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Change Makers Transform Thinking in CASNR
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/18/2020

There is an energy around East Campus that only students being back on campus for the fall semester can bring. The newest class of incoming students features the inaugural group of recipients of the CASNR Change Maker Competition. This spring, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln launched the competition for prospective and current students who dare to dream big and do the extraordinary to address worldwide issues.

Eight full-tuition CASNR Change-Maker scholarships were awarded to incoming CASNR students for the 2020-21 academic year based upon quick-pitch videos they submitted over the summer. Student videos were evaluated on their creativity in tackling the grand challenge of their choosing, how they will achieve it and leave their mark on the world, and alignment of their idea with one or more of the University of Nebraska's aspirations. A committee comprised of emeriti faculty, CASNR faculty, staff and students have selected the following individuals:

- Caleb Durheim, agricultural economics; Sunbury, Ohio

- Brett Gerdes, agronomy; Auburn, Neb.

- Elizabeth Karnopp, biochemistry; Oakland, Neb.

- Kaitlyn Lee, forensic science; Mansfield, Texas

- Alex Lautenschlager, fisheries and wildlife; Lincoln, Neb.

- Aliyah Muniz, forensic science; Papillion, Neb.

- Cole Simmons, biochemistry; Parkville, Mo.

- Lydia Storm, forensic science; Lawrence, Kan.

Two full-tuition scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year for returning CASNR students were also awarded this summer.

- Emma Hoffschneider, agricultural and environmental sciences communication; Burwell, Neb.

- Kayla Vondracek, environmental studies; Salem, S.D.

Additionally, nine 6-11th graders received $1,000 CASNR scholarships.

The Change Makers have been paired with a mentor(s) across the University system. Mentors will guide the Change Makers through questions and challenges surrounding their big idea and prompt critical thinking and new discoveries. The diverse set of big ideas from Change Makers has resulted in collaboration across many departments in CASNR and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

"The connections and partnerships our faculty and staff are able to bring this motivated group of students truly shows our college and community's deep commitment to student success," says Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss. "Our future is dependent on the next generation and we know these students will make a change for the greater good."

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