By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – Zoie Jacobsen has two words of advice for current and future University of Nebraska at Kearney students.
That’s what made her college experience so special.
“A big thing for me is that I love meeting new people and I love new experiences,” she said, “and the different organizations on campus gave me these experiences. I met so many different people who poured into me and made a difference in my life.”
Originally from Elkhorn, Jacobsen came to UNK because she was ready to get out of her comfort zone and try something new. She made immediate connections on campus, allowing her to be involved in “a little bit of everything.”
Jacobsen joined the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and Loper Programming and Activities Council (LPAC) as a freshman, and she’s also been part of Christian Student Fellowship, the Criminal Justice Club, Women in Supply Chain and UNK Student Government.
These organizations led to lifelong relationships and leadership opportunities.
As a senator in Student Government, Jacobsen represented UNK during “I Love NU” Day, an annual event that brings students, staff, faculty and other supporters to the State Capitol in Lincoln to meet with lawmakers and advocate for the university system.
She also held several positions with LPAC, the student-run group that plans the annual spring concert, Fame Talent Show, lip-sync competition and other campus events. Jacobsen served as the homecoming co-chair this year, giving her a chance to help organize a full week of fun activities that bring the campus and community together.
“Zoie has a lot of great ideas and is very passionate about student involvement and connection at UNK,” said Renae Zimmer, director of student engagement. “She’s always willing to dig in and help with a project or committee, which is so appreciated.”
In addition to her volunteer positions, Jacobsen held three different on-campus jobs during her time at UNK. She worked for Campus Recreation – and was active in a variety of intramural sports – and assisted fellow Lopers as a TRIO mentor and peer advisor in Academic Advising and Career Development.
“Because people helped me my freshman year, I really wanted to give back. The jobs I’ve had and the involvement I’ve had allowed me to help other students get connected on campus and find their way,” said Jacobsen, who also had three part-time jobs off campus.
John Gibbs, director of Academic Advising and Career Development, called her a passionate and positive person who created better experiences for countless UNK students.
“In her role in AACD, one of her main responsibilities was to meet with new first-year students to help them in their transition. There were hundreds of meetings that she completed over her time in the office and she approached each meeting like it was the first,” he said. “She was always prepared for each student and was willing to help them get connected to the resources that they needed. Her involvement on campus and in this office led to her being a familiar and friendly face for many students.”
Jacobsen graduates Friday with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and minors in criminal justice and marketing/management. She plans to move back to Omaha to start her career.
“Whatever career I choose, I just want to be able to give back,” she said. “My time at UNK helped me realize that everyone has their own path and it’s OK if you mess up, because you’re going to get back up and you’re going to keep going.
“There are so many opportunities available to you when you put yourself out there.”