Sara Bruner, coordinator of UNK’s Health Science Explorers program, received the University of Nebraska Board of Regents KUDOS award during Thursday’s meeting.
KUDOS awards recognize university staff for their professional expertise, service and “superior dedication” to UNK and the University of Nebraska. It is the university’s top staff award.
A North Loup native, Bruner attended UNK and earned a degree in radiologic technology. She brought 17 years of experience in health care to her position in UNK Health Sciences.
As coordinator of the Health Science Explorers program, Bruner works to develop a pipeline of health care providers in Nebraska, starting with students in seventh grade and continuing through professional school. She is responsible for programming that exposes students to career opportunities, internships, mentoring, learning community experiences, networking and professional development.
Bruner particularly enjoys the Health Science Explorers Academy, a yearlong program for high school juniors and seniors who come to campus for an in-depth investigation into all aspects of health care. She also assists with the Kearney Health Opportunities Program Learning Community.
“Sara’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious, and students benefit tremendously from her expertise,” said Peggy Abels, director of UNK Health Sciences. “Enrollment in the program more than tripled in its second year and student evaluations have been outstanding. Her work has not only encouraged career awareness but has also resulted in more than a 25% increase in applications to UNK by students interested in pursuing health care.”
Outside of her day-to-day work, Bruner has been part of UNK ASSIST and the Employee Recognition Committee.