CHADRON – Chadron State College recently recognized its employees for the Teaching Excellence Award and the Eagle Impact Award, recognized those who are retiring, and those who have reached milestone years of service. The college plans an in-person employee recognition luncheon later this fall.
Dr. Beth Wentworth was recognized as the recipient of the Chadron State College’s Teaching Excellence Award recipient. Other nominees were Dr. Dawn Brammer and Dr. Kimberly Cox. Wentworth also received the Nebraska State College System (NSCS) Teaching Excellence Award.
The 2020 winners of the Eagle Impact Award are Markus Jones, Assistant Professor of English; LaWayne Zeller, Director of Field Experiences and Certification Officer in the Education Program; and Kristavia Strotheide, Office Assistant II in Human Resources.
The Eagle Impact Award provides CSC students the opportunity to honor and acknowledge the employees who have positively impacted them during their time at CSC based on three criteria: Inspiring, Supporting, and Empowering. One winner was chosen by students comprising the Eagle Impact Committee for each of the three employee groups.
Retirees are: Dr. Patti Blundell, Professor of Education; Dr. August Bruehlman, Professor of Business; Bryan Enos, Maintenance Repair Worker II; Janet Hartman, Office Assistant III; Con Marshall, Director of Information Services; Dr. Hank McCallum, Associate Professor of Education; Dr. Maggie Smith-Bruehlman, Director of Upward Bound; Dr. Charles Snare, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dee Dee Turman, Custodian; Dr. Beth Wentworth, Professor of Mathematics; LaWayne Zeller, Director of Field Experiences/Certification Officer.
Teaching Excellence Award Nominees
Dr. Dawn Brammer
Dr. Kimberly Cox
Dr. Beth Wentworth
Dee Dee Turman
Dr. Lisette Leesch
Dr. August Bruehlman
Dr. James Koehn
Dr. B. Lee Miller
Dr. Patti Blundell, Professor of Education
A career in education has taken Chadron State College Education Professor Dr. Patti Blundell from teaching in a one-room country school to instructing graduate students in the intricacies of curriculum, assessment, and school law via the internet.
A native of Dawes County, Blundell earned a bachelor’s degree in vocational education in 1973 from Chadron State College. She then took a job as a K-8 country school teacher for a few years.
After taking a break from outside employment while her own children were young, Blundell started work at CSC in 1986 as a vocational education assistant. She later earned her PhD in curriculum instruction and administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Retirement plans for Blundell and her husband, Pete Romenenko, include a move to Rapid City, where her daughter Joy and family live, visits to her other daughter, Angie and family in Harrisburg, South Dakota, and more international travel, including to Hong Kong where her son, Mike, is a school administrator. She has four grandchildren.
Dr. August Bruehlman, Professor of Business
For the past 15 years the practical knowledge from Dr. August Bruehlman’s earlier career in business has helped enrich the educational experience of students in Chadron State College’s Business Academy.
Bringing firsthand knowledge and experience to business classes, and helping MBA students develop personally and professionally have been highlights of teaching at CSC, said Bruehlman, who is retiring this year.
Bruehlman completed his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education at the University of Wisconsin Platteville, and masters and doctorates at Colorado State University. Before joining the CSC faculty in 2005, he had executive positions at an electronics manufacturing company in Colorado.
At CSC Bruehlman primarily taught MBA courses and prized his part in helping increase enrollment in the Business Academy.
Bruehlman’s wife, Maggie Smith-Bruehlman, the director of CSC’s Upward Bound program for the past decade, is also retiring this year. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Bruehlman’s future plans are to live the adventure life in the mountains of Colorado.
Bryan Enos, Maintenance Repair Worker II
Bryan Enos started as a Maintenance Repair Worker II at Chadron State College Aug. 1, 2005. He retired July 5, 2019, and moved to California to be near his elderly mother.
Enos was well-respected by his colleagues. Maintenance Manager Todd Baumann said Enos was friendly, conscientious and helpful. Maintenance Repair Worker IV Silas Kern said Enos was well-liked, a hard worker, and proud to be part of the CSC community.
Grounds Supervisor Lucinda Mays said Enos took a real interest in campus horticulture. She said he planted, pruned, and cared for plantings across campus. He helped with preparing the planting beds at the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center in 2006 by removing blue grass sod to make room for native plant collections. He repaired and installed irrigation systems throughout the landscape for many years, and spent several years taking care of the college softball field and surrounding area, according to Mays.
Janet Hartman, Office Assistant III
Janet Hartman, Office Assistant III in Internship and Career Services, is retiring June 30 after working more than 25 years at Chadron State College.
Although the focus of her work has always been supporting students who are seeking jobs after graduation, the name and location of the department where Hartman worked has changed many times. As part of her duties, Hartman organized and helped host Teacher Interview Day and two Career Fairs each year. She also is the point of contact for schools and businesses interested in hiring CSC graduates.
Hartman started her employment with Chadron State College working with the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs involving a grant program.
Later, she worked for Career Services. She compiled and maintained credential files, mainly for education majors. She also surveyed students for the college’s annual Placement Report, and composed the Vacancy Bulletin, which was a hard copy document she photocopied, labeled, and mailed to all students who paid to be on the distribution list.
Hartman plans to spend time during retirement with her family and traveling, along with gardening and possibly treasure hunting.
Con Marshall, Director of Information Services
Con Marshall served as Chadron State College’s director of information services and sports information for nearly four decades before retiring the first time in 2007. Following that career change, Marshall worked as an Information Services Officer in a part time role, before retiring the second time at the end of 2019.
Although Marshall has stepped down, he plans to volunteer and stay involved with the activities on campus while working on several larger projects.
Marshall, a native of Chadron and a graduate of Chadron State, has been involved with the college for almost his entire professional life. During that time, he has produced volumes of news stories and photographs, in addition to frequently serving as a resource for anyone looking for information about CSC, its athletic programs, and the history of the surrounding region.
In the late 1990s, Chadron State named a facility, the Elliott Field press box, in Marshall’s honor. He has been honored with the college’s Distinguished Service Award, spoken at commencement, and is a member of several athletic halls of fame.
Marshall’s wife Peggy, who helped prepare elementary education teachers at Chadron State before her retirement in 2011, have three adult children and eight grandchildren.
Dr. Hank McCallum, Associate Professor of Education
As Dr. Hank McCallum, an associate professor who will retire in May after 11 years at CSC reflects on his 41 years as a professional educator, he is content that his career aligned with his love for students.
McCallum earned his bachelor’s degree in recreation and master’s in special education from Lynchburg College in Virginia. He completed additional graduate studies in education at the University of Virginia.
After moving to Colorado with his wife, Janice, and sons, Doug and Greg, he earned his doctorate in special education administration from the University of Northern Colorado and completed post-doctoral studies in education leadership and administration at Colorado State University.
McCallum and his wife plan to retire in Virginia. McCallum would like to return to working with at-risk teens. He is also interested in motorcycle ministries. Their younger son, Greg, graduates from CSC in May and will be commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Their older son, Doug, is stationed in Fairbanks, on his third tour in the military after serving in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Dr. Maggie Smith-Bruehlman, Director of Upward Bound
Dr. Maggie Smith-Bruehlman is retiring after 11 years as Director of Chadron State College’s Upward Bound program. The federally funded TRiO program is designed to support low-income, first-generation teenagers with academic advising, ACT test preparation, tutoring, and a residential, four-week summer program at CSC.
Throughout the year, students take trips to Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado college campuses and cultural sites. At the conclusion of the summer program, Smith-Bruehlman and other chaperones, including summer faculty and CSC student leaders accompany the group.
When she moved to Chadron in 2008, Dr. Norma Nealeigh suggested that Smith-Bruehlman teach yoga. In 2010, as a reward to herself for completing a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Wyoming, Smith-Bruehlman spent three weeks in Costa Rica earning her yoga certification. Since then she has taught yoga courses at CSC. Her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education are from Colorado State University.
Her retirement plans include teaching yoga when she returns to Colorado with her husband, Dr. Augie Bruehlman, who is also retiring from the Business Academy faculty. In May, the couple will move to Grand Junction, Colorado.
Dr. Charles Snare, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Charles Snare, Chadron State College’s former Vice President for Academic Affairs, retired in January 2020.
Snare came to CSC in 2006 and was a Dean for six years. In January 2012, he was named the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs. In July of that year, his interim tag was removed.
Snare’s primary role as the college’s senior academic administrator positioned him well to lead the college’s 2017 reaffirmation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC); the HLC visiting team noticed the campus wide pervasiveness of the collaborative approach. Snare has been involved with the institution’s strategic planning, orchestrating the Master Academic Plan as the centerpiece of the college’s strategic plan, fostering a transformation of the King Library to a learning commons, and facilitating the development of the Teaching and Learning Center and Essential Studies Program. Snare also chaired many committees at the college dedicated to improving collaboration, communication, and leadership development.
Snare, a native of Ohio who lives in Chadron with his wife, Karen, earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch College at Yellow Springs, Ohio, and his master’s and doctor’s degrees in political science from The Ohio State University. He said he and Karen plan to travel extensively in retirement.
Dee Dee Turman, Custodian
In a 41-year career at Chadron State College that has included stints as groundskeeper, painter, and custodian, Dee Dee Turman, has gotten to know the campus and its buildings inside and out.
While being part of multiple campus improvements over the years has been rewarding, Turman said the thing she’ll remember best after retiring at the end of July will be the connections she has made with CSC athletes and coaches.
Originally from Virginia, Turman moved in eighth grade to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she participated in sports, graduated from high school, and met her husband, Jerry, a native of Hay Springs.
Turman started her career at Chadron State as a groundskeeper, a job that included mowing lawns, trimming trees and watering lawns, among other tasks.
About 20 years ago, Turman transferred to the position of custodian for the athletic department in Armstrong.
Turman’s retirement plans include playing golf, more travel in the camper with her husband Jerry, who is already retired, and visits to their son Jerry Jr. in Hay Springs and daughters Jamie, in Cambridge, and Barb, in Sidney. The couple have seven grandchildren to keep track of as well.
Dr. Beth Wentworth, Professor of Mathematics
Dr. Beth Wentworth, a North Dakota native with a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, joined the CSC faculty in 2004. She earned a master’s degree in 1998 from Northern State University and a bachelor’s in elementary math education from Minot State University in 1972.
Wentworth has been described as a cheerleader for her students and she embraces that portrayal. Unsurprisingly, she wants her math education students to also advocate and mentor their pupils.
Wentworth’s reputation at CSC is in part linked to the outreach programs she helped establish for elementary and middle school students. In 2010, she proposed a collaborative program with Chadron Public Schools and since then CSC students majoring in elementary and middle school math education have been helping area youth strengthen their math skills during the school day and after school.
In 2018, Wentworth’s innovative teaching techniques, devotion and commitment to her career were recognized by her peers when she received the Milton W. Beckman Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference.
LaWayne Zeller, Director of Field Experiences/Certification Officer
After more than a decade of service to Chadron State College, Director of Field Experience LaWayne Zeller is set to retire at the beginning of July. She has worked in Chadron State College’s Education Department since 2009, as the Certification Officer since 2010, and most recently as the Director of Field Experience.
Zeller graduated from Chadron State with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education degree in 1980 and a Master of Science in Education Administration in 1992.
As a Certification Officer, Zeller was heavily involved with education accrediting bodies such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). She was a member of two different accreditation teams and believes working on accreditation is one way to understand strengths and needs of the education program.
Retirement plans for Zeller include moving to Iowa with her husband, Doug, to be closer to their grandchildren. She said she plans to watch many sunrises with a cup of coffee as she plans for the day. She also wants to raise a garden and get in the kitchen to pursue her love of cooking.
—CSC College Relations