Flood assistance, construction, volleyball success top UNK stories of 2019

Here is a snapshot of the most-read and top stories of 2019 posted by the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s communications and news team.

UNK opens doors to those impacted by flooding in Kearney area

Rangel Lowry was working at Mid Nebraska Individual Services in Kearney when he heard the news.
The flooding in Kearney and other area communities had worsened, forcing residents out of their homes and evacuating hotels filled with Interstate 80 travelers.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney, where Lowry attends school and plays football for the Lopers, responded by opening two of its residence halls to people displaced by the rising water.
Lowry knew where he had to be.
“If I can help, I’m going to try to help,” the Brentwood, California, native said. “This community has given me a lot, so I’m going to help in any way possible to give back, especially when people need it most.”

Regional engagement center will be ‘linchpin’ of UNK’s University Village development

A regional engagement center planned for UNK’s University Village development will feature office space for businesses and organizations, a large atrium, state-of-the-art public hearing room and breakout rooms for meetings. With an estimated price tag of $18 million to $19 million, the regional engagement center will be built as a public-private partnership that utilizes private investment alongside university resources.

UNK Leadership

Chancellor Kristensen: New leaders bring new opportunities for UNK

With change comes opportunity. That’s how Chancellor Doug Kristensen is approaching the current leadership transition at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. UNK will start the upcoming academic year with new deans in all three academic colleges, and other important administrative positions also saw recent turnover.

‘A season to remember’: UNK volleyball finishes ‘special year’ as national runner-up

UNK, which won the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) regular-season and tournament titles, reached the national championship match for the second time in program history. The battle between the No. 2 Lopers and No. 1 Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes was the first-ever Division II title match featuring two undefeated volleyball teams. With a four-set victory, San Bernardino (33-0) became just the third Division II school to finish a season unbeaten, while UNK (38-1) joined the 2005 Lopers as national runners-up. UNK coach Rick Squiers called this year’s team one of the best in UNK Athletics history. “This is a season to remember, that’s for sure,” he said.

New buildings, facility improvements taking shape at UNK

Construction fence and heavy equipment continues to be a common sight on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus as work progresses on several major projects. The improvements, highlighted by the new STEM building and LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center, represent a significant investment in UNK and the state of Nebraska.

UNK considers relocating fraternity, sorority chapters to Nester Hall

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is considering plans to relocate fraternity and sorority chapters and residents to different housing on campus in 2020-21. The decision is prompted by significant maintenance and mechanical infrastructure issues at University Residence North and University Residence South, the two buildings on the west side of campus that house residents in Greek life. The problems at the building are not structural in nature.

UNK celebrates Plambeck Center, a game-changer for early education

This isn’t your average child care center. The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s newest building raises the bar for early childhood education, setting a standard for high-quality learning and instruction that will benefit the state’s youngest residents for generations to come.
Members of the UNK community and guests from across the state got their first look inside the game-changing facility Tuesday afternoon during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the LaVonne Kopecky Plambeck Early Childhood Education Center, a $7.8 million building that officially opens Nov. 4 on UNK’s University Village development.

UNK students volunteer at a mobile medical clinic during a recent trip to Panama. (Courtesy photo)

UNK students bring medical care to remote Panama islands

An eye-opening experience. That’s how University of Nebraska at Kearney students describe their recent medical outreach trip to Panama. Twenty-one members of the UNK chapter of Volunteers Around the World traveled to the Central American country in May to work in mobile medical clinics that provided free care and medication to more than 300 patients. UNK students, most of whom are pursuing degrees in health care-related fields, brought that care to six different communities during the two-week outreach trip that began May 24. Working alongside Panamanian doctors, the students established mobile medical clinics in Bocas del Toro, a province that includes an island chain in the Caribbean Sea.

University of Nebraska at Kearney’s enrollment of 6,279 includes students from 92 of 93 Nebraska counties, 48 states and 59 countries. (Photo by Corbey R. Dorsey, UNK Communications)

Chancellor announces new enrollment, marketing division at UNK

University of Nebraska at Kearney Chancellor Doug Kristensen today announced internal restructuring that will create a Division of Enrollment Management and Marketing to enhance the university’s focus on increasing enrollment and further improving student retention and completion rates. The division will include the departments of Communication and Marketing, Undergraduate Admissions and Recruiting, Scholarships and Financial Aid, Academic and Career Services, and the First Year Program.

Lopers Across Nebraska Graphic

UNK impacts education across Nebraska; 1 in 7 teachers are Lopers

You’ll find them in nearly 300 communities across the state – from Ogallala to Omaha, Scottsbluff to South Sioux City and points in between. They’re teaching in small towns in the heart of cattle country and urban areas within the “Silicon Prairie.” When it comes to PK-12 education, the University of Nebraska at Kearney has the Cornhusker State covered – literally.
More than 4,300 UNK graduates work as PK-12 teachers in Nebraska, according to a 2017-18 report from the Nebraska Department of Education. Roughly 1 in every 7 Nebraska teachers holds at least one degree from UNK, and Lopers serve almost 1,000 of the state’s 1,229 schools.

Be Blue. Be Gold. BE BOLD: UNK unveils new marketing campaign

Be Blue. Be Gold. Be Bold. It’s a simple message that represents everything great about the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Lopers are hardworking high-achievers who are unafraid to take on new challenges, travel the world and serve those in need. They’re determined leaders and innovative game-changers pursuing their professional goals while making lifelong friends and memories. And they’re a tight-knit community filled with people who support each other every step of the way.

Program offers new pathway for CCC students to attend UNK

Students who want to attend University of Nebraska at Kearney but initially fall short of admissions requirements now will have a new option to enroll at Central Community College and be a Loper. A co-enrollment agreement signed today (Monday) creates a structured and supportive CCC-UNK Pathway to help applicants, who would otherwise be denied admission, meet UNK admission requirements.

Board of Regents approves indoor tennis complex for University Village

An indoor tennis complex planned for University Village scored another victory last week. The Board of Regents approved an agreement Thursday that allows the University of Nebraska at Kearney and city of Kearney to build and operate the $7.5 million facility.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Kids Fitness and Nutrition Day and Building Healthy Families programs promote exercise, nutrition and healthy living. UNK’s Physical Activity and Wellness Lab and the University of Nebraska Medical Center have received a $2.5 million grant to further address childhood obesity. (Photo by Corbey R. Dorsey, UNK Communications)

UNK, UNMC $2.5M grant aims to reduce childhood obesity

Researchers at the University of Nebraska will use $2.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to launch a collaboration aimed at reducing childhood obesity in rural communities. The grant funding, awarded to Kate Heelan at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Jennie Hill at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is part of a five-year CDC initiative aimed at reducing obesity rates among children from lower-income families.

G’day, mate! UNK students explore Australia through new study abroad program

Imagine snorkeling in the crystal-clear water above the Great Barrier Reef, snuggling with koalas and kangaroos at the Australia Zoo and taking in the spectacular views during a sunset cruise in the Mooloolah River. This dream vacation became a reality for six University of Nebraska at Kearney students who spent part of their summer in “the land down under.”

BEST OF THE REST – Top UNK Stories of 2019

Sodexo is new UNK campus dining services provider
Hot Air Balloons, Fireworks, Music: Chamber, UNK host Celebrate Kearney
Tim Jares, of Northern Colorado, new UNK Business and Technology dean
Ryan Teten, of Louisiana-Lafayette, tabbed UNK Arts and Sciences dean
Scantlings impacted UNK students in many ways; Retiring after 34 years
Electric scooters ready to roll on UNK campus
Kent, Schultis elected to lead student body

ATHLETICS – Top Stories of 2019

‘A season to remember’: UNK volleyball finishes ‘special year’ as national runner-up
COPE STADIUM CLASSIC: Lopers take down No. 7 Northwest Missouri
NCAA Division II National Wrestling Championships; Matt Malcom wins national title
Marc Bauer named University of Nebraska at Kearney athletic director
UNK tastes sweet victory over Winona State in Mineral Water Bowl
Loper Fan Fest: UNK improves fan, tailgate experience at home football games
Katie Ackermann named new University of Nebraska at Kearney softball head coach
Loper Volleyball installs new Taraflex court
UNK Athletics teams up with Sodexo to fight hunger in community
Loper AthLEADS encourages student-athletes, coaches to give back to community
On top of her game, VanLengen’s broadcast career includes work with ESPN, FOX Sports
Active bystander training teaches UNK students to look out for each other