UNK Online student Broc Anderson named inaugural Graduate Student of the Year

Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach Mark Ellis presents Broc Anderson with a plaque recognizing Anderson as the 2021-22 Graduate Student of the Year.

KEARNEY – Broc Anderson can appreciate the importance of leaving a legacy.

The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s first Graduate Student of the Year, Anderson graduated in May with a Master of Arts in History, a degree he chose to pursue after completing a bachelor’s degree in social science education and realizing there were more stories yet to be told.

Broc Anderson head shot
Broc Anderson

“I went to Chadron State for my undergrad to be a social studies teacher and realized that I was more of a researcher, so I came to UNK wanting to further explore some of the native and non-native relations in northwestern Nebraska, specifically to the Pine Ridge Reservation,” explained Anderson, who is from Alliance. “That’s what my thesis is all about.”

UNK Online’s history program also opened doors for Anderson to be a graduate assistant and network with other professionals across the state of Nebraska. He is currently working as the community engagement director for the Buffalo County Historical Society at Trails and Rails Museum in Kearney.

“As I was learning stuff in the classroom, I was able to apply some of that as I was working in a public history institution,” Anderson said. “I got to do my schooling while also working a fun public history job that I would consider a dream job.”

Anderson’s academic excellence, in addition to the contributions he has made to the field of history and the greater Buffalo County community, made him an ideal student to be the first recipient of the new award, according to Dean of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach Mark Ellis.

“The Office of Graduate Studies is thrilled to award the inaugural Graduate Student of the Year Award to Broc Anderson,” Ellis said. “We created this award as a way to recognize a graduate student who performed at a high level in the areas of research, teaching and/or community and campus service. We look forward to honoring a deserving graduate student on an annual basis.”

The award will continue to be awarded each academic year by the Office of Graduate Studies and Academic Outreach, highlighting the academic success and contributions to specific fields by high-performing graduate students.

UNK faculty will be able to nominate students for the 2022-23 Graduate Student of the Year Award in the spring semester.

Anderson said he was honored to be the first recipient of the award.

“I have a lot of people to thank for this achievement. It’s not just my doing alone.”