Alumni Spotlight

Jeffrey Lopez

Jeffrey Lopez

Class of 2012

Location
Menlo Park, California
Occupation
Graduate Student in Chemical Engineering

I'm originally from North Platte, NE and I am currently starting my 4th year in a Chemical Engineering PhD program at Stanford University. My research, with Prof. Zhenan Bao, focuses on the development of new polymer materials to enable next generation battery technology. Outside of lab I have been enjoying all that California has to offer, including the beach, the mountains, and a Husker football win at Fresno State! When I finish here, my plan is to pursue a post-doctoral position and eventually a professorship at a research university.

The Nebraska Honors program played a huge part in getting me to where I am today. I met some of my best friends living in Neihardt my freshman year and through my Honors seminars (shoutout to Dr. Woody and Dr. Lyons!), and these people challenged me and supported me as I learned and grew.

The Honors faculty were invaluable as I began to look beyond my time at Nebraska. They provided guidance as I engaged in undergraduate research and Dr. Damuth was an amazing help when it came time to apply for fellowships and graduate school. Overall, the Nebraska Honors Program transformed my time at UNL into something that made me competitive on a national level.


Lindsay Rice

Lindsay Rice

Class of 2004

Location
Seward, Nebraska
Occupation
Board Certified Family Medicine Physician with Obstetrics

The Honors Program provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge and contacts to go on to pursue medical school and ultimately become the physician I wanted to be. The opportunities afforded to me through the UNL Honors Program put me at an advantage as I was able to travel abroad, conduct research, participate in a variety of scholastic endeavors, and continue to grow as a whole person. My friends and I are now spread out all across the county doing our best to make an impact on the world in a variety of careers. Those kinds of contacts, as well as still being able to rely on those trusted advisors back at UNL, have continued to make the Honors Program an immensely valuable resource more than 10 years out of it.


Jason Scharton

Jason Scharton

Class of 1994

Location
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupation
3M's Collision Repair Liaison to the Automotive OEM's

In December 1994, I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a specialty in Thermodynamics, and a desire to design power plants. In January 2015, I celebrated 20 years at 3M (you know: Scotch Tape, Post-It Notes, and about 64,998 other products). Most of my time at 3M has been spent in the Automotive Industry – not Power Generation – and NOT even in Engineering (GASP!), as I’ve been in customer-facing marketing/business management roles for the last 10+ years.

So, how did my participation in Nebraska Honors help me grow?

The Honors Program didn’t just acknowledge my interests and abilities outside of engineering; it actively encouraged them! Honors versions of the liberal arts classes I was required to take were more interesting and enriching. Honors “upgrades” to my core engineering courses allowed me to go further, faster. Conversations with non-engineering Honors Program Students as well as leadership activities via the Honors Program Student Advisory Board taught me to appreciate talent, passion, and ability in those I wouldn’t necessarily have come in contact with otherwise.

I graduated from UNL with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. But I left campus with the ability to speak and work with people from many backgrounds and viewpoints; to synthesize facts, calculations, and structure with opinions, politics, and personalities; and to lead with vision while communicating with story.

So here I am, writing my memoirs
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took advantage of Nebraska Honors,
And that has made all the difference.


Elise White

Elise White

Class of 2003

Location
Lincoln, Nebraska
Occupation
Attorney

I am a 2003 graduate of the Nebraska Honors Program and a 2006 graduate of the Nebraska College of Law. I started my own practice upon passing the bar in 2006 with my practice focusing on family law and elder law. The Honors Program helped prepare me for law school, and more importantly the practice of law, by providing course work and the thesis process to really hone my analytical and critical thinking skills. The level of analysis and quality of writing that I learned through my Honors education still benefit my career and have enhanced my law practice even today.


Rishi Batra

Rishi Batra

Class of 2010

Location
Omaha, Nebraska
Occupation
2nd year Surgery Resident at UNMC

The Nebraska Honors program helped me establish balance in my life early on in my undergraduate career. The Honors Program Mentor program helped me make the transition from high school to college. During our weekly meetings, we covered topics from the importance of getting to know your professors to becoming involved on campus. Understanding that much of a collegiate education comes from outside the classroom through extracurricular activities & service was essential for me to understand early on. The Honors Program helped set me up for success from day one. The same principles taught to me through the program helped me succeed in medical school and now residency. I am proud to be an alumnus of the Nebraska Honors program!


Sammi Kaiser

Sammi Kaiser

Class of 2010

Location
Omaha, Nebraska
Occupation
Assistant Director in the Academic and Career Development Center at UNO/Higher Education Professional

Serving as a Peer Mentor in the Honors Program was my most memorable experience. The Honors Program provided me with leadership opportunity early in my college career and sparked my interest in student development. In fact, I was able to use the Peer Mentoring program, peer mentors specifically, as the topic of my graduate thesis in looking at Self-Authorship development. Reflecting now, I know that without the Honors Program my path to a career in Higher Education would have been much different. The support from the program and the staff propelled me in the right direction. The experiences helped me understand my purpose, directing me to search for a helping career where I could give back each day.