Meet Some Of Our Students

D Cossart

David Cossaart

David is a senior student studying Political Science and Global Studies. In the summer of 2012, David studied abroad in China through a UNL-sponsored program which gave him tremendous insight into Chinese culture and politics and inspired him to continue studying Chinese. The following summer, David traveled to the Dominican Republic with Solidarity Ignite, an anti-sweatshop nonprofit organization. There he visited the living wage Alta Gracia garment factory and met with Dominican garment workers. This experience led to an internship with Solidary Ignite and inspired David to start a UNL chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops. David is also a founding member of the UNL Model United Nations team. As a part of the EN Thompson International Scholars learning community, David has had the great fortune to engage with international issues with his peers and the many thought-provoking guest speakers of the EN Thompson Forum on World Issues. The Honors Program has given David a broad perspective on international issues through the diverse classes he has taken, while also allowing him to focus on particular areas that he is passionate about including the anti-sweatshop movement, the United Nations, and LGBTQ rights.

J Farley

Joe Farley

Joe is a senior mechanical engineering student pursuing a full-time engineering position in industry and a master’s degree. He has interned with Ag Processing in Missouri and John Deere in Iowa where he gained valuable work experience and connections. Joe is the current President of the Honors Program Student Advisory Board and Pi Tau Sigma, a mechanical engineering honor society. He played trumpet in the Cornhusker Marching Band for two years and now plays in the Big Red Express Pep Band. Joe is also a member of the Innocents Society and homecoming court, and was a finalist for the Outstanding Student Leadership Award. Joe believes the Honors Program has taught him how to have a balanced education, both inside and outside of the classroom, and has helped him make valuable connections with professors. Joe’s advice to other students is to seek out new opportunities and explore on their own. He encourages other students to reach out to their older peers and harness their education to support their goals and interests.

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Jess Chekal

Jess is a senior Biochemistry major who plans to pursue a Doctorate of Pharmacy. Jess is very involved with undergraduate research in the biochemistry department and in 2013 was one of four Beckman Scholars at UNL. As a Beckman Scholar, Jess has been able to conduct year round research, network with professors and students around the country, and present her research at several national conferences. The relationships Jess developed with professors through the Honors Program helped her engage in these research opportunities. Aside from research, Jess is pursuing a Certificate of Civic Engagement which has allowed her to combine her passion, research, and coursework with community service and define her future career goals. Jess is also a member of Mortar Board and looks forward to planning the group’s annual Jack-O-Lantern Jog benefiting Team Jack. Jess enjoyed her 395H seminar, Finding a Way Between Science and Religion, which challenged her perspectives and beliefs and allowed her to learn from professors and classmates. The Honors program faculty, staff, and students have provided Jess with an unforgettable set of experiences, and as a result she is now confident that she has discovered her true passions and has the necessary skill set to pursue them.

J Yen

James Yen

James graduated from UNL in 1997 with a degree in Mathematics. He obtained a Master of Science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry in business analytics and marketing strategy roles for the past 15 years. His responsibilities have included sales force strategy and deployment, product marketing campaigns, capability training and development, and business process improvement. James is currently a Vaccines Commercial Excellence Manager at GlaxoSmithKline. As a UNL student, James was a New Student Enrollment Orientation Leader, a Resident Assistant, and a member of Innocents. He was also Vice President of the Honors Program Student Advisory Board and the Golden Key Honor Society. James credits the Honors Program with his development as a well-rounded student. The Honors Program seminar classes encouraged him to take courses that would not have been part of his normal curriculum. This approach gave him the opportunity to see the interaction of different fields, increasing his exposure to additional departments and encouraging the exploration of other pursuits. Involvement in the Honors Program also allowed James to network with professors outside of his department. Without the Honors Program, he may not have had conversations with faculty about both his academic studies and career after UNL. This exposure to additional guidance, advice and mentorship was invaluable in his development.