2018-2019 Initiate Class

Katy Bagniewski

Kathryn (Katy) Bagniewski is the daughter of Jeffrey and Pamela Bagniewski of Rochester, Minnesota. She has a major in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication and a minor in International Agriculture and Natural Resources. She is the Vice President of Records and Public Relations and Technology Chair for Pi Alpha Chi, as well as the Advertising and Social Media Chair for UNL Out of the Darkness. She is also active in Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow and UNL Prevent. Katy has volunteered her talents in public relations and advertising for the Water for Food Global Conference, Husker Food Connection, the St. Baldrick's Foundation, and the National FFA Organization. She is a member of Alpha Zeta, Order of Omega, and the Dean’s List. Katy currently works for the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a storytelling intern and podcast production specialist. After her graduation in May 2019, she hopes to work in communications for a conservation non-profit.

Trenton Buhr

Trenton is the son of Shelli (Baker) Buhr and Kevin Buhr. He is a Political Science, Classics and Religious Studies, Classical Languages, and Psychology major from Cortland, NE. During the full, Trenton plays alto saxophone in the Cornhusker Marching Band. He is also the president of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band fraternity. Trenton spends time as a College of Arts & Sciences student ambassador, volunteer at the Lied Center, University Honors Program student, and lab manager of the Law and Policy Lab. He has worked as a page in the Nebraska Unicameral, interned in the Rural Futures Institute Summer Serviceship, and now works as a mediator in the Nebraska Attorney General's office. His passion is rural community and economic development and he plans to attend law school after graduation.

Regan Burnham

Regan Burnham, daughter of Ken and Nancy Burnham, is a Management Major with minors in Leadership & Communication and Psychology from Fort Collins, Colorado. Regan serves as the Special Events Planner of the 2018-19 circle class of ODK. She is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy and Clifton Builders Program. Regan currently volunteers for Nebraska Human Resources Institute and serves as a Staff Advisor. She is on the executive team of her sorority, Chi Omega, serving as the Director of Programming. She is a CliftonStrengths Senior Lead Coach for students in the College of Business and frequently presents to other organizations about strengths. She works as a People and Culture intern for Spreetail, with a focus on Recruiting and Learning and Development. This past year, Regan was named one of twenty semi-finalists for the Outstanding Student Leadership Award on campus and is a member of Franco's List in 2018. After graduation, she is planning on entering a role related to recruiting, leadership development, or University Admissions.

Jacob Carter

Jacob Carter, son of Barry and Stephanie Carter, is an Actuarial Science major from Omaha, NE. On campus, he serves as the Treasurer of Pi Kappa Alpha, a CliftonStrengths Coach for students in the College of Business, and the Social Chair for Omicron Delta Kappa. Jacob is involved in the Nebraska Human Resources Institute (NHRI) and TeamMates, where he mentors middle schoolers in the Lincoln area. He has worked as a Tutor for the Athletic Department and currently works as a Student Worker in the College of Business Advising office. After graduation, Jacob plans to work in Omaha as an Actuarial Analyst for Lincoln Financial Group.

Nicholas Courtney

Nicholas Courtney is the son of Corey Courtney and Amy Motto of Lincoln, Nebraska.  He has a major in Economics and a minor in Management. Nicholas is currently President of Omicron Delta Kappa, in his 4th year with the Teammates Mentoring Program, and working as a Support Specialist at Hudl.  At Nebraska, he has been a part of ASUN's Environmental Leadership Program, the Greeks Going Green initiative, a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity's executive board, and spent two years as a student strengths coach from the Clifton Strengths Institute through the College of Business. Additionally, Nicholas served as the philanthropy coordinator for Sigma Chi Fraternity during the 2017-2018 school year and enjoyed internships at Nelnet and Northwestern Mutual during his undergraduate years.  He has also been on the Dean's 6 times has achieved a spot on the President's list. Nicholas is currently applying for jobs in order to begin his business career following graduation in May.

Sarah French

Sarah grew up in North Platte, NE.  She is a biological sciences major with minors in biochemistry and gerontology.  She is a member of Phi Mu, Spectrum UNL, and the university honors program. Sarah does research with Dr. Bachman in the department of biological sciences and is working on becoming a TA for physiology lab.  When she graduates, Sarah will attend medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Lexi Hartman

Lexi Hartman, daughter of Heather Hartman, is a Psychology major with minors in Business and Leadership/Communication from Blue Hill, NE. She is a member of Delta Gamma and serves on the Panhellenic Executive Team. She is also involved in Psi Chi, Order of Omega, and the Honors Program. Lexi works as an intern at HUMANeX Ventures, and is an undergraduate researcher within the Subtle Prejudice Lab as a UCARE grant recipient. After graduation, Lexi hopes to attend a PhD program for Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Hannah Hays

Hannah Hays, from North Platte, Nebraska, is the daughter of Brad Hays and Mindy Hitchler-Hill. She is a Biological Sciences major with minors in Biochemistry and Humanities in Medicine. Hannah is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Ambassadors, the Chi Omega sorority where she served as the Director of Philanthropy and Community Service and works as a pre-health mentor and as a phlebotomist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center/Regional Pathology Services. Hannah's future plans include attending the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine starting next year to become a physician.

Justin Hicklin

Justin Hicklin, son of Jeff and Gina Hicklin, is a Biochemistry and Spanish major and Chemistry minor from Stilwell, KS. On campus, he serves as the trip coordinator for the MEDLIFE organization, academic chairman of Delta Tau Delta, and a Lab instructor for the Chemistry department. Justin is most proud of his 3 sisters and in his free time likes to run and play sports at the Rec. Justin volunteers in the Burn Unit of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and also enjoys interpreting Spanish at the local health clinic, Clinic With a Heart. Through these organizations, he has been given the opportunity to travel and utilize his Spanish to talk with people from all facets of life. In the future, he hopes to become a physician and one day give back to medically underserved communities.

Abbie Jarratt

Abbie Jarratt, daughter of Elizabeth and Jeffrey Jarratt, is a Computer Science major with minors in Business Management and Mathematics. Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, Abbie enrolled in the Jeffery S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, as well as, the Honors Program. She is a member of Kappa Delta and serves as the chapter’s website chair. Abbie is also involved on campus as a Raikes Peer Mentor, a member of the Computer Science Student Advisory Board, and an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for the Computer Science Department. Throughout college, Abbie has had internships at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Spreetail, and Omnitech. After graduation, Abbie plans to return to Dallas, TX for a full-time position as a Cybersecurity and Incident Threat Management Advisory professional with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Cal Koch

Cal is a Psychology major with a minor in Leadership & Communication from Omaha, NE.  He is the son of Leigh Officer and Kevin Koch. On campus, Cal serves as the Logistics Coordinator for New Student Enrollment,  President of Pitch Please, a co-ed a Capella group, and on the Leadership Team for Nebraska's show choir, Big Red Singers. Cal is also a Teaching Assistant for two Psychology courses, a member of the Honor's Program, and is completing a UCARE research project for the second year.  In the spring of 2018, Cal was a semifinalist for the Outstanding Student Leadership award. As for plans after graduation in May, when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, Cal answers with, "happy."

Abby Kurth

Abby Kurth, daughter of Kevin and Anne Kurth, is originally from Bettendorf, Iowa. She is earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music (Vocal Performance) and a minor in theatre, studying voice under Alisa Belflower. Within the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts she serves as a college ambassador and is a member of University Singers and Nebraska's Vocal Jazz ensemble. Abby loves performing and has been in several university Opera productions such as The Return of Ulysses and Adamo’s Little Women, to name a couple. In the summer of 2018, Abby was a cast member in the Ohio Light Opera, learning six different productions and taking part in 52 performances. Through this experience, her first professional endeavor on the stage, she discovered a new love for operetta and golden age musical theatre. Abby currently works as an intern at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in both the education/outreach and event coordination departments. She is passionate about the power of the arts to connect people from different backgrounds, as she sees almost every day how the arts can impact and shape us in ways we couldn’t previously imagine. Following graduation, Abby will be moving to New York City to explore opportunities surrounding the arts, be it performing, administrating, or educating.

Emma Loberg

Emma Loberg is the daughter of Ken and Jean Loberg of Wayne, Nebraska. She is majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with minors in History and Education. In her major, she is a key member and the 2018 Social Chair of the university's National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. Throughout her time at Nebraska, Emma has been active as an Honors Program Peer Mentor, a College of Education and Human Sciences Ambassador, a Friends of Refugees Communication Partner, and in intramural sports. In addition, she is in her second year as a Resident Assistant in Massengale. She received two Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience grants for work in the Child, Youth, and Family Studies Dept. working on coding parenting and child play behaviors for at-risk children in rural Head Start; Emma is using existing and personally-collected data from the study to write her Honors Thesis. She is a David Scholar and has spent six semesters on the Dean's List. This past summer, Emma interned at the National 4-H Council in Washington, D.C. as a Citizenship Washington Focus Program Assistant. In her free time, she can be found reading, cooking for family and friends, traveling, listening to podcasts, and sewing every Christmas for her custom-order sweatshirt business. After undergrad, she plans on entering graduate school in Speech Language-Pathology.

Adri Lobitz

Adri is from North Mankato, MN and is majoring in Psychology with minors in Humanities in Medicine and Biology. She hopes to go on to Physicians Assistant school in the future. Her parents are Tara and Jason Lobitz. On campus she is involved in Chi Omega, MEDLIFE, College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador and is a Student Advisory Board member. She conducts research as a UCARE student and also has been a teaching assistant for the biology department. When she is not working on school or involvements she works as a CNA at Madonna Rehabilitation Center and enjoying rock wall climbing or spending time traveling with friends.  

Cody McCain

Cody is majoring in Accounting and Agribusiness as well as minoring in Finance. He is from DeWitt, NE and is the son of Troy and Kim McCain. On campus Cody serves as President of his fraternity Beta Sigma Psi, is a staff member at the Lutheran Center, Treasurer of the Honors Peer Mentor Leader Board, and Treasurer of Omicron Delta Kappa. Additionally, Cody is a member of the College of Business Student Advisory Board, Phi Beta Lambda, and Beta Alpha Psi. Off campus, Cody is a credentialed Professional Registered Parliamentarian with the National Association of Parliamentarians and serves as the Webmaster for the Nebraska State Association of Parliamentarians. Cody currently works as an intern at HBE LLP, a public accounting firm in Lincoln and plans to work full time at HBE as a tax accountant after graduation.

Abigale Miller

Abigale Miller is the daughter of Dave and Kathleen and grew up in Jefferson, South Dakota. She is studying biological sciences and is obtaining minors in biochemistry and gerontology. She is the president of Nebraska's National Society of Collegiate Scholars, a member of the honors program, and is currently an intern with the physiology teaching lab. Abbie enjoyed volunteering at Epona Horse Rescue in Crete, Nebraska,  working at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, and working with the staff at the Karen center to create lesson plans on relevant healthcare topics for local refugees. Abbie plans to attend medical school this coming Fall and to practice family medicine in a rural community. She traveled to Cusco, Peru with MEDLIFE for a volunteering trip in 2016 that made her want to serve underrepresented populations through her career in medicine and chose rural communities because of her background growing up in a small town in South Dakota.  In her free time, Abbie enjoys horseback riding and other outdoor activities with friends and family.

Amanda Nelson

Amanda Nelson, daughter of Mark and Julie Nelson, is a Psychology major from Lincoln, NE. She currently serves as the Internal Director of Dance Marathon, the Vice President of Public Relations for Delta Delta Delta sorority, the Vice President of Order of Omega, a Peer Mentor Leader for the Honors Program, and spent this past summer as a New Student Enrollment Orientation Leader.  Amanda has also volunteered as a TeamMate through the TeamMates Mentoring Program since her freshman year, and is a Well-Being Peer Coach for the Big Red Resilience Program. She works in the Child Maltreatment Lab as an undergraduate research assistant and has been offered a UCARE Research Assistantship. Amanda hopes to attend graduate school to earn her PhD in School Psychology and work in a children's hospital in the future.

Jordan Newsom

Jordan Newsom, daughter of Donald and Dina Newsom, is a Management major with an emphasis in Leadership in Organizations and two minors in Communication Studies and Marketing. Jordan is from Omaha, NE and is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. Throughout her time at Nebraska, she has been involved as President of the Iron N, Philanthropy Chair of the Business Academy, Supervisor of Abel-Sandoz and Courtyards Desk Assistants, and Alumni Relations Chair of ODK. Other extracurricular activities include coaching youth basketball, interning in recruiting at Nelnet, and going on mission trips with her church. Jordan has received many scholarships and awards from the university and outside organizations, including the Regents Scholarship, and has been on the Dean's list every semester. After graduation, Jordan is getting married and pursuing one year of full-time mission work in Hong Kong with her husband to help teach English. Her later career aspirations include working in Human Resources or Organizational Development to help equip associates to succeed in current and future roles.

Gabby Robbins

Gabby is a Senior Advertising and Public Relations Major from Raymond, NE with minors in Global Studies and Communication Studies. Outside of school, Gabby is the President of the Honors Program Student Advisory Board, a VP for Nebraska's Panhellenic Council, on The Big Event Executive Team, and a Teaching Assistant in the College of Journalism. Her Gallup strengths are Strategic, Adaptability, Responsibility, Positivity, and Arranger. Following graduation, she hopes to experience big city life while continuing her education and working in the communications industry. Gabby is the daughter of Frank and Cindy Robbins of Raymond, NE.

Luke Schnacker

Luke Schnacker is a senior Finance, and Economics major from Topeka, KS. On campus, he serves as the president of the Big Red Investment Club, and the College of Business Student Advisory Board. He will be graduating this May and plans on a career in financial services.

Randy Thomas

Randy is double majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies. He is a Lincolnite born to Brion and Lucila Thomas. You can find him on campus representing countries in Model United Nations, representing student interests in ASUN, or manning the front desk at the Outdoor Adventures Center. Randy is planning on finding a job after graduation with the plan to eventually go to Law School.

Jeb Vavak

Jeb Vavak, son of Peter and Deanna Vavak, is a senior Management major from Ashland, NE. He is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy. His most impactful involvement has been Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity where he currently serves as President. This summer, he served the university as a New Student Enrollment Orientation Leader. He is also active at the Newman Center where he has led bible studies as a part of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). One of his favorite memories from college has been studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain for six weeks in the summer of 2017.

Victoria Villota

Baylee Vrtiska

Baylee Vrtiska is from Falls City, Nebraska, and she is the daughter of Kim and Kris Vrtiska. She is a broadcasting and journalism double major with concentrations in history, communication studies and psychology. She's a part of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority on campus, and she currently works for Lincoln Electric System as their communications intern. Her plans for the future include pursuing a career within the communications world that allows her to pursue her passion - telling the stories of others.

Emily Wagner

Emily Wagner, daughter of Doug and Lisa Wagner, is an Electrical Engineering major with minors in Computer Science and Business Management from Sioux Falls, SD. Emily is a student in the Jeffery S. Raikes School, and she enjoys giving back to the Raikes community by serving as the President of the Kauffman Residents' Association, a Raikes Student Ambassador, and a Raikes Peer Mentor. She also serves on Nebraska's Engineering Student Advisory Board where she has headed the Student Life and Engineering Week committees. This past year, Emily was named one of six finalists for the university's Outstanding Student Leadership Award due to her campus involvement and promotion of inclusivity in STEM. Throughout college, Emily has had internships at National Instruments, Garmin, and TeamMates Mentoring Program, and she had a letter on NSF cybersecurity funding published in the Washington Post last spring. After graduation, Emily plans to pursue a full-time job as a technology consulting analyst or software product manager.

Matthew Loar, Faculty Advisor

Matthew was born and raised in Littleton, CO. He completed his undergraduate degree in Classics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA, where he was initiated into ODK and was actively involved in residence life, sexual assault prevention, and peer education. After college, he taught high school math in Wilmington, DE for a year before heading off to the University of Oxford to get a master's degree in Women's Studies. He joined Nebraska in 2015 after receiving his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University. If anybody wants to know what the Greek letters "Omicron Delta Kappa" stand for, they should ask him! (And take Classical Mythology!)