Bachelor of General Studies Alumni
BGS Alumni Spotight
Karen graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of General Studies Degree from UNO in 2006. She started working in the UNO Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) just before her final semester. Her first job was working in a cemetery--she tried to imagine what life was like for every buried person as she ran a special trimming tool around each headstone. Karen stated that she felt an obligation to each deceased person to do a good job--she began that job at age 13. This job fostered her lifelong interest in people's individual stories. Karen's interest in student stories helped her create and judge the first annual "What's Your Story?" essay contest as a part of Nontraditional Student Week.
Karen has served as president and secretary of Alpha Sigma Lambda. She continues working with this honorary organization through her work with DCS. She has organized numerous events for DCS students over the years, including Nontraditional Student Week events, Ready, Set, Success! and Hockey Nights to name just a few. Karen served on the UNO Staff Advisory Council for three years, and served as chairperson for two years for the campus-wide parking committee. She started the annual DCS Coffee Drive to benefit the Stephen Center and has donated hundreds of pounds of coffee to their crisis center.
Karen loves photography. She received international accolades for her cover concept and photography for the book Changing Minds: Mind Consciousness and Identity in Patanjali's Yoga-sutra and Cognitive Neuroscience. Karen is the proud mother to Holly and Paul, and grandmother to Lucy and Gavin.
Distinguished Alumnus Award Winners
2017: Karen Kempkes (2006)
2017: Gayle Roberts
2016: Karine Sokpoh, J.D. (2004)
2016: James F. Bard, Jr. (1969)
2015: Karen Ressegieu (1972)
2015: Jim Ressegieu (1971)
2014: Mary Ann Borgeson (1993)
2014: Billy McGuigan (1999)
2014: Jennifer Schrodt (2008)
2013: Jen Carroll (2008)
2012: Joe Jeanette (1990)
2012: Eva Payne (2010)
2011: Colleen Visty-Schinker
2010: Roger Donlon
2009: Blake Edwards (1999)
2009: Johnnie Wilson
2008: John Fiene (1992)
2008: Frank Peak (1981)
2007: Robert Dahlquist (2002)
2006: Chuck Hagel (1971)
2005: Michael Mclarney (1989)
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