Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Reichman named Project Strive/TRiO December Student of the Month

Jan 13, 2022

Chadron State College junior Cooper Reichman, of Chappell, Neb., is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for December 2021. (Photo by Daniel Binkard/Chadron State College)
Chadron State College junior Cooper Reichman, of Chappell, Neb., is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for December 2021. (Photo by Daniel Binkard/Chadron State College)

CHADRON - Chadron State College student Cooper Reichman is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for December. Reichman, a junior from Chappell, Nebraska, said he chose Chadron State College because of its Rangeland program, which is the second largest academic program of its kind in the nation. He also works for the U.S. Forest Service office in Chadron. Reichman said he enjoys being part of a small school and small community because he gets to know a lot of people.

The summer after Reichman’s sophomore year of high school, he attended a Rotary-based summer camp where a service project immediately interested him in the U.S. Forest Service and helped him make connections to get his foot in the door with the organization. He said he liked working for the U.S. Forest Service in Halsey, Nebraska, during high school because of his love of the outdoors and desire to help the public.

During the past few summers at Halsey, Reichman has been a recreation technician, responsible for taking calls and answering questions about the campgrounds, hunting, and other topics plus maintaining campgrounds and trails.

In addition to his major in Rangeland Wildlife Management, Reichman has a minor in Community and Adventure Recreation. He has applied for summer internship jobs with the U.S. Forest Service working in recreation, wildlife, or timber management in Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, and Wyoming. He enrolled in his current major as a step toward reaching his long-term goal to work with the U.S. Forest Service full-time.

“I really enjoy interacting with people and in recreation I would get the best opportunity to help people have a better experience with wildlife and being outdoors,” Reichman said. “My favorite thing about the Forest Service is that it’s not like the state park, in that it’s more accessible to people. I believe strongly that the outdoors should be for everybody and sometimes when national parks and other places are closed off to the public I feel that it takes away from that idea.”

He is the president of the Rotaract Club, a member of the Wildlife Club, and a student senate representative for the School of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences.

The Rotaract Club is important to Reichman because it is service-based. The group’s goal is to complete service projects both on campus and in the community. The club is fairly new, but it was able to host a women’s history event, which Reichman said was a great way to educate a large number of people, and the club hosted a pancreatic cancer awareness walk a couple of years ago. He said the club members are looking forward to completing more service projects this spring.

Reichman’s favorite class was Mammalogy with Dr. Teresa Frink because he likes animals, although he also appreciated Environmental Ethics taught by Dr. Allison Fritz, an Assistant Professor in Justice Studies, Social Sciences and English. He took Fritz’s class while also enrolled in a class on raising livestock, so he was able to see multiple perspectives about raising animals.

Frink, a Professor of Agriculture and Rangeland Management, is impressed with Reichman’s kindness, enthusiasm, and leadership.

“Cooper has always been a pleasant student to have in the classroom. He is kind to his peers and very respectful to faculty and staff. He always has a smile on his face, and I can certainly count on him to laugh at corny jokes. I have always been impressed with his engagement on campus and appreciate the leadership roles he has volunteered to accept at CSC,” said Frink.

Jennifer Schaer, director of TRiO, also admires Reichman’s leadership skills.

“Cooper is a great student and a great leader. He is an RA and is involved with many different groups on campus. Cooper utilizes Project Strive resources and attends many events. It has been an honor to watch Cooper grow as a student,” Schaer said.

Outside of school and campus activities, Reichman said he enjoys running. Alejandro Garcia, his cross country and track coach in high school, attended CSC and contributed to Reichman’s successful running career. He ran cross country at CSC for a time, but has left it and has participated in band. He also enjoys hiking, backpacking, and learning to play the guitar.

Chadron State College’s Project Strive/TRiO program, located in the lower level of the King Library, is an academic enrichment program committed to help students succeed. Project Strive also focuses on career exploration, cultural and social enrichment and self-awareness. To be eligible for the program, a student must be one of the following: A first generation student where neither parent has a four-year degree, meet low income status based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria, or have a documented disability. For more information, visit

—Molly Langhorst