Heather Wolf
coordinator of Student Activities, Nebraskan Student Union

Michael Cooley of Morrill and Whitney Nelson of Hastings have been named 2012 Homecoming King and Queen at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

The two were crowned in ceremonies Thursday evening on the campus and will reign over UNK Homecoming Week events Friday and Saturday. Earlier this week, the 26 candidates were narrowed to eight finalists for final voting by the student body.

Nelson, the daughter of John and Marsha Nelson of Hastings, is a senior majoring in biology with a health science and a pre-med emphasis. She is representing

Antelope/Nester Hall. She is the senior resident assistant for Nester North, and a member and officer in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She is also a senator for Student Government, actively participates in Health Science Club, and is president of Mortar Board and Phi Eta Sigma.

Cooley, the son of Tammy and Charles Cooley of Morrill, is a senior majoring in sports management. He is representing Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Cooley is a Student Diplomat, New Student Enrollment Leader and vice president of the Sports Administration Majors (SAM) club. In addition, he is involved in the Students in Mass Media (SIMM) honor society, a Dean’s List student, Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC) and director of media relations for Student Government. He is a former member of the UNK football team.

Homecoming finalists who are now members of the royal court are listed below:

Alyse Andreasen and Dustin Dye:

Alyse Andreasen, a senior from Genoa, is representing Student Government. She is majoring in career business education 6-12. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, an event programmer for Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC), secretary of Student Senate, an Intramural supervisor and a part of Loper Liaisons. Andreasen is also a member Phi Beta Lambda, the College of Business and Technology Student Advisory Board, Back to School events coordinator for UNK Student Life, a member of the Nebraska State Business Education Association, National Business Education Association and is a Dean’s List student. She is the daughter of Scotty and Jolene Andreasen.

Dustin Dye, a senior from Waco, is representing Loper Liasons. He is majoring in travel and tourism and is the president of Alpha Tau Omega. Dye is a member of the Travel and Tourism Club, UNK intramurals, and volunteers for the Arc of Buffalo County and the Great Platte River Road Archway. He has received involvement awards for Most Involved Freshman, for involvement within Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and has also served as Louie the Loper for three years. Dye is the son of Keven and Tracy Dye.

Katie Elder and Benjamin Loschen:

Katie Elder, a senior from Paxton, is representing Loper Liaisons. She is majoring in elementary education and early childhood development. Elder is a member of Alpha Phi sorority where she is the director of Alumnae Relations and is the current president of Order of Omega. She is a member of Student Education Association of Nebraska (SEAN), the Elementary Educators Club and volunteers for the Arc of Buffalo County, Kidz Explore and various elementary schools. Elder is a student diplomat, works at Smiling Faces/Happy Hands Daycare and has held positions on Panhellenic Council and St. Jude’s Up til Dawn. Elder is the daughter of Kim and Betsy Elder.

Benjamin Loschen, a junior from Wilcox, is representing Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He is majoring in philosophy and exercise science. Loschen is the captain of the UNK Drum and Cymbal Line, an Honors Student, an active member in Campus Ministries and a member of the local band “We are This.” He is a systems specialist at OsteoStrong. Loschen is the son of Steven and Cari Loschen.

Ellen Thomas and Pierrie Jefferson:

Ellen Thomas, a senior from Omaha, is representing Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She is majoring in elementary education and early childhood unified. Thomas is a member of Gamma Phi Beta, Student Government, Panhellenic Council, Student Education Association of Nebraska, Order of Omega, Loper Liaisons and Kappa Delta Pi education honor society. Previously, she was a member of the New Student Enrollment Team, has participated on the UNK Women’s Soccer Team, and has served as a volunteer at Kenwood and Central Elementary Schools. She is the daughter of Rick and Sheila Thomas.

Pierrie Jefferson, a senior from Lincoln, is representing Antelope/Nester Hall. He is majoring in family studies and is the president of Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC). He is a re-founding father of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, a peer mentor for Student Support Services and a Loper Legion executive board member. Jefferson has been a member of Ex-Officio, the student advisory board to the dean of Student Affairs, an Aspiring Student Affairs Professionals, was the 2012 student coordinator for Blue/Gold Welcome Week and works at the Welcome Desk in the Nebraskan Student Union. He is the son of Joyce Jefferson.