather Family Scholarship.

Ericson – Katie Swett is an athletic training major. She is a UNK Student Diplomat, and is a member of Thompson Scholars Learning Community, the Newman Center Student Ministry Council, Campus Kitchen, the Friends Program and various intramural sports. Swett is a Thompson Scholar recipient, a member of Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and is a Dean’s List student.

Gering – Adam Peters, a psychobiology major, is the president of Health Science Club, a member of Biology Club, and Campus Kitchen. He has volunteered with the Red Cross Blood Drive, Habitat for Humanity and was a junior counselor at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards in Estes Park, Colo. Peters is an Eagle Scout, a member of the Honors program and was named All Tournament Official at the State of Nebraska Flag Football Tournament in 2010.

Grand Island – Samuel Schneider is an economics and political science major. He received Omaha World-Herald/Kearney Hub Scholarship in 2009, participated in Boys State Governor, is a member of Phi Eta Sigma honor society, and is a Dean’s List student. As a freshman, Schneider served as a Student Senator, was a Student Body President/Regent Candidate in spring of 2011, an Undergraduate Research Fellow and is a member of the Honors program. He has served as a volunteer at the Kearney Community Learning Center and was a Congressional Intern for Adrian Smith.

Lincoln – Courtney Smejdir, a communication disorders major, is a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority and served as philanthropy chair in 2010 and alumnae relations in 2011. She has also served as vice president of Programming and vice president of recruitment for Panhellenic Council, and is a member of Kearney Student Speech and Hearing, Language Association and Student Alumni Association. She has also volunteered with the ARC of Buffalo County, the Big Event and various community service programs through Alpha Omicron Pi. She is a recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship and Honors program scholarship, and is a Dean’s List student.

Morrill – Kasey Dietz, a pre-law, business management major, is involved in Students in Free Enterprise, Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, Loper Liaisons, Student Senate and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. During his time at UNK, Dietz has been a part of UNK Freshman Move-In Day, Stride and Rise for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Boy Scouts of America, Nebraska Kidney Association Golf Classic, Youth AIDS Viaero Event Center Clean-up, St. Jude’s Up Til’ Dawn, ARC of Buffalo County Honey Sunday, NDOR Adopt-A-Highway Program, voluntary assistance speech coach at Kearney High School and is a Dean’s List student.

Wayne – Andi Diediker is middle school education major. Diediker has served as president of Pi Kappa Alpha and is a member of Student Government, Loper Liaisons and the Honors program. He is a Regents Scholar, has earned an Honors scholarship and is a Dean’s List student. He has volunteered with the Big Event, Buddy Bowling, Honey Sunday and Top Soccer.

Wood River – Abbie Davis is a business administration major with an emphasis in marketing. She has served as the parliamentarian, secretary, and facilities and campus development chairperson for UNK Student Senate. She is the secretary for the Honors program Student Advisory Board, and a member of Cornerstone UNK and the College of Business and Technology Student Advisory Board. Davis is a volunteer at the UNK Newman Center, the Big Event, the Red Cross and Chancellor’s Leadership Class Volunteer Project. She received the 2009 Omaha World-Herald/Kearney Hub Scholarship, was named October 2010 UNK Student Senate Senator of the Month, is a member of Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and is a Dean’s List student.


Oklahoma City – Cindie Reneau, a music and organizational communication major, is a member of UNK Choraleers, Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra and is a UNK International Friendship Family to three students. She is an instructor for the UNK Strings Project, designed and constructed the UNK Strings Christmas Program and is the principal for the second violin section. She has performed the National Anthem at events across Oklahoma and has played solos in for the Grace Fellowship Church and Crossroad Church Praise and Worship Teams. She also served as Parent’s Weekend executive committee and publicity team. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority and served as Chapter Motivator. She has volunteered with Goodwill, Grace Fellowship Praise team, Make-A-Wish, ARC Hands-on Program leader, Adaptive Easter Egg Hunt and as a violinist for community events. Reneau is a recipient of a UNK music department scholarship and is a Dean’s List student.