Ask an Antelope: As FSL director, Karlee Nuttelman gives back to the community that supported her

Karlee Nuttelman was a member of Fraternity and Sorority Life when she attended UNK, and now she's the assistant director.
Karlee Nuttelman was a member of Fraternity and Sorority Life when she attended UNK, and now she’s the assistant director.

Karlee Nuttelman, assistant director of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), discovered her career calling when she was a student involved in FSL at UNK.

“I don’t know if I chose this career, or if this career chose me,” she said.

The Lincoln native found a home away from home in the Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Panhellenic Council, where she built new relationships and held various leadership positions.

Through these roles, Nuttelman realized she loved her experiences outside the classroom more than in it. So, after graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in K-12 health and physical education, she pursued a master’s in educational administration with a specialization in student affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a graduate student, Nuttelman had an assistantship in FSL before earning her degree in 2016.

“With each new role I’ve continued to learn more and see how different skills and traits impact this work, and it’s often the application of those transferable skills within the fraternity and sorority industry that keeps me around,” she said.

Nuttelman returned to UNK in January 2023 to work in her current role.

Tell us about your position:
At the heart of my role, I work to ensure that students involved in the fraternity and sorority community have a safe and meaningful experience. This manifests in a few ways through:

  • Council and chapter coaching and advising. I serve as the primary adviser for all three governing councils, Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council and Panhellenic Council. I also serve as the chapter coach for all 12 of our fraternities and sororities on campus.
  • Creating and implementing leadership development, harm reduction education to help leaders ensure the safest environments for their members.
  • Supporting council recruitment efforts, plus planning additional recruitment events and initiatives to connect incoming students with the fraternity and sorority experience.
  • Supervising graduate students and student workers who support Fraternity and Sorority Life.
  • Working with UNK marketing and enrollment management departments to help market the fraternity and sorority experience.
  • Awarding Fraternity and Sorority Life-specific scholarships.
  • Tracking and managing community data to determine retention of members and other key indicators.
  • Collaborating with other campus partners on systems or initiatives that support the fraternity and sorority community, such as management of the fraternity and sorority residence halls with Residence Life; creating prevention programming for the community with Student Health and Counseling; and supporting education efforts with Intercultural Engagement and Leadership.
The Gamma Phi Beta sorority is pictured during UNK Bid Day earlier this month.
The Gamma Phi Beta sorority is pictured during UNK Bid Day earlier this month.

Why should students join UNK FSL?
Students should join FSL to find additional and deeper connections with fellow Lopers. They will find additional leadership opportunities provided to them through their chapter, governing council and FSL-specific student organizations. There also are additional opportunities to network across the country, as all our organizations are international.

The FSL community prioritizes academic accountability and support for all members and as a community regularly obtains a higher GPA than the undergraduate population. The community GPA during spring 2023 was 3.45. Students will be held to higher standards in terms of character and expectations to help prepare them to be the best leaders and individuals they can be.

How can students get involved in FSL?
The best way to get started is by filling out the FSL interest form, and we can connect interested students with current students to get their questions answered.

Those interested in Interfraternity Council fraternities can join starting the summer leading into their first semester at UNK. These organizations recruit year-round once the recruitment process starts. The multicultural organizations host informational sessions and recruitment events each semester. They may not have a new member class each semester, but individuals will have the opportunity to learn about the joining process each semester. Panhellenic Council sororities have two main joining opportunities. The first is primary recruitment that happens at the beginning of the fall semester. After primary recruitment, if applicable, organizations can participate in continuous open bidding.

What sets UNK FSL apart from other colleges and universities?
Our community is different than others because of the investment that UNK has made in its success. The institution has invested millions of dollars in new housing, which includes space specifically for the multicultural fraternity and sororities, which isn’t common on many campuses.

Additionally, our community members take pride in ensuring that individuals have a safe and meaningful fraternity and sorority experience. They actively work to ensure that social events are safe, take a stance against hazing and work actively to support the mental health of their members.

What do you love most about UNK?
I love the sense of community that is not only fostered with the students but also with the staff. I’ve worked at several institutions of different sizes and the kindness of my co-workers has been unmatched. I also enjoy getting to give back to the institution and community that gave me so much during my collegiate years.

Share a fun fact about yourself:
I serve as a regional team leader for Gamma Phi Beta sorority, supporting chapters in Nebraska, Iowa and the Dakotas. I have 14 tattoos, and I love to read and spend time in my hammock. All my pets have human names: Ellie, Sam and Wanda. Sam and Wanda are named after Marvel Cinematic Universe characters.

“Ask an Antelope” is a Q&A series highlighting UNK faculty and staff and their impact on the campus and community.