Chadron State College
Chadron State College

CSC expects 238 to graduate Friday

December 14, 2018

CHADRON – Chadron State College’s Winter Commencement for graduate and undergraduate students is Friday, Dec. 14. The graduate ceremony is at 2 p.m. in Memorial Hall’s Auditorium with Dr. Robert Stack as the speaker. The undergraduate ceremony is at 4 p.m. in the Chicoine Center with Judge Russell Harford as the speaker. There are 79 candidates for master’s degrees and 159 candidates for bachelor’s degrees. Both events can be seen on CSC Live.


Bachelor of Applied Science | Bachelor of Arts | Bachelor of Science | Bachelor of Science in Education

Master of Arts in Education | Master of Business Administration | Master of Education | Master of Science in Organizational Management

Dr. Robert Stack

Dr. Robert Stack has been involved in both academics and athletics since coming to Chadron State College 20 years ago. He has been chair of the college’s Mathematics Department a total of 14 years and served as the Eagles’ softball coach for 10 years before relinquishing those duties at the end of the 2017 season.

A native of Tabor, South Dakota, Stack attended the University of South Dakota, where he earned each of his degrees: A bachelor’s in 1990, a master’s in 1991 and a doctorate in 1998, just before he came to Chadron State as a mathematics professor.

While completing his doctorate, he also taught in USD’s Math Department and coached baseball four years after having been a standout player for the Coyotes as an undergraduate. He also was the university’s homecoming king as a senior.

After receiving Chadron State’s Teacher Excellence Award twice, Stack was the 2004 recipient of the George Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award presented annually to the individual selected as the outstanding professor in the Nebraska State College System.

He was nominated for the award by one of his colleagues, who called Stack “an excellent practitioner of the art and science of undergraduate instruction, the first priority of the system.” The nomination also said Stack was popular with students, blending strategies of instruction in courses and maintaining student involvement in his courses. 

It was also noted that Stack’s technical skills helped Chadron State develop the first completely online undergraduate mathematics degree program in the nation.

Despite receiving the coveted award and also earning tenure as a professor in 2004, Stack stepped away from academics for two years to serve as the college’s Dean of Students. Already well-known on campus, he became even more visible as he participated in student services, attended numerous student organization meetings and initiated regular dinner with the dean luncheons.

While Stack enjoyed his involvement with students outside the classroom, in the fall of 2007, he returned to academics and was appointed chair of the Mathematics Department again in 2008. Already the college’s Faculty Athletics Representative, his role on campus expanded even more when he agreed to become the college’s softball coach in 2007.

For the next 10 years, he did double duty, teaching math and leading the department while also building the softball program, which required long hours recruiting and coaching.

As the Eagles’ coach, Stack led the team to average 22 wins a season and achieved a program-best 32 wins his final year. Three of his final four teams reached the conference playoffs and finished among the top four in the final standings. He was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2014.     

During his tenure at Chadron State, Stack has presented research papers at state, regional and national math education conferences. He also has been president of the Nebraska Association of Mathematics and was on the association’s board of directors seven years. In addition, he has served in various capacities related to the evaluation and certification of math programs for both the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Stack and his wife, Jill, have three sons – Riley, Caston, and Jayden – and three daughters – Kiya, Brooklyn, and Kennady.

Judge Russell Harford

Judge Russell Harford, a native of Lead, South Dakota, and a 30-plus year resident of Chadron, began his law career as a night police dispatcher in his hometown, before working in the administrative division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, D.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from the University of Maryland in 1975 and his wife, Colleen, earned her degree in sociology. The couple has been married since 1973.

Harford took a job with the Nebraska State Patrol in Lincoln and transferred to northwest Nebraska in 1978 as a drug investigator. He soon began taking classes at Chadron State College and earned a master’s degree in guidance and counseling. Following his graduation in 1983, Harford began studying for a law degree at the University of Nebraska law school. He completed that degree in 1987 and in 1989 joined a Chadron law firm. He practiced law for 20 years and in 2009 former Governor Dave Heineman appointed him to a County Judge position in Chadron.

“Since I was appointed, I’ve always encouraged students, both high school and college, to attend court when it is in session. After court is over, I try to answer their questions. While I can’t speak directly about the cases they observe, I can give them general information about the court system and how it works. I have always felt that providing some insight into the court system is part of what being a judge is about,” Harford said.

Currently in his 10th year as one of five County Judges in the panhandle, Harford primarily serves Dawes, Sheridan and Sioux Counties. Harford remains busy with numerous activities, including a juvenile welfare initiative, “Thru the Eyes of the Child” mentoring young lawyers and court staff, and assisting debtors and tenants who represent themselves in county court. Harford also encourages lawyers to practice in rural areas. His efforts were recognized in 2016 when he was honored with the Nebraska Supreme Court’s Distinguished Judge for Community Service Award.

Harford stays involved with Chadron State College. He participated in early conversations that eventually led to the establishment of the Rural Law Opportunity Program at CSC. Earlier this fall, Harford received the Chadron State College Distinguished Alumni Award. He is also the president of the Chadron State College Alumni Board.

For the past four years, Harford has been a key resource for senior Social Work students during the planning phase of their annual Social Work conference. He helps identify speakers in his professional network who are legal or criminal justice experts and provides other resources, information and feedback. He has also participated in panel discussions.

In 2017, Harford was influential in securing the Nebraska Court of Appeals hearing oral arguments on campus. It was the first event of its type at CSC and he was pleased to see the Court of Appeals convene at CSC after convening at high schools and colleges in other parts of the state. He said he anticipates the Court of Appeals will return to the CSC campus.

With the assistance of Legal Studies professors Dr. Lisette Leesch and Dr. Mike Bogner, Harford was able to secure a Legal Aid of Nebraska kiosk in the King Library. The kiosk provides assistance to anyone with landlord/tenant or creditor/debtor issues.

Harford also remains active in his community. He’s a long-time member and past president of the Chadron Rotary Club, and he is treasurer of the Chadron Public School Foundation.


Following is the list of candidates by degree.

Undergraduate honor graduates are designated with asterisks.

***Summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0 GPA

**Magna cum laude, 3.75-3.89 GPA

*Cum laude, 3.6-3.74 GPA

Bachelor of Applied Science


Arnold: Kimberly Kain

Holdrege: Judith Graser

Sidney: Amanda Green

South Dakota

Rapid City: Robert Raker, Samantha Smith

Other States

Christopher Lopez, Tucson, Ariz.

Jessica Applegarth, Yuba City, Calif.

Nicole Bernd**, Denver, Colo.

Chelsea Capone, Rio Rancho, N.M.

Judy Bruhn, Dallas, Ore.

Wesley Kudera, Baggs, Wyo.

Bachelor of Arts


Alliance: Kolton Dubs, Josh Matulka, Malorie Schefcik, Josie Seidler*

Ansley: Maria Terrazas

Ashby: Shawn McKimmey

Brule: Carissa Cornelius

Chadron: Keenan Johnson**, Elizabeth O'Conner**, Kristavia Strotheide*, Trace Strotheide**, Tatum Westemeier

Cozad: Troi Arnold

Curtis: Riley Garey

David City: Staci Hoeft

Gering: Torri Brumbaugh*, DeAnn Kizzire

Giltner: Lucas Richards

Grand Island: Jessica Kleine

Hay Springs: Laurin Bronson

Hayes Center: Kira Dimas

Hemingford: Rebecca Wignall

Kearney: Lisa Willson

Kimball: Jahnn Casimiro, Alexander Rawlings

Lodgepole: Cody Haas

Lyman: Athena Tarin

Milligan: Cody Filipi

Minatare: Tyler Koke*

Morrill: Taylor Lackey

Mullen: Jessica Lovitt, Dalton Zimmerman*

Niobrara: Jenny Motacek**

Norfolk: Kyle Temple*

North Platte: Corinne Carlton, Vaughn Fahrenbruck, Dru Linderman, Kendra Torres

Ogallala: Dakota Clough*, Alaynah Hyberg, Brianna Wilson*

Omaha: David Aldridge

Oshkosh: Clinton Wright

Schuyler: Ethan Bergt

Scottsbluff: Alyssa Faden, Tylor Grumbles, Michelle LaTowsky**

Sidney: Kelly Bilbrey, Gabriel Dorcey

Valentine: Shaniya DeNaeyer, Tyler Sedivy

Whiting: Rose MacClure

Whitney: Kelli Haynes


Bakersfield: Cristian Hulsey

Campbell: Daniel Ruiz

Canyon Country: Adam Fuselier

Lancaster: Michael Marrujo

Los Angeles: Jennifer Alvarez

Oak Park: Daniel Opferman

San Jose: Lilibeth Peterson


Eaton: Keri Ruff

Louisville: Savannah Smith

Loveland: Dylan Culp

South Dakota

Belle Fourche: Jacob Voorhis**

Colome: Rachel Tate*

Custer: Jade Spring

Hot Springs: Justin Harkless, Eric Yager

Lead: Stephanie Owens

Lemmon: Katie Krebs

Martin: Brooke Petersen

Oelrichs: Sara Spencer

Rapid City: Meggie Bolyard

Wood: Jonnie-Lynn Massingale


Burns: Travis Romsa

Casper: Jacob Geil

Cheyenne: Roberto Flores

Gillette: Garret Brunson, Evan Smith

Guernsey: Jessica Rotz

Newcastle: Merritt Crabtree

Rawlins: Dean Michel***

Sheridan: Alannah Anderson

Torrington: Tyler Croswell

Other States and Countries

Stephen Watson, Mobile, Ala.

Zander Casillas*, Phoenix, Ariz.

Kevin Coy*, Davenport, Fla.

Jason Fraser, Tampa, Fla.

Krystal Kesselring**, Loganville, Ga.

William Feid, Palatine, Ill.

Tyler Eagle Chasing, Sioux City, Iowa

Jessica Ney, Great Bend, Kan.

Myles Busby, Niles, Mich.

Karla Tworek, Warren, Mich.

Stacey McNamara***, Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Vy-Dana Flynn***, Billings, Mont.

Peace Ndalama***, Cary, N.C.

Sierra Martinez, Aztec, N.M.

Keith DeVault**, Freeport, Ohio

Erin Richardson, Jackson, Tenn.

Sherry Camacho***, Frisco, Texas

Eli Garza, Mission, Texas

Ji Feng, KunShan, China

Bachelor of Science


Amherst: Devin Dibbern*

Bellevue: Joel Milos**

Crawford: Benjamin Absalon

Elkhorn: Emily Heimann

Lewellen: Alisha Heelan

Norfolk: Samuel Vanderheiden

Shelton: Kortni Burnett

Other States and Countries

Shyanna Neu, Firestone, Colo.

Libby Olson, Scobey, Mont.

Jason Leake, Brewster, N.Y.

Robert Packer, Lander, Wyo.

Emanuel Koseos, Langley, Canada

Bachelor of Science in Education


Alliance: Elizabeth Olvera

Arapahoe: Kyla Monie***

Auburn: Chelsea Powell*

Bayard: Kimi Kramer

Cambridge: Troy Gregory**

Chadron: Gatlin Mack

Gering: Mikayla Kreider, Holly Marker*, Joshua McBride

Lincoln: Joan Kamerzell, Kathy Little

Mitchell: Austyn Wright

Morrill: Kasandra Gomez**

Seward: Ashlyn Hanson***

Valentine: Savannah Jackson**

West Point: Jordan Hagedorn*

South Dakota

Belle Fourche: Paige Bush**

Colome: Rylee Blomenkamp

Hermosa: Chasen Cole, Mikahla Ferguson

Kadoka: Taylor Merchen**, Chandlier Sudbeck


Casper: Alexandria Crisp

Cheyenne: Kymberlie Marrill*

Granite Canyon: Bailey Lanier**

Newcastle: Patricia Miller

Sheridan: Shania Channel***, Kylene Coonis**, Lindsey Sharp***

Sundance: Chrystal Cooper

Other States

Josef Gertner**, Fort Morgan, Colo.

Rebecca Kraxberger**, Hugo, Colo.

Dakota Rice, Kellogg, Idaho

Master of Arts in Education


Alliance: Christina Dillard, Erin Meyer

Gibbon: Brad Catlin

Gothenburg: Tony Neels

Lincoln: Matthew VanEngen

McCook: Jordan Lewis

North Platte: Maria Hall

Scottsbluff: Hattie Burford


Buffalo: Kassie Clements

Casper: Nicholas Stoneking

Gillette: Amber Frei, Michelle Miller

Hawk Springs: Gay Starr

Pine Bluffs: Justin Trout

Saratoga: Stephanie Long, Zachary Schmidt

Other States

Brandon Santos, Los Angeles, Calif.

Kandice Nelson, San Diego, Calif.

Seth Hetherington, Boulder, Colo.

Connor Williams, Woodridge, Ill.

Stephanie Roberts, Detroit, Mich.

Elizabeth Weingarten, Hammond, Wis.

Master of Business Administration


Chadron: James Healy, Gabrielle Michna

Ericson: Nicole Thramer

Lincoln: Adam Stover

North Platte: Sydney Holmes

Pickrell: Ryan Fee

Sidney: Logan Lapp


Denver: Ross Bryan

Fort Collins: Austin Vosler

Thornton: Palmer White


Casper: Jessica Berninzoni, Brandon Turner

Gillette: Kristin Gross

Other States and Countries

Amy O'Connell, Lake Arrowhead, Calif.

Dustin Mccormick, Perry, Fla.

Charles Barrett, Montezuma, Ga.

Justin Welch, Rigby, Idaho

Lee Vinchattle, Boone, Iowa

Nathan Smith, Dubuque, Iowa

Shemia Perry, Boston, Mass.

Marcia Satchell, Boston, Mass.

Dezeree' Adair, Comstock Park, Mich.

John Karimi, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Katherine Chryst, Alden, Minn.

Lyla Ansah-Johnson, Howell, N.J.

Jaafar Noor, Buffalo, N.Y.

Joe Omilanowicz, Mexico, N.Y.

Chad Lanning, Saint Clairsville, Ohio

Brittaney Balliet, Rapid City, S.D.

Tyler Hayes, Spring Branch, Texas

John Navarro, Falls Church, Va.

Erica Bush, New Berlin, Wis.

George Soliman, Alexandria, Egypt

Anas Haddadi, Kenitra, Morocco

Master of Education


Bayard: Wade Kniss

Bushnell: Sara Schnell

Gering: Alyssa Block, Cristal Robbins

Hay Springs: Jana Binger

Lawrence: Courtney Buerer

St. Helena: Shawna Harrison

Valentine: Melissa Pilakowski


Dayton: Annie Seamann

Douglas: Melissa Hodgs, Nicole Tresch

Torrington: Lauren Mischke, Stacy Smith

Other States

Kaylon Anderson, Pueblo, Colo.

Breanna Doorenbos, Onawa, Iowa

Danielle Heft, Muskegon, Mich.

Christopher Wells, Lake Hiawatha, N.J.

Master of Science in Organizational Management


Chadron: Jessica McConnell

Other States

Eric Tucker, Palm Harbor, Fla.

Tia Cofield, Covington, Ga.

Brittany Osborne, Columbus, Ohio

Christian McGhee, Pine Ridge, S.D.

Tyler Schiltz, Powell, Wyo.

—CSC College Relations