CSC graduates advised to volunteer, continue learning and value sense of place

December 20, 2013

Steve Erwin makes a point in his "message to the graduating class" at the undergraduate winter commencement Dec. 13. (Photo by Tiffany Valandra) Steve Erwin makes a point in his "message to the graduating class" at the undergraduate winter commencement Dec. 13. (Photo by Tiffany Valandra)

Steve Erwin, an executive in banking and trustee for the Chadron State Foundation, served as the Chadron State College undergraduate commencement speaker Friday.

He advised the graduates to make time to volunteer. He said his entire family has always been involved in volunteer work and have felt the benefits of giving back to the communities in which they have lived.

Steve and his wife, Janice, were honored by the college with the Distinguished Service Award during the graduation ceremony.

He said he and Janice were pleased to have had the opportunity to introduce Chadron State Foundation leaders to corporate officials and other potential donors in eastern Nebraska during the Vision 2011 campaign which raised nearly $17 million.

Setting goals and maintaining a good attitude were two other keys to success he highlighted.

Seeking to learn throughout life is important as well. He said all should welcome continuing education wherever it can be found - whether through reading, spending time with elders or in some other form.

He added, “Work is work and home is home. Don't take your work home with you. Enjoy your time there with family and friends."

“Plant your seeds,” he told the graduates, in his conclusion, referring to the ideas, friendships, skills and abilities they have to offer their future employers and colleagues.

His remarks can be viewed online.

In her address during graduate commencement earlier Friday, Dr. Katherine Bahr, long-time Chadron State College English professor, welcomed those in attendance to the geographical and physical space of CSC. Her address can be viewed

She noted that some of the graduates who enrolled online might be on campus and meeting some of their faculty members face-to-face for the first time.

Emphasizing the importance of place, Bahr outlined a few characteristics of those who live on the high plains which are reflected in the culture of CSC. These include making do with slim resources, flexibility and recognizing the seasonal demands of agriculture production.

“A pregnant cow waits for no man and acknowledges no ‘due dates’ but her own,” she said referring to the need for some students to return to the family farm or ranch to help at certain times.

Bahr pointed out that the CSC students who volunteer on the fire department or the rescue unit, need to rush from the classroom to answer the call for help.

These qualities, in addition to the unique local geography, rich cultural traditions and historical sites create this place.

Her remarks can be viewed online.

Following is the list of candidates by degree. It consists of 79 names for master's degrees and 138 for bachelor's degrees. Honor graduates are designated with asterisks (***summa cum laude, **magna cum laude, *cum laude).



Alliance: Allison Price

Norfolk: James Johnson

Morrill: Kleta Allen

Sutherland: Dawn Thompson,

South Dakota

Hill City: Brianne Wooldridge

Hot Springs: Stephanie Garneaux and Amanda Watts

Other States

Ivan Schere, Homosassa, Fla.

Phillip Lukalu, Minneapolis, Minn.



Alliance: Jess Wimmer

Bellevue: Randall Lasenburg

Chadron: Lori Frederickand William Wilson

Gering: Courtney Johnson

North Platte: Ryan Purdy

Sidney: Tim Meier

Other States and Countries

Justin Mills, Calera, Ala.

Chadwick Nunn, Montgomery, Ala.

CassidyKearney, Juneau, Alaska

Edmund Becker III, Lake Mary, Fla.

MarcosArauz, Miami, Fla.

Brandon Howland, Riceville, Iowa

Dustin Taylor, Minneapolis, Kan.

RichardBernhardt, Detroit, Mich.

Kyle Strickfaden, Norwood Young America, Minn.

Shawn Timbers, Rochester, Minn.

Timothy Douglas, Chesterfield, Mo.

Christopher Howe, Kansas City, Mo.

GeorgeNobles, Charleston, N.C.

Scott Stephenson, Willow Spring, N.C.

Ioana Vasilescu, Aberdeen, N.J.

Donna Kracinovich, Brick, N.J.

Stacy Ropp, Freehold, N.J.

Nicole Aguilar, Silver City, N.M.

Jessica Woods, Erie, Pa.

WilliamNeiderhiser, Ligonier, Pa.

Ramzi Abuzahrieh, Jeddah, Saudia Arabia

Joshua Breske, Pierre, S.D.

Heidi Anderson, Rapid City, S.D.

Angela Anderson, Torrington, Wyo.



Arthur: Jena Hengstler

Bayard: Linde Rafferty

Bridgeport: Elisa Rodak

Chadron: Shawn Rogers

Maywood: Charles Jones

McCook: Tracy Flaska

Scottsbluff: Todd Menghini and Elizabeth Still

Seward: Jeffrey Hass

Tecumseh: DeeAnn Richardson


Casper: DamianLara and Kenneth Wilkinson

Cheyenne: Joseph McCarty

Devils Tower: Andrea Wood

Douglas: Chelcie Craig, Evan Goodrich and Maci Tempel

Gillette: Patricia Waliser

Lance Creek: Jessica Adams

Rawlins: LouiseStephenson

Sheridan: KevinCharlson

Other States

Angela Pickett, Yuma, Colo.

Leah Harper, Royston, Ga.

Ashley Uthe, Presho, S.D.

Donna Polk, White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.



Chadron: Janel Baily

Holdrege: Michael Hodge

Imperial: SarlynMcCormick

North Platte: Jennifer Srygley

Scottsbluff: Molly Bonuchi

Wolbach: Annamae Lindsley

Other States

Mursal Jimale, Bloomington, Minn.

Peter Lindberg, Minneapolis, Minn.

Akua Kunadu, Ewing, N.J.

Dahianne Stone, Bronx, N.Y.

Felisa Wilson, Las Vegas, Nev.

Lara Nelson, Aberdeen, S.D.

Deborah Tehrani, Midway, Utah

Brooke Snyder, Laramie, Wyo.


Kayla Hastings, Vail, Ariz.

Matthew Tomory, Tempe, Ariz.***

Michele Gentry, Peetz, Colo.*

JeromeWalsh, Littleton, Colo.

Rosemarie Blanco, Bridgeport, Neb.

Marvin Mort, Fallon, Nev.***



Allen: Adrienne White

Alliance: **Aaron Gonzalez, Timmothy Hoff, Conor McGhehey, Nathaniel Snyder, Nicholas Snyder

Bartlett: *Danielle Nichols

Bayard: Gerald Berry

Broken Bow: *Cassandra Kozisek

Brule: Eva Hendon

Burwell: **Ashley McMullen

Chadron: JustinDowns, Amber James, Jacob Rodiek, Tyler Wright

Crawford: Courtney Bremer

Gering: Cora Hernandez, *Taylor Johns, Cindy Molina

Gordon: **Courtney Ainslie-Sherlock, Nathaniel Taylor

Grant: Brent Turner

Hay Springs: Lexi Heiting, *Kristy Vahrenkamp

Hershey: Barbie DeCent

Juniata: LeAnn Tech

La Vista: Amanda Gaswick

Lincoln: *Keith Ellis

Mitchell: John Einfalt

North Platte: Willow Beyer, Samantha Legas, Brandon Stenger

Ogallala: Ashley Allen, Jeanie Herman

Omaha: Martin Lastovica

Scottsbluff: Susan Burford, Maria Haley

Sidney: Brooke Schumacher, Tara Long

Swanton: Elizabeth Harris

Valentine: Kami Ormesher

South Dakota

Custer: Caitlin Kurtz

Hot Springs: ***Rebekah Quicke

Quinn: Andrew Julson

Rapid City: Chapman Ham, Nicholas Webster


Buffalo: Laura Vaselin

Cheyenne: **Jessica Jester

Cody: Jake Blackburn

Riverton: Kaitlyn Slagowski

Torrington: Jimi Wesch

Other States and Countries

Yolonda Milton, Anchorage, Alaska

Michael Morrell, Peoria, Ariz.

Miroslav Kasljevic, Banja Luka, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Khin Moe Moe Aye, Yangon, Burma

Mouhamed Diop, Los Angeles, Calif.

Dominic Morris, Rialto, Calif.

Allison Rauch, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Michaela Odenbaugh, Platteville, Colo.

Quindoline Bryant, Stone Mountain, Ga.

Afaue Italia Mealanakila Tualaulelei, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Logan Byrne, Roscoe, Ill.

Amber Muma, East Jordan, Mich.

Tanya Hirsch, Kansas City, Mo.

Adam Bailey, Red Wing, Mont.

Arby Ghemari, Tunis, Tunisia

Polly Stewart, Saratoga Springs, Utah



Bartlett: Tanner Olson

Broken Bow: Taylor Woodward

Chadron: Ty Werdel

Columbus: Scott Loseke

Gordon: Torie Lindsey

Grand Island: Christopher Puncochar

Hay Springs: Aaron Buettner

Hyannis: Jamie Menuey

Kearney: Brandon Jelken

Kilgore: *Debra Hafer

North Platte: Ryan Korf

Wakefield: Cassandra Kay

Other States and Countries

David McCulley, Littleton, Colo.

Brian Martin, Colchester, Conn.

Vera Ulitina, Tula, Russia

Andrew Nava, El Paso, Texas

Jack “Miles” Proctor, Lusk, Wyo.


Alliance: Jacob Brummer, **Rebecca French, Jon Marquez, **Doraly Reynaga, ***Rayna Waggener

Anselmo: Marcelle Kastens

Bridgeport: ***Chelsae Riggs

Burwell: Taylor Gumb

Chadron: Rodney Clause, Clara Martinsen, Crystal Vander May

Cody: Jodi Bowlin,

Crawford: ***Katherine Hughart

Gordon: Michelle Hardin

Hay Springs: ***Kinlee Ginn, *Nicole Tlustos

Holdrege: Mikala Vrbka

Johnstown: Ki Kuhre

Marsland: Janet Oetken

McCook: Eric Ramsay

Minatare: Rebecca Cheek

Mitchell: Kent Docekal, Cortney Fillingham

Mullen: Ashley Carson

North Platte: ***Rachael Smidt

Oshkosh: Tabitha Johnson

Sargent: Megan Gibbens

Scottsbluff: Cynthia Johnson, Jacob Martin

Sidney: Ashley Glenn

Sidney: Bryan Schoening

Valentine: Misty Critchfield


Burns: Priscilla Bastian

Casper: ***Jennifer Martinovich

Cheyenne: Joanne Pruitt

Douglas: KelseyScott

Gillette: Sarah Lewis

Sheridan: ***Erika Jorgensen

Sheridan: **Marvin Kehrwald, ***Jennifer Kiehl, Jennifer Manor, *Brenna Storey

Other States and Countries

Kevin Lindholm, Eads, Colo.*

Kaelie Jelden, Greeley, Colo.***

Mariah Cook, Parker, Colo.

Brandon Ratcliff, Chillicothe, Ill.*

Shannon Neibauer, Great Falls, Mont.

Kristin Larson, Rapid City, S.D.

—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator