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CSC prepares for Ivy Day, commencement

May 2, 2014

Tim Walz Tim Walz
Ann Petersen Ann Petersen

Chadron State College will mark the end of the academic year with the springtime traditions of Ivy Day and commencement next week.

Outstanding graduates are honored at the ceremony which dates back nearly 100 years. Royalty candidates are nominated from among Blue Key and Cardinal Key honor society members. Membership in both organizations is based on scholarship, leadership and character.

Chadron State College will mark the end of the academic year with the springtime tradions of Ivy Day and commencement next week.

Ivy Day, which pays tribute to the outstanding graduates of winter 2013 and this spring, will be Friday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.

Queen candidates include: Brooklynn Barelmann of Chambers, Neb., Randi Hughes of Chadron, Neb., Stephanie Reynaga of Alliance, Neb., Karly Watson of Grand Island, Neb., and Beth Wroblewski of St. Paul, Neb.

King Candidates include: Gavan Archibald of St. Ann, Jamaica, Glen Clinton of Cody, Wyo., Lucas Kaufman of Torrington, Wyo., Corey Paz of Indianola, Neb., and Adolfo Daniel Reynaga of Alliance, Neb.

- See more at: http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/10703#sthash.p1hTWiG2.dpuf

Queen candidates include: Brooklynn Barelmann of Chambers, Neb., Randi Hughes of Chadron, Neb., Stephanie Reynaga of Alliance, Neb., Karly Watson of Grand Island, Neb., and Beth Wroblewski of St. Paul, Neb.

King Candidates include: Gavan Archibald of St. Ann, Jamaica, Glen Clinton of Cody, Wyo., Lucas Kaufman of Torrington, Wyo., Corey Paz of Indianola, Neb., and Adolfo Daniel Reynaga of Alliance, Neb.

On Saturday, May 10, the college will confer 92 master’s degrees at 8 a.m in Memorial Hall and 267 bachelor’s degrees at 10 a.m. in the Armstrong Physical Education Building.

All three of these events can be seen via live streaming at csc.edu/live.

Dr. Ann Petersen, CSC professor of education, will be the speaker at graduate commencement.

Chadron State College 1989 graduate and Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz is returning to campus as the undergraduate commencement speaker.

He will receive the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a luncheon following commencement.

Rep. Tim Walz

Commencement Speaker

Chadron State College 1989 graduate and Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz is returning to campus as the undergraduate commencement speaker. He will receive the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award at a luncheon following commencement.

“I am honored with this invitation. To me, CSC represents opportunity. It provided me a solid foundation to pursue my own American dream, and for that I will be forever grateful. Having my family share in this return to CSC is very special to me,” Walz said.

He hopes the graduates will truly embrace the possibility that each one of them possesses.

Born in West Point, Neb., Walz attended elementary and middle school in Valentine and graduated from Butte High School. He learned the values of hard work and community service from his parents which led Walz to enlist in the Army National Guard at age 17.

Walz earned a bachelor’s degree in social science education from CSC the same year he earned the title of Nebraska Citizen-Soldier of the Year. Two of the congressman's siblings, Jeff of Lecanto, Fla., and Sandy Dietrich of Alliance, also attended CSC.

“My favorite part about CSC was how close we all were. Being able to know so many people on campus was wonderful. Chadron is a place filled with unique individuals with a strong sense of community, and that’s something I really appreciated,” he said.

Walz has enjoyed the opportunity to speak in several CSC classes as well as attend some athletic events in over the years since his graduation.

He said, “I received a wonderful education at CSC. My instructors challenged me to reach beyond my perceived limits, which helped me become the person I am today. A strong education is critical in building a solid foundation for any career one chooses.”

After graduation from CSC, Harvard University offered Walz an opportunity to gain a new perspective on Global Education by teaching in China. He spent 1989-1990 teaching high school in China as a part of the first government-sanctioned groups of American educators to teach in Chinese high schools.

Upon his return to the U.S., he seized another chance to develop a program of cooperation between American and Chinese students when he established a small business called Education Travel Adventures, Inc.

Through this business he conducted annual educational trips to China for high school students and provided scholarships that allowed students to travel and study in China regardless of their financial situation. 

He said, “I always found Asia fascinating and it was apparent even in the 1980s that China’s role in the global community would be increasing. I wanted my students to take a broad view of global issues at a young age.”

In 1990, Walz began teaching and coaching high school in Alliance, where he met his wife, Gwen. In 1993, he was named the Outstanding Young Nebraskan by the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce for his service in the education, military, and small business communities.

Tim and Gwen were married in 1994 and moved back to Gwen’s native southern Minnesota in 1996 to begin teaching and coaching at Mankato West High School. Tim’s pursuit of education continued, and in 2001 he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Tim’s inspiring approach to teaching gained recognition yet again, and he was awarded the 2002 Minnesota Ethics in Education award, the 2003 Mankato Teacher of the Year award, and the 2003 Minnesota Teacher of Excellence award. 

In 2005, after 24 years in the National Guard, Walz retired as Command Sergeant Major, making him the highest ranking enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress. Before retiring, Walz served overseas with his battalion, training troops in Italy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He defeated a six term incumbent to win election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006.

The congressman is currently serving his fourth term representing Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, which spans the southern part of Minnesota from the South Dakota border in the west to the Wisconsin border in the east.

Tim and Gwen live in Mankato, Minnesota with their two young children, Hope and Gus.

Ann Petersen

Commencement Speaker

Dr. Ann Petersen holds three degrees from Chadron State and her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska. She will be addressing those earning master’s degrees from CSC.

A western Nebraska native, she became a faculty member in the CSC education department in 2000 following 24 years of elementary teaching in rural Cherry, Sheridan and Dawes counties. She

Over the years, seeing her former students walk across the CSC stage with diplomas in hand and become young professionals has been rewarding for Ann. These have ranged from former elementary students to her current graduate students.

“Knowing that I had a small part in their success has been fun. Helping people grow is hard work, but it is exciting. It has been my honor to work with some fantastic young people who make positive impacts in their communities and schools,” she said.

Petersen said the Peace Corps quote, “it’s the toughest job I’ve ever loved,” could describe her teaching career.

When challenged by the CSC administration to grow both undergraduate and graduate education programs, she and her colleagues took the challenge and the programs grew exponentially. 

Petersen’s most memorable adventure as a CSC faculty member was accompanying the 2013 CSC student and faculty group to Alaska for the Iditarod. Others included attending and sometimes presenting at regional, state, national, and international professional conferences. Her new learning positively impacted her CSC classes and her students’ learning experiences.

Some of her other professional involvements included teaching courses off-campus and ITV classes from distance sites as well as supervising student teachers. She often borrowed progressive ideas from schools where CSC teacher interns were placed.

She also participated in the local Educational Service Unit’s Sharing Opportunities Achieving Results initiative and professional cadres for both reading coaches and English Language Learner teachers.

—CSC Information Services

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