CHADRON – The Winter 2020 Chadron State College Commencement will premiere on YouTube Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. CSC College Relations staff produced. The virtual ceremony and its recording is available to watch at CSC’s YouTube channel.
John Murphy of Harrison, Nebraska, will offer the opening moment of reflection and Jaime Gonzalez of Bridgeport, Nebraska, will give the closing moment of reflection.
The speaker will be Dr. JoAnne Owens-Nauslar, a well-known speaker. She is the owner and operator of Fitness Is Living, a motivational, public speaking, mentoring and training company. She has written two books and numerous articles for journals and health and physical education curriculum guides. She raises Texas Longhorn and Angus cattle and quarter and paint horses and llamas near Lincoln and Newcastle, Wyoming.
Following graduation from CSC in 1970, she returned to teach in her hometown, where she had been a champion bull rider as a young teen. She convinced the Newcastle school board to create girls’ teams in volleyball, basketball and track, and then she coached all three sports.
Owens-Nauslar went on to earn a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and along the way continued to advocate for women’s rights in athletics. She was part of a group of women who traveled frequently to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress for gender equity legislation.
“You march on Washington and you get thrown out of really nice places,” she said of the experience. “During my 45-year career, we have had to go back to Washington a number of times to continue to defend Title IX,” she said.
She was the Director of Health and Physical Education for the Nebraska Department of Education for nearly two decades and the Director of Professional Development for the American School Health Association for one decade. She has also been the Director of Corporate and Community Relations for Walk 4 Life, Inc. and the Vice President of Partnerships with GeoMotion Group.
Owens-Nauslar is active in the professional associations affiliated with health and fitness. She has been president of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, and president of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America at the state, regional, and national levels. She is an active volunteer for the American Heart Association, Lincoln Public Schools, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Cornhusker State Games. Her ongoing service to CSC includes a current stint on the Foundation Board.
The Nebraska Sports Council recognized her as the 2020 Joe Neal Memorial Volunteer of the Year. Other recognitions include Healthy American Fitness Leader, a Presidential Citation from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport, and the R. Tait McKenzie Award from SHAPE America. In the spring of 2006 she received the Trailblazer Award from UNL’s Athletic Department for her contributions to Women’s Athletics. She has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both CSC and UNL.
—CSC College Relations