NORFOLK, Neb. – Students in leadership positions at Northeast Community College have been recognized for their work over the past academic year. The acknowledgment came during the annual Student Leadership Development Series (SLDS) banquet in the Lifelong Learning Center with a theme taken from the pages of the works of JRR Tolkien and JK Rowling.
Carissa Kollath, director of student activities, told the students the quote, ‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, sums up their past year.
“It will be a year we remember forever. It tested our skills, our resolve, and our self-motivation,” Kollath said. “We had to find the resiliency to continue to show up when the world and our teams didn’t look like what we originally signed up for. … When you dreamt of your college years, I know you didn’t picture this.”
SLDS is comprised of four leadership groups on the Norfolk campus - Resident Assistants (RA), Student Activities Council (SAC), Student Ambassadors, and the Student Leadership Association.
Kollath commended the students for not giving up. She said as leaders they assisted fellow students navigate the year, provided events, created community in the residence halls, served as a voice for the students with administration, and continued to provide tours and connect with prospective students on the value Northeast will bring to their lives.
“The legacy you leave behind from this year is a big one. You proved that you are capable of more than you realized. You were the trailblazers, you tried new ways of doing things, you adapted to each obstacle that was thrown at you, and you persevered. It deserves to be celebrated. You deserve to be celebrated.”
Advisor and History/Geography Instructor Paul Muncy conveyed to the students that they assisted in providing a real college experience for their peers.
“You made the College still work in a year where things very easily could have fallen apart. And the work you did impacted hundreds of lives because of that,” Muncy said. “And I hope that you are proud of the work that you did and that you put this down on your resume when you apply for a job. When they ask, ‘What’s the hardest thing you have had to do?’ You can say, ‘I had to make a college work!’”
Student leaders during the 2020-21 academic year at Northeast Community College include:
Student Leadership Association
Rose Graham, Pierce; Emily Hassler, Battle Creek; Carlos Villarreal II, Houston, TX.
Student Activities Council
Hope Boyle, Omaha; Blake Bartling, Verdigre; Keel Clinton, Chadron; Nyagach Chuol, Omaha; Adam DeKay, Niobrara; Jacqueline Deras, Fairbury; Morgan Eickmeier, Bellwood; Josh Escamilla, David City; Justin Escamilla, David City; Vicky Gaona, Gibbon; Rose Graham, Pierce; Alissa Gubbels, Stuart; Rileagh Meyers, Fairbury; Kassandra Nunez, Wakefield; Brooke Schlachter, Blair; McKenna Schlueter, Blair; Hannah Stahl, Potter; Carlos Villarreal II, Houston, TX; Hannah Vokoun, Chelsea, IA.
Blake Bartling, Verdigre; Mason Cone, Hooper; Curtis Eickhoff, Battle Creek; Brady Hendricks, Gothenburg; Elly Krause, Arlington; Britney Kreikemeier, Battle Creek; Jory Nelson, Seward; Emerson Randa, Verdigre; McKenna Schlueter, Blair; Hannah Stahl, Potter; Blake Wert, Central City.
Halainna Alexander, Sioux City, IA; Brayden Anderson, Lyons; Blake Bartling, Verdigre; Mason Cone, Nickerson; Aaron DeWitt, O'Neill; Ethan McCorkle-Dieken, Colorado Springs, CO; Jory Nelson, Seward; Nolan Whitney, Lincoln.
Each of the student leaders were given a beach towel that includes the SLDS Lord of the Rings theme on it and a Harry Potter-esque scrolled thank you note from the advisors.
In addition to Kollath and Muncy, SLDS advisors are Sara Earl, associate director of residence life, Haley Mattison, on-campus recruiter, and Erika Rupprecht, student activities coordinator.
Kollath said she appreciated the efforts of the student leaders this year and for bringing their hearts to their leadership positions.
“You are all very special in my book - resilient leaders who stood tall and proud - and masked. That is the legacy you will leave here.”
Sara Earl, associate director resident life at Northeast Community College, reads a Harry Potter-esque thank you note presented to student leaders during a Student Leadership Development Series banquet at the College recently. Earl and other SLDS advisors expressed their thanks to a number of student representatives who served in roles in four SLDS groups on the Norfolk campus - Student Leadership Association, Student Activities Council, Student Ambassadors, and Resident Assistants.