Alumni Stories


Adam Lambert (B.A., May 2015; graduated with high distinction)

What in your experience at UNL have you found most useful?

UNL has so many great resources for scholars to utilize. To begin with, the faculty allow students to get engaged not only in coursework and class discussion, but in personal research such as UCARE and volunteer opportunities. The plethora of on-campus jobs and clubs are a gateway to the environment of scholarship fostered at Lincoln.

How was the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program part of your UNL experience? Moreover, what element(s) in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program did you find most useful?

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program was a huge boon to my academic and professional career. They were able to bring numerous excellent speakers and experts to campus who presented top-notch research to the department. In addition, the program also allowed me avenues to present some of my own scholarly and creative work. The intimate attention given to students in the program is something that I wish everyone at UNL could experience. I found the end of the year awards most useful as they pushed many scholars, myself included, to produce and display their best possible work.

What awards and honors did you win due to your work in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program?

My time in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program helped me win the 2014 Medieval and Renaissance Studies Creative Project contest as well as first place in the 2015 Medieval and Renaissance Studies Essay and Creative Project Contest. The coursework and research participated in through the program also was a contributing factor for my membership into the Phi Alpha Theta history honors society as well as the Phi Beta Kappa honors society.

How has UNL--and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program in particular--helped you be where you are today? What, if anything, from Medieval and Renaissance Studies courses (and skills learned) and resources do you use in your job?

My extensive higher education experience through the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program was a key component in being hired as an academic advisor at Bellevue University. Familiarity with historical and liberal arts concepts makes me a valuable resource for students seeking advice and information on a wide number of liberal arts courses.



Lindsay Kerns (B.A., 2009; major in Fine and Performing Arts; minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies)

What in your experience at UNL have you found most useful?

For me, the UCARE grant was particularly helpful - it allowed me to work on campus in a field I loved while being mentored by an amazing professor, Dr. Carole Levin. Like most students, I had to work in order to support myself while at school, but thanks to the grant, I had a job that supported me and my education - two birds with one stone. Not to mention, it looked good on my resume and helped connect me to the wider community of UCARE students at UNL.

  • For more information about Lindsay's UCARE experience, see the UNL Scarlet news story on her work.

How was the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program part of your UNL experience? Moreover, what element(s) in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program did you find most useful?

The program’s general ethos was most valuable to me, and it strikes me as particularly unique. I studied Medieval and Renaissance out of sheer curiosity and interest in the subject - I’ve always loved that period of history, and I wanted to balance out my Film/Theatre degree with a cross-disciplinary liberal arts education. And what I found in UNL’s Medieval and Renaissance program was a full embrace and understanding of that spirit of cross-disciplinary thinking. Do you want to write a research paper about Pope Joan? You can! Do you want to write a play about cross-dressing pirates? You can! The professors in the Medieval and Renaissance program push their students to be creative and think outside the box, so it was a natural complement to my other studies in the Fine Arts. It taught me traditional scholarly skills, but more importantly it encouraged me to make unexpected connections between ideas and art, and ultimately it made me a better writer and storyteller.

What awards and honors did you win due to your work in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program?

I won the national Portz Award for my thesis project, which was a cross-disciplinary project that included a short film, a one-act play, and a research paper. As a result, UNL flew me to Washington D.C. where I got to present my project along with other Portz Scholars, which was an exciting experience. As mentioned, I also received a two-year UCARE grant. I think it was also an integral part of getting me into a highly competitive masters program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts - they look for students with unique backgrounds, and my Medieval and Renaissance studies helped set me apart.

  • For more information about Lindsay's award, see the UNL Scarlet news story on it

How has UNL--and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program in particular--helped you be where you are today? What, if anything, from Medieval and Renaissance Studies courses (and skills learned) and resources do you use in your job?

I currently live in Los Angeles and work as a freelance writer, primarily in digital comedy. After grad school, I spent almost four years at Internet comedy studio Funny Or Die, and I have contributed to other platforms such as Dreamworks’ AwesomenessTV. Much of my work is self-motivated and requires me to work simultaneously on multiple writing projects, switch gears quickly, and wear a lot of hats at once - which is not so different from when I was in undergrad juggling multiple Medieval and Renaissance projects. On a very practical level, Medieval and Renaissance helped me learn how to manage my time effectively and organize an efficient workflow - tools which are essential to a freelancer in the digital age. Many of my writing projects - yes, even silly comedy videos - require a high level of organization and research, which would be overwhelming had I not learned and sharpened those skills in undergrad. But on a deeper level, Medieval and Renaissance encouraged me to be intellectually curious, and to find new inspiration by peering into the dusty, forgotten corners of history.

  • For more information on how Lindsay's creativity has impacted Lincoln and the wider world, see this Daily Nebraskan news story on a Jurassic Park parody she produced and starred in.