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Previous Students of the Month

September 2016 - Barbara Pieper

PieperBarbara Pieper of Mitchell, Nebraska, has been named the September Student of the Month for Project Strive/TRiO.

Pieper, an education major with a focus in middle school math and science, is also a math tutor in the Learning Center in the King Library. She said her favorite Chadron State College class so far has been human biology with Dr. Wendy Jamison. Pieper said it was this class that gave her the inspiration to focus on math and science.

“Dr. Jamison’s biology class was my favorite, because it really opened my eyes to the world of science. We also did so many activities that I can eventually apply to my own classroom,” Pieper said. Pieper knew she wanted to become a teacher at a young age, but she just needed direction about how to accomplish it. “My great aunt attended Chadron State so I knew of the place. My great uncle also explained the great education programs CSC offered. So, at that young age I decided I would attend CSC and become a teacher,” Pieper said.

Pieper is also active outsideof her education courses. She is part of the Newman Club, Newman Bible Study, Residence Life Association, Revive and Night of Country Swing. In her free time, she enjoys farming, gardening, reading and crafting. Amanda Lewin, retention specialist at Project Strive/TRiO, works closely with Pieper and said she is not only an asset to Project Strive, but to CSC. “We really enjoy having Barbara in our program. She is a bright young woman who is very motivated. She participated in many events last year, including several of our crafting activities. We chose her for Student of the Month because she is active in our program and a leader on CSC’s campus,” Lewin said.

Pieper’s day-to-day schedule is busy and orderly, but even so, she finds time to let loose. “Honestly, the stress-relieving activities we do at Project Strive are my favorite. Whether it is coloring or just blowing bubbles, it is nice take a step back and do something mindless to relax,” Pieper said.

October 2016 - Kevin Coy

CoyKevin Coy of Davenport, Florida, has been named the October Student of the Month for Project Strive/TRIO.

Coy, a health and physical education major, took an interest in physical education while working at a Boys and Girls Club in Lake Wales near his hometown in Central Florida.

“I was attracted to physical education and health when I helped out at the Boys and Girls Club in Lake Wales. We taught them all kinds of sports and it was a great learning experience,” Coy said. Coy was initially drawn to Chadron State to play football and further his education. He has found great comfort in Project Strive/TRiO and specifically the staff, who are never afraid to lend a helping hand.

“Project Strive is great because they are always open. The staff doesn’t just treat you like a student and only worry about school. They worry about your academics, and your personal life,” Coy said. Jennifer Schaer, director of TRiO, works with Kevin regularly. She says no matter what the day brings, Coy is always optimistic. “Kevin is an excellent student and when he comes into the Strive offices he is always smiling. He will come in and share the good days and also the bad days. On the bad days, when he leaves, he leaves with a smile,” Schaer said.

Of the classes Coy has taken so far, he said Donna Ritzen’s Teaching Individual and dual sports as being his favorite. “In that class she taught us the importance of properly explaining and teaching games. The class itself was hands-on and fun, but I also learned a lot of skills that I can use in the real-world,” Coy said.

Last year Coy a football injury, but has recovered to be one of the main tailbacks for the Chadron State football team this season. Schaer says Coy’s knack for pushing himself is evident in the classroom too. “He did not let is injury get him down and he used this experience to come back to be stronger and more determined. Kevin has aspirations to be a PE teacher and coach and he pushes himself in the classroom to learn, grow and discover new ideas and techniques that will help him in his future career,” Schaer said.

While Kevin stays busy on the football field and in the classroom, he still has time for another one his passions: part-time barber. “I cut all kinds of hair, but mainly mo-hawks and fades or anything done with clippers. I don’t do scissors. ‘Come and get you a quality Coy cut,’ that’s my saying,” Coy said.

November 2016 - Gabriela Perez

CoyGabriela Perez of Sioux City, Iowa, has been named the Project Strive/TRIO Student of the Month for November.

Perez, a nutrition and health major, discovered Chadron State College while joining a friend on a campus visit. Even though it was smaller than the other schools she visited, there was something that stuck with her. “I felt very welcome. It was a lot different than my other college visits, because Chadron was smaller. But, the people here are what really attracted me, “ Perez said.

Perez’s two favorite classes at CSC have been Foundations of PE (HPER 122) taught by Dr. Dawn Brammer, HPER associate professor, and Food and Meals Across a Lifetime (FCS 236) with Erin Norman, applied sciences instructor.

Jennifer Schaer, director of TRIO, has worked with Perez since her inclusion into the program. According to Schaer, Perez is an excellent example for other students in the program. “I think Gabby’s greatest quality is that she really cares for people. She will go out of her way to help out a fellow cheerleader or student. She is always smiling and positive and has been a great role model to others in Project Strive,” Schaer said.

Perez’s favorite activity at Project Strive/TRIO are the modge podge activities. The activity uses modge podge, a type of permanent white glue, and other objects to form creative artwork, which sometimes include inspirational or positive quotes attached to them. No matter the day, Perez knows she can expect a positive environment in the Strive/TRiO center. “Everyone’s so positive and your friends are there. I love going in and being able to talk to anyone and everyone. It makes my day,” Perez said.

After graduating high school from Elk Point Jefferson in Elk Point, South Dakota, a neighboring community to Sioux City, Perez was interested in medical studies. Upon completing a few biology classes and shadowing surgeries, Perez found her niche. “Well, I’m not the best with blood and it makes me pass out, but I wanted to do something in the medical field. Massage therapy interested me, because it is less invasive, but you still get to help people,” Perez said.

Outside of class, Perez is a cheerleader, works at the CSC visitor desk and helps teach youth gymnastics at the Chadron Arts Center. This semester she also helped start the Love Your Melon Club which sells hats and beanies, with part of the proceeds going to pediatric brain cancer research.

December 2016 - Tierra Snyder

Tierra SnyderTierra Snyder of Beatrice, Nebraska, is the Project Strive/TRiO December Student of the Month.

Snyder, a business management major, knew of Chadron State College at an early age and decided after growing up in astern Nebraska, it was time to branch out. “My sophomore year of high school I decided that I wanted to go away from home. Chadron was on the other side of the state, and it had the small college feel I was looking for, so it was a perfect fit,” Snyder said.

Snyder is active within CSC campus life, as well as the community. She is part of the Student Senate and Campus Activities Board (CAB), participating in the Parking Committee and Activities Fee Board (AFB). She is also the CAB rep for Phi Beta Lambda, secretary for The Nest and a member of Xi Delta Zeta.

Outside of campus, Snyder works part-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant at the Chadron Community Hospital and does work-study at the Northwest Community Partnership. With such a busy schedule on campus, Snyder believes scheduling and the right people make her community participation possible. “I’ve met so many nice people at the hospital and partnership. My schedule is pretty busy on campus, so it helps that they are so flexible and understanding with my time,” Snyder said.

Snyder’s favorite class so far is Aging and Death (FCS 320) taught by Russ Seger. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and watching movies. Her career goal is to become a nurse practitioner, but regardless of the position Snyder wants to be involved in the medical field. “I’m majoring in business, but I want get into an accelerated nursing program after I get my degree. If that does not happen, I would still like to do something in the medical field, probably on the administrative side,” Snyder said.

Jennifer Schaer, director of Project Strive/TRiO, works with Snyder frequently. Even though Snyder has a full schedule, Schaer sees how she makes time for everything. “Tierra is very organized. She is part of Senate and CAB and also works two jobs. She enjoys being busy and being involved. Tierra also makes times for her friends and family. Others have seen how busy she is and that she is great at balancing everything going on in her life,” Schaer said.

While Snyder enjoys Project Strive for many reasons, one reason stands out. “I love the people there. They are very honest with you and help with just about anything. It is nice to go in and socialize, because you can talk to everyone and know they care about you,” Snyder said.

January 2016 - Joel Milos

Joel MilosJoel Milos of Bellevue, Nebraska, has been named the January Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month.

Milos, a double major in business administration and rangeland management with an option in wildlife management, enrolled in Fall 2015. He chose Chadron State College after receiving a Board of Trustees Scholarship and others. An eastern Nebraska native, Milos said he liked CSC was far away, yet still in Nebraska. Milos earned college credit during high school, allowing him to reach junior level status by his second year at CSC. He also averages 16 credit hours per semester.

His work ethic shows he is a motivated, strong student, according to Katy Kuhnel, academic adviser for Project Strive/TRiO. “Since his first day in Project Strive/TRiO, Joel has demonstrated a tireless, quiet drive to succeed. He consistently tackles heavy course loads, achieving high grades and rarely voicing complaints,” Kuhnel said. Milos was first introduced to Project Strive during his first weekend at CSC. He joined the organization right away and said he hasn’t regretted his decision. “The staff is always here to answer all of your questions and give you advice,” Milos said.

His favorite Project Strive/TRiO event has been pet therapy – an event where pets were available for students to play with during finals week to get a break from studying. He also finds career related events, such as resume building and interview tips, to be helpful in preparing for his future. Milos said his favorite class was Rangeland Hydrology (AGRI 348). “The class looked into the effects management choices have on water that is available and how water moves through rangelands,” Milos said.

Over the summer of 2016, Milos worked in Yellowstone National Park. Milos’ love for travel led him farther from CSC as part of his capstone class, Cuba Libre (HUM 401) in January. Milos said the trip to Cuba was his favorite CSC experience so far. Milos has also been involved in the Wildlife and Ag Club and said he enjoys hiking at the Nebraska National Forest, fishing, and reading in his spare time.

Milos plans to graduate in the spring of 2019 and potentially attend graduate school. Graduate school or not, though, Milos plans on working for the National Parks Service. His passion for the outdoors is one he hopes to continue throughout his career, according to Kuhnel. “Joel has shown a curiosity for the natural resources world and the field that awaits him upon graduation will surely lead to a fulfilling, successful career,” she said.

February 2016 - Jessy Bale

Jessy BaleJessy Bale of Folsom, South Dakota, was named February’s Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month.

Bale, a social work major, said she chose Chadron State College because she was unsure what she wanted to study, and it was close but still far enough away from home. “I like that it is a small school and small campus,” Bale said. Her desire to help others also led her to major in social work. She said she wants to help people, especially during tough times. “I want to make a difference in peoples’ lives,” Bale said. Bale has a history of helping others. Throughout high school, she volunteered with the Good Samaritan Society in New Underwood, South Dakota, as a dietary aid and housekeeper. She is also active in college.

As a member of the Social Work Club, Bale participates in community projects including visits to Prairie Pines Lodge. She said the club’s current project is finding ways to help the homeless population in Chadron. In addition to her involvement in social work classes and the Social Work Club, Bale works with the department’s professors as a work-study. Rich Kenney, assistant professor in Counseling Psychological Sciences and Social Work, notices Bale’s participation in his classroom. “I consider myself fortunate to know her as she is one of those students a professor appreciates having in class,” Kenney said. “She is hard-working, conscientious, and takes her education seriously. She has a wonderful sense of humor and genuinely seems to enjoy learning.”

Bale said she enjoys activities provided by the Residence Life Association and is grateful for the professor-to-student ratio that allows students to know their faculty members on a personal level. Her favorite class has been Services to Child/Families (SW 331). Bale said the class involved mock counseling sessions and visits to schools and prisons. Bale joined Project Strive/TRiO as soon as she arrived at CSC. Bale said her older sister, who also attends CSC, was involved and explained the benefits and resources that the organization offered. Bale’s brother also attended CSC. Jen Schaer, director of Project Strive/TRiO, said Bale is a great member of the organization. “She always has a smile on her face and comes to each activity ready to learn something new and different,” said Schaer. “She has encouraged other students in the social work area to join Project Strive by sharing the benefits that Strive offers.” Bale said her favorite Project Strive/TRiO events involve creativity, such as painting and decorating items. She also attended the recent National TRiO Day festivities on campus. “The staff is always there when you need them, whether it’s for school or just to listen,” Bale said.

In her spare time, Bale said she enjoys going for walks, drawing, watching movies, and listening to music. Future plans for Bale include graduating in May 2019 and entering the work force. She is still undecided about whether she wants to work with children or in a prison system. “Jessy is a go-getter and she will be great as a social worker,” said Schaer.

March 2016 - Devin Fulton

Devin FultonDevin Fulton has been named the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for March.

Fulton, a social science education major, said he has wanted to teach since he was in the sixth grade. “I’ve always wanted to teach,” Fulton said. “If I was going to teach a subject, I wanted it to be something I was excited about.” Fulton said he has chosen to pursue a career teaching middle schoolers. “I want to be a positive, male role model for children, especially those who don’t have a positive, male role model in their life,” Fulton said.

Fulton took a year off from school after graduating high school. He spent the year trimming trees and said he benefited from his year away from education. “The break helped me to mature, improve my work ethic and have a better understanding of what is at stake,” said Fulton. Dr. Pat Beu, senior director of student affairs, realizes Fulton’s maturity. “Devin Fulton is mature beyond his years,” Beu said. “He was an excellent student in my class, is focused on his goals and is motivated to be a successful college student.”

Fulton, a Glenrock, Wyoming, native, said he had heard of Chadron State College through a few of his high school teachers who were alumni. He decided to drive to Chadron and said the Ponderosa pine forest contributed to enrolling at CSC. Fulton’s first year at CSC has proved to generate more likes than just the Ponderosa pines. “I love my professors,” Fulton said. Fulton’s favorite classes have been Intro to Teaching (EDUC 131) with Dr. Lorie Hunn and Composition I (ENG 135) with Dr. Nathaniel Doherty. Fulton said he really enjoys classes that include discussion and the perspective of the professors. Fulton said he also likes that he is away from home. “It gives me a chance to figure out who I am,” Fulton said. “It gives me a chance to be my best self.”

According to Fulton, CSC students Luis Hernandez and John Murphy have been positive influences. Fulton interacts with Murphy when working for CSC Live Productions where Fulton works as a color commentator. Fulton also keeps busy by staying involved with the Spring Daze committee and Upward Bound. He will be a team leader for Upward Bound this summer. Fulton said he discovered Project Strive/TRiO during a New Student Orientation information fair. “I thought it looked neat, and it is,” Fulton said. Fulton said he appreciates that Project Strive/TRiO is designed to serve students. He also appreciates the humble, home-away-from-home feeling the program provides. “We really enjoy having Devin in our program,” said Amanda Lewin, Project Strive/TRiO retention specialist. “One of his best qualities is his willingness to try new things and help people,” Lewin said. “I look forward to watching him grow and reach his full potential.” Fulton’s favorite Project Strive/TRiO activity is pet therapy. He also appreciates career and fitness planning events. In his spare time, Fulton enjoys tie-dying T-shirts and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

April 2016 - Dean Michel

Dean MichelDean Michel has been named the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for April.

Michel, a Chadron State College sophomore, is majoring in History and plans on adding a museum studies minor. Michel said he knew about CSC through football but didn’t consider the school until three weeks before his high school graduation. “I saw an ad in the newspaper and applied,” Michel said.

The small-town atmosphere and caring residence hall advisers are what Michel said he likes about CSC. Having the opportunity to meet and befriend people with similar interests has been Michel’s favorite aspect of college. He said he enjoys being able to talk to other driven students about politics, history, philosophy and other understandings of the world. Michel said he also enjoys the personal relationships he has with his professors. “There are so many great professors here,” Michel said.

Michel said his favorite class has been History of the Pacific Rim (HIST 373) taught by Dr. Kurt Kinbacher. Kinbacher, associate professor of communication and social sciences, said Michel is an adventurous researcher. “He takes on a variety of different topics in the classes I have had him in,” Kinbacher said. “It seems he has broad intellectual interests.” Michel discovered Project Strive/TRiO during his Personal Health and Wellness (HPER 233) class taught by Jennifer Schaer, director of Project Strive/TRiO. Michel said he appreciates the program’s counseling services and enjoys the common meeting place for friends who are also in the program. “I enjoy being able to come to Project Strive and talk with the staff,” Michel said.

Sonja Dressel, Project Strive/TRiO’s licensed student counselor, said Michel brings much to the Project Strive/TRiO community. “He’s an avid reader and amateur movie critic, so I am always happy to hear his thoughts on the books he is reading and movies he’s seen,” Dressel. In addition to his studies, he is also involved in extracurricular activities. Michel is vice president of the Chess Club and will be a writing and history tutor in the Tutoring Center next year. He spends his free time reading, writing, playing video games and playing pool with fellow Work Hall residents. Plans for Michel after graduation include getting a master’s degree in history and possibly a doctorate. “I’ve really enjoyed CSC,” Michel said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself.”

April 2016 - Sara Tompkins

TompkinsSara Tompkins is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for April. Tompkins said her parents are a key to her success and she is grateful they encourage her to reach her potential.

“They pushed me to meet my fullest capabilities just like Project Strive does now,” she said. “They didn’t graduate from college, so it’s their dream and mine that I earn my degree. They know I can do it. I’m determined.” Tompkins said she never leaves the Project Strive/TRiO center without having all of her questions answered. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them. They are always pushing me to do new, better things,” said. Tompkins who made the Dean’s List in December and is hoping to be on the President’s List in May.

She also credits Upward Bound, another TRiO program, with her success. She has participated in it every summer since eighth grade. She completed courses in Chinese, Spanish and English. In the English class taught by CSC professor Dr. Lee Miller, her essays were judged among the best in the class earning her trips to a national leadership conference in Chicago in 2013 and to Yellowstone National Park in 2014. Upward Bound Director Maggie Smith-Bruehlman said Tompkins was the ultimate Upward Bound member, attending all quarterly meetings, submitting online assignments, and meeting with her academic adviser. “She participated in every summer program with gusto. She always displayed a positive attitude and loved playing pranks on team leaders in the summer program. She has developed into a confident, goal-oriented and determined young woman who will undoubtedly secure a successful career at Chadron State College and beyond.” Smith-Bruehlman said. Amanda Lewin, retention specialist with Project Strive/TRiO, said Tompkins attends all of the organization’s events and is involved in many campus activities. Tompkins has participated in the Rugby Club, the Native American Club and the Outdoor Club. She was hired as an Eagle Leader for New Student Orientation. “She is not afraid of responsibility. But she’s is not all work, she loves to have a fun and enjoys a good prank. We’ve really enjoyed having Sara in the program and look forward to watching her grow,” Lewin said.

Project Strive/TRiO Director Jen Schaer invited Tompkins to speak at a conference in Kearney on National TRiO Day in late February. The audience included high school students enrolled in Upward Bound. Tompkins said the opportunity got her out of her comfort zone and gave her the chance to improve her leadership and public speaking skills. She told the students that Upward Bound changed her life. “It made me go from shy to confident, smart to intelligent, and a follower to a leader. Without Upward Bound I would not be the person I am today. I might not have even made it to college. Through the program I always thought ‘why me?’ They always seemed to always call on me to speak up or me to be a role model in some way. They saw something in me,” she said. Giving back is a pattern in Tompkins’ goals. She said she plans to earn a degree in either corrections or juvenile justice so she can make a difference and help people.

Being a first generation college student is an important topic for Tompkins. She wrote in an essay for Upward Bound, “being a first generation student is like waiting in a line, really wanting something, but then becoming wracked with apprehension and anxiety about the person at the counter and how he or she will deliver the product or service.” She chose CSC because of the small class sizes, the welcoming environment and scholarships she earned from the Susan Thompson Buffet Foundation and CSC. “I like the one-on-one attention you can get here. Everybody knows everybody,” she said. “All my CJ instructors are awesome.”

March 2016 - Courtney Pendleton

PendletonCourtney Pendleton of Geneva, Nebraska, has been named the March Student of the Month for Project Strive/TRiO.

Pendleton, a senior Family and Consumer Science major with a concentration in Health and Human Services, will graduate in December 2016. She is also an FCS Club member. Her favorite class has been FCS 314 Future Focus, a one credit hour, face-to-face course of about 15 students taught by Dr. Josh Ellis. “He’ll write a prompt or two on the board and then we’ll discuss the topics and how they relate to our personal goals, family structure over time, society and politics. It’s not a lecture. I like to hear and learn about other points of view and we’re good about keeping the group discussion civil,” she said. Pendleton said Ellis also offers a student choice week, when the topics of discussion are guided by students’ prompts.

“Teri Albertazzi was the same way. She asked what we thought about the topic. More classes should be like that. I think I do as well as I do because FCS is hands-on rather than a lecture-based major,” said Pendleton also counted Dr. Russ Seger’s Aging and Death course among her favorites. Project Strive/TRiO counselor Sonja Dressel encouraged Pendleton to give a presentation at a TRiO Day event in Kearney in late February. Although she was nervous about the public speaking commitment, Pendleton presented her speech, “Finding Your Niche,” sharing tips for overcoming obstacles and adjusting to college life. “Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Build a support system for yourself, including someone who is a straight shooter and will tell you when you get off track. You’re going to fail at certain things, but that’s not a reason to give up. Take what you can from it and do better next time,” she said. Dressel sat next to Pendleton’s mother, LaDonna, in the audience that day and said they were both proud of her. “On our campus we frequently talk about being a ‘home away from home’ and promote our family-like atmosphere, and that day when we were able to witness together Courtney inspiring other students, it was a great experience of being a CSC family,” Dressel said. “I've been truly honored to see her develop as a student and a leader since I met her family during New Student Orientation.”

Dressel said Pendleton’s fantastic sense of humor is a quality that sets her apart from others. “She is witty, smart and has more keen observations on life than individuals twice her age. When she stops by my office we've been known to have lengthy discussions about current events, politics, theology or television. I always look forward to her insights,” Dressel said. Pendleton’s summer plans dovetail nicely with her long-term career plans. After three years as a camp counselor at Carol Joy Holling Camp near Ashland, Nebraska, and the Sullivan Hills Camp near Lodgepole, Nebraska, she has been hired as an assistant camp director at the Ebert Ranch in Texas. Camps are a healthy, positive experience for children, according to Pendleton. “It’s good for kids to have ‘unplugged’ time outside where they get back to the basics like swimming and hiking,” she said.

One of Pendleton’s best outdoor memories during her CSC career was her Study Away Alaska trip in 2013. She fondly recalls the trip that included helping with the Iditarod. “I’m a certified dog handler. How many people can say that? It was eye opening to see so much cultural diversity in art, science and language. We even met someone from Chadron at the Native Heritage Center,” she said. Closer to home, Pendleton has been involved in the community. She taught Sunday School for two years and now leads a Bible study class for college-aged students at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Pendleton’s other extracurricular activities include clogging. She is the Campus Activities Dance Club president and takes clogging lessons on Monday nights and tutors another college student on Wednesday nights, continuing an interest she has pursued in several types of dance since she was three. She is busy this month, along with other dance club members, preparing for the group’s April 30 recital during which she will help coordinate sound, lights and cameras.

February 2016 - Kelsey and Leyna Brummels

BrummelsChadron State College students Kelsey and Leyna Brummels describe their close relationship as an “us-ship.” They complete each other’s sentences with ease and share characteristics of a deep and lasting friendship.

The sisters from Ewing, Nebraska, also have something new to share – both have been named the February Students of the Month by Project Strive/TRiO. Jen Schaer, project director, said her staff felt the sisters deserved to share the honor for a number of reasons. “Kelsey is a strong student and was a work-study for us in 2014-15. She produced the end-of-the-year video which took a lot of time and is not afraid to step up and do any task asked of her,” Schaer said. “Leyna is an excellent student and her personality makes you want to sit and talk to her for hours and hours. She helps out any Strive member and is willing to step up to the plate when asked.”

The Brummels were involved in National TRiO Day promotions and have attended speakers like Devin Hughes, co-sponsored on campus by Project Strive/TRiO. Kelsey also serves as a mentor for other Project Strive/TRiO students. The sisters said they appreciate the welcoming atmosphere of the Project Strive/TRiO center in the lower level of the Library Learning Commons in the Reta King Library. “They are there for you. They want the best for you. You just want to give them a hug,” Kelsey said. Her sister agreed. “Jen is amazing. I might ask her what seems like a stupid question and she always helps,” Leyna said. “She’s a great person to talk to about any problem I might have, and she always knows the right thing to say.”

Leyna, an accounting major, enrolled at CSC in 2013, and Kelsey came a year later to study marketing. They had visited the area on vacations with their parents and found they liked it, which factored into their decisions to attend. Both have plans to volunteer with The Big Event, an annual day of CSC service in the community, and are active in Phi Beta Lambda (PBL). Leyna serves as PBL’s secretary and Kelsey is the Campus Activities Board (CAB) representative and social media contact. They each helped with PBL Week in February by posting photos of daily promotions to increase awareness about and membership in the club. Kelsey said she appreciates the leadership development and networking opportunities provided through PBL. Leyna said she likes the structured, fast-paced nature of the eight-week business classes. “The hard deadlines are preparing us for careers in business,” she said. “Plus midterm time is like finals week for us so we can relax and celebrate over the break.”

The first-generation students feel like they learned a strong work ethic from their father who is a dairy owner and operator and their mother who is a para-educator. “Our parents always both exemplified and encouraged us to work hard at anything and everything we do and to always show respect to everyone,” Kelsey said. In addition to their own studies, two times in February the Brummels, with other PBL members, assisted Chadron High School students who were preparing for a state competition in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), the high school counterpart to PBL. They proofread papers written by the students and reviewed pre-tests. “For five teenage boys, they had great manners, were very polite and a joy to work with,” Leyna said.

Future educational plans for the women include sitting for the certified public accountant exam for Leyna and pursuing a master’s of business administration for Kelsey. Leyna may pursue a career at an accounting firm in the Norfolk, Nebraska, area, while Kelsey hopes to enter the college recruiting field or join a public relations staff for a sports team.

January 2016 - Tate Jensen

McBrideTate Jensen knows many key people in the Nebraska Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) organization and he has every intention of becoming one of them someday. Jensen, a junior from Benkleman, Nebraska, has been honored as the January Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month. Jensen feels he has benefited immensely from one-on-one advice from the organization’s director, Jen Schaer, and counselor, Sonja Dressel, who have helped him with academic planning and finding internships.

“Jen and Sonja wrote letters of recommendation supporting me as an applicant for the NSCS student trustee, so I know they are confident in me, that I can represent CSC well,” Jensen said. Another supporter of Jensen in his bid for the student trustee position is Admissions Representative Justy Bullington, who gave him a tour of campus when he was a prospective student. “The campus tour by Justy was the deciding factor for me. Before that I really had no idea that I would enroll at CSC. The whole campus has been great. When I’m coming back to Chadron after a break in Benkleman, I say I’m going home,” he said. A graduate of Dundy County/Stratton High School, Jensen enrolled at CSC having already earned 10 credit hours through Mid-Plains Community College. He is pursuing a 6-12 field endorsement in Business, Marketing and Information Technology. So far, he is on track to meet his goals to graduate in four years and debt-free.

While in high school, Jensen qualified for FBLA nationals in three areas but rules allowed him to compete in only two categories: business ethics and community service projects. He won the America award at nationals. “Peggy Parker and Lisa Fox are two of the best teachers I ever had. I didn’t think I would say this, but I want to go back to Dundy County, teach business and become an FBLA adviser, coordinating and sponsoring student events and competitions. Long term, I plan to design and develop business curriculum,” he said. Jensen, who is already a member of the professional FBLA association and familiar with many FBLA state leaders and officials, said he plans to eventually advocate at the state level until business becomes a core class in secondary education.

In preparation for future leadership roles, Jensen is quite active at CSC. He was appointed to the Student Senate in late 2015 to represent the school of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology and Social Work. As such, Jensen has been involved in discussion around a food pantry for students and is a member of the Campus Improvement Committee. He was also appointed to the campus' Education Technology Committee in January and has supported Senate’s purchase of additional recycling containers. Additionally, Jensen is the president of United, a club approved by the Campus Activities Board in December, designed to offer mutual support for LGBTQ Plus students. “Our goal is to have support meetings and also educate the campus community and increase understanding of LGBTQ Plus issues,” Jensen said. Outside of CSC, Jensen works 40 hours per week at a local grocery store and volunteers to support community recycling.

December 2015 - Jenna McBride

McBrideJenna McBride of Victorville, California, is the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for December.

Her older sister, Tara, had planned to enroll at CSC before McBride came to the same conclusion after independently investigating her options in California. Tara is a sophomore and also a member of Project Strive/TRiO. “I was very surprised, shocked and happy about receiving the award,” McBride said.

Project Strive/TRiO Director Jen Schaer said McBride is a great addition to the Project Strive family. “She has been a mentor and also promotes the program to new students. She has helped at Signing Days and also as a New Student Orientation mentor. Jenna pushes herself to do well in her classes and accepts challenges head on,” Schaer said.

McBride, who plans to graduate in May with a Business Administration degree including options in both Management and Accounting, said she enjoyed the eight-week business courses because the format allowed her to take between 18 and 21 credit hours each semester. She also took summer classes online to accelerate her graduation. An internship with the campus food service, Creative Dining, during the summer of 2015 helped McBride clarify her future career path. She managed the C-store in the residence halls including in-store promotions, inventory and ordering for high school students attending summer athletic camps. Her friend and Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for November, Brook McPherson, and her supervisor, Amber James, were very helpful during the internship.

McBride is now the Lead Adventure Guide at the Chadron Maverik C-store which is equivalent to an assistant manager. McBride has taken the initiative to talk to her store director and the district manager about her career plans. The Big Snow Region that includes Chadron also covers Colorado, where McBride would like to work after graduation. “I realized from my experience in Creative Dining that I wanted to be in management instead of accounting. My goal is to become a Maverik store director and owner. I really like working there. Having a job really helps. I like to be busy. I met people and it made me want to stay in Chadron,” McBride said.

Project Strive also helped her stay in Chadron, meet friends and overcome homesickness. She has attended workshops about stress management and resume writing. She is the co-president of Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) and served as an officer last year, as well. The group has sponsored bands on campus, movie nights and a fall leadership conference. McBride led PBL fundraising efforts by helping to organize a 2015 Valentine’s Day Dinner attended by staff and faculty.

November 2015 - Brooke McPherson

McPhersonBrooke McPherson has been named the Project Strive TRiO Student of the Month for November.

When Brooke McPherson of Martin, South Dakota, enrolled at Chadron State College in August 2014 she knew she had to become more outgoing if she was going to be able to pursue her goal of becoming a psychologist.

McPherson, Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for November, said she has increased her confidence level, in part, through her job at the Eagle Grille on campus. She has worked in various areas of the operation and especially enjoys catering. “I get to know lots of people and I’ve become much more social. I can talk to people I’ve never met before. I want to help families so I will need to be comfortable talking with people,” said McPherson, who plans to earn her doctorate and become a family counselor.

Amber James, Creative Dining Services retail manager, said McPherson is hard working, positive and always ready to lend a hand. “Over the last year and a half we have enjoyed watching Brooke grow and learn. I could not think of a better person to have received the Student of the Month award,” James said.

In addition to the recent honor, McPherson has earned scholarships through Project Strive/TRiO that have helped her afford summer classes and stay on track for graduation. Her favorite class, so far, has been English 111, a transitional course. “It’s amazing how much you can improve. Now, I correct other people’s’ grammar,” she said.

Although she has little time for extracurricular activities, McPherson was especially excited to be involved with other Project Strive/TRiO students and leaders in the organization’s plastic recycling project across campus this fall. “It’s important. I’ve always been involved with recycling. In high school, I talked with my teachers about it,” she said. Project Strive/TRiO director, Jen Schaer said McPherson was great help getting the recycling program started. “Brooke has been a great assist to the Project Strive program. She has stepped up as a mentor this year and encourages the younger students to get involved more with Project Strive,” Schaer said.

McPherson is also involved in Phi Beta Lambda and the CSC Art Guild. She describes the pace of her life as one of “being on the go.”

“I consider Chadron my home. The campus is beautiful and tuition is affordable. I knew during my campus tour that CSC is where I wanted to go,” she said.

October 2015 - Ben O'Banion

LunkwitzSecond generation CSC student and social work major Ben O’Banion of Boulder, Colorado, has been named the Project Strive TRiO Student of the Month for October.

His mother, Dawn Bowcott-King, was inducted into the CSC Hall of Fame in 2013 in honor of her distance running accomplishments in the mid-1980s. She was also one of the college’s first graduates of the Social Work program. “She told me I could look at other colleges, but that I was going to come to Chadron. I’m glad I did. This is a good school,” he said.

In his second year as a mentor in the CSC Project Strive TRiO program, O’Banion reminds his group of six freshmen about upcoming events such as budgeting, team building and resume workshops, among other responsibilities. “TRiO has given me the motivation to do well on tests and opened up a job opportunity for me mentoring six freshmen. The staff is always there for me,” he said.

He was one of eight mentors who attended a training workshop in Rapid City, South Dakota, last year. He has been pleased to see the confidence levels of his mentoring cohort members increase as they become more involved. “This is exactly what I want to do. I want to help people. I’m born to do this. A lot of my friends come to me for advice,” he said.

Project Strive TRiO director Jen Schaer said O’Banion is a valuable member of the organization, willing to help in any capacity and especially skilled at getting others involved. O’Banion’s work ethic is evident by his schedule when he returns home for breaks. He has a dog walking job, volunteers as a mentor at the Chase House, a home for troubled youth, and is on the grounds crew at the Eldorado Swimming Pool.

Sonja Dressel, counselor with Project Strive TRiO, said O’Banion has an amazing attitude. “He is always positive about whatever he is learning in class or through outside of school activities. Ben also has big heart and genuinely cares about people around him. We are very lucky to have him as a mentor to other Project Strive students,” she said.

O’Banion also has a passion for bowling that has led him to bowl competitively and practice regularly with a coach when he returns to Colorado for semester breaks. In Rapid City last year, he won a tournament of 47 bowlers, averaging above 180 in 12 games. He is excited to be approaching the average score of 190 needed to qualify for consideration to join the Pro Bowling Tour.

“I come from a long line of O’Banion bowlers,” he said, adding that he bowled a 246 in the summer of 2013 and the summer of 2014. His goal is to be a pro bowler on TV within three years. “If I don’t qualify for the tour, I’ll coach kids. There’s a lot more to bowling than people realize. When the ball isn’t reacting like you want, you change your strategy. There’s gravity, physics, geometry, form and footwork to consider. When I’m up there for those two seconds, everything else goes away,” he said.

September 2015 - Amanda Lunkwitz

LunkwitzProject Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for September, Amanda Lunkwitz of Brady, Nebraska, has been a student athletic trainer for two years as well as a resident adviser (RA) at Chadron State College. Lunkwitz attended Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska, for one year before transferring to Chadron State. Her older brother lives in Texas. Her mother is a nurse and her father is a truck driver.

During her time as an RA in the residence halls, her naturally friendly nature was an asset to her. “It’s important to be open to people, smile and say, ‘Hi.’ You never know what someone’s going through,” she said.

The year Lunkwitz was both a trainer and an RA was tough, she said. Travel is a major part of her job as a student trainer with some of the bus rides lasting between 13 and 20 hours, she said. “We eat at a lot of buffets. You get to know the coaches, staff and players. You can see different states if you’re awake. I call it ‘sleep’ in quotes because you really can’t get comfortable or relax and you don’t wake up refreshed,” she said. “I’ve seen the hours I will be working and what the work entails,” she said.

Don Watt, CSC’s certified athletic trainer, said Lunkwitz knows her job and approaches it with professionalism. “She sees when something needs to be done and does it,” he said.

In addition to working with Watt, Lunkwitz said she has learned a lot from graduate student Theodore “T.L.” Espinoza, also a certified athletic trainer. “He has taught us how to assess an injury and decide on treatment,” she said. Espinoza said Lunkwitz is dedicated to her work and her work ethic. “She is dependable and shows great initiative in her job. Amanda is always eager to learn and improve her skills as a student athletic trainer, making my job extremely easy. She has made this year in football a real pleasure as I know I can always depend on her,” Espinoza said.

In addition to being an RA and a trainer, Lunkwitz qualified as a lifeguard. She hadn’t taken swimming classes before college but with encouragement, she met the requirements needed to become a lifeguard. This skill, along with others she acquired during her internships, will serve her well as she pursues a career in athletic training following her December 2015 graduation from CSC. She also hopes to eventually pursue a master’s degree in athletic training. “It’s been a good experience. A lot of friends have helped me get this far. I’m ready to walk across that stage,” she said.

Jen Schaer, Project Strive/TRiO director, said when Lunkwitz came to her concerned about swimming and lifeguarding, she knew could assist her based on 15 years teaching swimming lessons. “Having had years of experience as a lifeguard, this was a great way for me to give back and share a passion in a different area. It was a great opportunity for me to help a student achieve success in another area of their life,” Schaer said. While Lunkwitz was enrolled in Donna Ritzen’s swimming class, she and Schaer spent hours together so Lunkwitz could perfect various swimming strokes. “Everything she does, she takes seriously. She’s not afraid to work, which is a great quality,” Schaer said. After completing the CSC swimming course in the spring of 2015, Lunkwitz opted to take an additional test to qualify as a lifeguard and worked at the Chadron State Park swimming pool during the summer.

With the demands of school and work, Lunkwitz is grateful for Project Strive TRiO. “The Project Strive TRiO staff is great. They organize fun activities to take your mind off school. When you’ve had a rough day, they’re always there to listen, lend an ear and give you support. I’ve borrowed textbooks from them and I always enjoy going there,” she said.

April 2015 - Casey Sigrist

SigristCasey Sigrist, a senior from Scottsbluff, Nebraska, has been named the Project/Strive TRiO Student of the Month for April.“This awards signifies all the time I’ve spent with Project Strive/TRiO, and it’s nice to receive it. Being involved has helped me form good relationships with the other students in the program,” Sigrist said.

Career-building and academic support services accessed through the program have been of great benefit for Sigrist who will graduate in business administration and communication arts in December 2015.

“Resume writing with Kris Koza was great. I know that her work with me on my resumes has helped me get interviews. Lisa Curtis helped me set up my schedule the past two years, and Jen Schaer and Sonja Dressel have put on some great events,” Sigrist said.

Project Strive/TRiO outings Sigrist has enjoyed over the past three years include a ropes course in Scottsbluff, a “Flashdance” production in Rapid City, South Dakota, and a special session on campus with motivational speaker Maria Pascucci.

Sigrist supplemented her classroom work by traveling with other CSC groups to “Meet the Pros” graphic design, public relations and advertising workshops in Rapid City, South Dakota, Omaha, Nebraska and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

She is also involved in many extracurricular activities. She is the former president of Chi Alpha, current treasurer of the Public Relations Club, and she has been involved in Nights of Country Swing, Eagle Dance Team, Combatives Club and Delta Mu Delta, a business fraternity. She also served as the CSC Elmo mascot for two years.

In addition to coursework and activities, Sigrist is a student worker in the King Library and worked as a lifeguard at the pool in Armstrong Gymnasium for a short time before it was closed. This summer, she plans to work at the Gering Garden Center with her sister. In August, she will be a New Student Orientation (NSO) leader for the third consecutive year.

Sigrist earned six credit hours for her internship with The Big Event, a traditional CSC day of service, in 2014-15. During the summer of 2014, she earned four credit hours through an internship in event planning for the city of Papillion, Nebraska.

“My co-workers and boss were fantastic. It got me used to handling the stress of event planning. I got to meet some famous people, including Lindsey Sterling and the mayor, David Black, the father of my friend, Mary,”

Both of Sigrist’s parents are Army veterans and have instilled an entrepreneurial spirit within her. “My parents have given me the tools to succeed. They have inspired me to try as hard as I can. My whole family has inspired me to go and do whatever I want. I know there are lots of possibilities for my future,” Sigrist said.

Sigrist has been accepted into the Disney College Program at Disney World January through August 2016. She plans to backpack across Europe for three months following the job at Disney World. From November 2016 until April 2017, she plans to work at the Stonyridge Vineyardon Waiheke Island, a 90-minute ferry ride from Auckland, New Zealand.

March 2015 - Dylan Bairn

BairnDylan Bairn of Gering, Nebraska, has been named the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for March.“I’m glad the staff thought highly enough of me to present me with the award,” he said.

Bairn appreciates the willingness of the Project Strive/TRiO staff members to help students. “Kris Koza helped me with my resume. It’s nice to see how much they care and want to help. Knowing they are there specifically to help students is a great feeling,” he said.

A senior, Bairn transferred to Chadron State College with an Associate of Arts degree in criminal justice from Western Nebraska Community College.

Project Strive/TRiO director Jen Schaer said Bairn shares his experiences as a transfer and reaches out to new students as well as those who have been in the program for several years.

“Dylan has been a great addition to Project Strive. He was not a stranger to the program because he participated in the TRiO program at WNCC,” Schaer said. Bairn, who is a member of the Blue Key National Honor Society, said he made a conscious decision to take his studies more seriously when he transferred to CSC.

“It made a big difference. I set my goal when I came here to graduate with honors so I spend a lot of time studying,” Bairn said. As a student who has turned around his academic career, Bairn is an effective tutor in criminal justice and justice studies.

Frances Gonzalez, coordinator of the Learning Center, said Bairn is competent and an asset to the college. “He does a tremendous job, gets along well with other tutors and students. He’s dependable and reliable. He’s caring and really wants the students to succeed,” Gonzalez said.

Bairn said he learned a lot about himself and his personality traits in a Myers-Briggs Personality Types test offered through the Project Strive/TRiO program. He found the test results particularly interesting since he has a psychology minor and is considering possibly earning a second bachelor’s degree in psychology in a few years.

He wants to work in jails after graduation May 9 and eventually move into a career in probation helping juvenile offenders and making a positive impact in their futures. “I can see where I will be able to help people in my career,” Bairn said.

February 2015 - Tayler Saunders

SaundersTayler Saunders of Thornton, Colorado, has been named the Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for February.“I’m not sure how I earned this award, but I am thankful. It's super cool,” Saunders said.

One of 39 graduates of Eagle Ridge Academy in Brighton, Colorado, a charter school, in 2013, Saunders earned a full year of college credits from a nearby community college while in high school.

“Lisa Curtis has helped me plan out my classes which was complicated because I came to CSC with so many credits. Sonja Dressel has helped a lot with the stress of this semester. I love the Project Strive/TRiO advisers. They are amazing. I stop by almost every day or text them. I would encourage everyone to apply,” Saunders said.

Saunders, a communication arts major with an option in public relations, has been able to borrow textbooks through the Project Strive/TRiO program. She has also found many other useful resources such as headphones and other equipment when she stops by the office in the lower level of the Reta King Library. She said she chose CSC because it is affordable and the size of the campus is comfortable.

In February, she traveled with other communication arts majors to an American Advertising Federation “Meet the Pros” event in Omaha. She is excited to return the event in coming years as she makes plans for internships and begins job hunting her senior year.

Saunders was hired as a resident adviser the second semester of her first year. In addition to this position, she is a member of the Public Relations Club, the Nest, a sports marketing club, a student employee in the Sports Information office, a youth sponsor at the Chadron Community Church and an active member of the Residence Life Association.

During the first semester of the 2014-15 academic year, she worked in the football office, developing a travel manual and compiling a procedures manual for football travel operations. This semester, she began an internship in the football office making travel arrangements for the team and assisting with publicity.

This summer, Saunders will help with CSC football camp logistics, such as payment, lodging and meals for high school teams. She also plans to begin a new job in May detailing vehicles for Eagle Chevrolet.

January 2015 - Annie Johnson

JohnsonAnnie Johnson has been named the Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO program January 2015 Strive Student of the Month. The elementary education major said she chose Chadron State College based on the small, personal campus.

She discovered that she was well-suited to be a teacher through assessments and years of experience helping younger children with the 4-H livestock projects. Her parents raise Black Angus on their ranch near Tuthill east of Martin. “I had a lot of good teachers growing up. My mom is a math teacher, my dad is a school board member and there are a few other teachers in our family,” Johnson said.

She thoroughly enjoys the education program at CSC and plans to return home this summer where she will continue her volunteer work with 4-H children as they prepare to show livestock entries in the Bennett County Fair.

Project Strive/TRiO Director Jen Schaer said Johnson has a great attitude and is an excellent student. “Annie is an excellent student and has a great attitude. She participates in many Strive activities and enjoys being with friends and meeting new people. It is an honor and a joy to have her be a part of Project Strive,” Schaer said.

Johnson said Project Strive/TRiO workshops on resume building and other topics have helped her meet new people. “It’s done a lot for me. It helped me get over my shyness. I especially enjoyed the ropes course in Scottsbluff my freshman year. That was a memorable opportunity for teambuilding with people I didn’t know even before I applied and was accepted into the program,” she said.

Johnson's adviser, Lisa Curtis, assists her with planning class schedules and stress related to college.

In addition to participating in Project Strive/TRiO, in September 2014 Johnson was elected to a one-year term as Student Senator representing the school of School of Education, Human Performance, Counseling, Psychology and Social Work.

“I knew some students on Senate and I was interested in the government part of it and getting involved,” she said. She has learned leadership skills by observing other senators, and has enjoyed the challenge of gathering information prior to voting. She said she plans to run for office again next year.

Johnson also participates in the Chadron State College Republicans Club and serves as the Newman House representative on the Campus Activity Board.

December 2014 - Frederick Culp Jr.

FrederickFrederick Culp Jr. has been named the Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO program December 2014 Strive Student of the Month. Frederick Culp Jr. of Mililani, Hawaii, has celebrated many accomplishments during his four years at Chadron State College. The most recent recognition came as he was named the Project Strive/TRiO Student of the Month for December. A few days later, he received his bachelor’s degree as part of the first graduating class to experience commencement in the Chicoine Center.

The benefits of the Project Strive TRiO program fostered Culp’s success in several ways. He said the staff members have provided positive reinforcement in addition to textbooks and tutoring. One of his favorite Project Strive/TRiO outings was to Custer State Park when the van took a wrong turn and the group had an adventure getting turned around and back on their route.

“I learned a good college work ethic in this program. I picked up study skills and got all my homework done. I see myself as a leader now,” Culp said.

Culp, known by most students as Freddy C, is recognized as a talented musician. In 2013, he won the Voice contest hosted on campus which qualified him for trip to Nashville to audition for the national television show. He lent his voice to many campus events including the annual spring Release concert. He often performed the national anthem before games and became a popular and entertaining DJ for campus dances, according to Billie Knifong, residence life manager.

"I volunteered my first year when they needed a DJ. I liked it and just got better and better,” Culp said.

Culp ran the 400-meter dash for the CSC men’s track team and anchored the 4x400 relay team which won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in 2013 and 2014. The relay team also set two school records, indoor in 2012 and outdoor in 2014. The CSC track team, overall, placed 16th in the nation in May 2014.

“I wanted to get off the island (after a year of community college). Coach Baily offered me a scholarship and we just clicked. He will always be one of my all-time favorite coaches,” Culp said, referring to Ryan Baily, former CSC head track coach.

Culp’s work ethic extends beyond the microphone and the track. In addition to his studies in business administration information systems, he also worked in The Pit – the pool and pong-pong table section of the Student Center – for four years.

November 2014 - Nigel Jones

NigelSenior Nigel Jones of San Diego, California, has been named the Student of the Month for November. Jones speaks highly of the advisors and mentors who are part of Project Strive TRiO.

She said the services through Project Strive TRiO have assisted her with overcoming a math disability.

“They’ve helped me a lot. They are the reason why I stayed. They’ve provided me with resources, texts, tutors and positive reinforcement,” Jones said.

In addition to the help he has received in the Project Strive/TRiO program, Jones has also worked at the front desk in the program office for two years answering the phone, taking messages, assisting other students and helping with many other tasks as needed.

Jones decided to leave California and enroll at Chadron State College with several of his friends in spite of the rural setting and winter weather. His friends have all since graduated.

In May, he will receive his degree in criminal justice. Then, career plans for Jones include working in detentions for a year and then applying for positions in juvenile justice as a probation or parole officer.

Along with being involved in Project Strive/TRiO, living in the CSC residence halls for four years has been a good decision for Jones. He likes being in the center of campus life. He said his favorite hobby is watching sports of all kinds on television.

The kindness he has experienced in Chadron has made a lasting impression on Jones. “My dad is from a small town in Kansas. I think it might be similar here. I really like the people in Chadron. I’ve never been to a more friendly place. The people are so nice. You can make a place fun, but you can’t make the people nice,” he said.

October 2014 - Mikayla Gallagher

MikaylaMikayla Gallagher has been named the Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO program October 2014 Strive Student of the Month. Gallagher, a legal studies major, is the Liberal Arts Student Senator and the Campus Activities Board vice chair of relations working with social media. She chose CSC based on a golf scholarship plus the scenery and reasonable tuition, she said.

She said the services through Project Strive TRiO have assisted her with overcoming a math disability.

“I love how they help you in so many different ways. I give credit to Project Strive for how successful I have been so far. They’ve really helped me with math. I got an A in pre-Algebra and I’ve never got an A in math before,” she said.

Not only is Gallagher overcoming challenges with math, but she even plans to apply for law school. This goal ties in with the careers of several close family members, but Gallagher made the decision based on her own experience.

She completed an internship with John Fitzgerald in the Lawrence County State’s Attorney’s office during her senior year at Lead-Deadwood high school and she also competed in speech and debate. She returned to work for Fitzgerald again the summer after she graduated.

“He was named Prosecutor of Year in 2012 for South Dakota so I know I’ve got a great mentor,” Gallagher said.

She is currently undergoing mentor training with Project Strive TRiO and will begin working as a mentor in January.

“I’m so excited. I know how it was as a freshman to feel lost. But if you go to class and you try, you are not going to fail. It’s important that students be proactive and plan their futures,” she said.

Gallagher is sure she has made the right choice in her major as well her college. She appreciates the CSC professors who hold her to a higher standard because they know her capabilities. She said she has friends who attend large universities where they do not have the same access to professors that she enjoys.

“The legal studies department is the best. It’s been fantastic coming to Chadron State and having a department that cares as much about your success as you do. You know you are in the right major when you like going to class, you like seeing your professors, they love being in class and they care. It’s so nice to have support from my advisor. I’m fortunate,” Gallagher said.

September 2014 - Jessie Krien

JessieJessie Krien has been named the Chadron State College Project Strive/TRiO program September 2014 Strive Student of the Month. She will graduate in May with a degree in general business and a minor in nutrition and wellness.

“I’m extremely honored. Not everybody gets recognized in this way,” Krien said.

Although Krein is not sure about her specific career path, she wants to work in public service like her mom.

She admires the long hours her mom dedicates to helping others as a middle school guidance counselor.

“My mom is very caring in her job. She doesn’t always think of her convenience. As I grow older, I’d like to be able to put people first,” Krien said.

Krien, a graduate of Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, enrolled at CSC after earning a full-tuition Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) scholarship. “I knew it would be a fit for me. My sister loves it here too,” she said, referring to CSC. Her twin sister, Jamie, is also attending CSC and won the Student of the Month award in November 2012.

Jessie is involved with Rotaract on campus and enjoys the flexible nature of eight-week courses.

Regarding her involvement with Project Strive TRiO, Krien said she enjoys her many opportunities through the organization each semester. “I pick up valuable tidbits of information along the way. Also I’ve been to Stomp, Mount Rushmore and a ropes course,” she said. In addition, she learned CPR, more about graduation requirements, how to use LinkedIn for professional networking and received resume assistance.

Project Strive Student of the Month

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