- Ludivine Esther Mooh (CAS)
- Brieland Fripp (CBA)
- Zach Padilla (CFAM)
- Cydney Dorsey (COE)
- An Nguyen (CPACS)
- Jeffrey Allen (IS&T)
- Bridget Hall (Graduate College)
- Astril Quadros (Graduate College)
Graduation is bittersweet for Ludivine Esther Mooh. After spending four years in Omaha she is saying goodbye.
Mooh is off to intern at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands before attending Queens University in Belfast for law school.
Originally from Togo, the political science major came to UNO as an international student.
“Having the opportunity to meet and help other international students is probably one of my favorite memories here,” Mooh said. “I also really loved the friends I made here and the memories we made together.”
Mooh joined the Pan African Student Organization (PASO) when she got on campus. PASO unites students from all over the African diaspora and raises African culture awareness on campus.
“Being from Togo I needed a place in the U.S. where I could feel at home and PASO was that place for me,” she said.
Mooh was involved in Sustained Dialogue, she promoted internationalization on campus by working on events as a Global Diplomat, and she was in Phi Alpha Delta, a pre-law coed fraternity.
“It has a bittersweet taste,” she said. “I am really happy to be done with my degree, but I know I probably won't come back to Nebraska for years and I won't be able to see the people I shared these experience with.”
Marketing major Brieland Fripp’s next step in life was something that she was made to do.
“I’ve been obsessed with Disney since I was born,” says Fripp, who grew up in Bellevue with a Disney-themed nursery. “It’s in my blood.”
In just a couple weeks Fripp will begin a job that would make people of all ages jealous – she’s going to work at Disney World.
Fripp is not sure what exactly her role as a cast member (Disney employee) will be yet, just that it will have to do with merchandising. No matter what the case may be, she knows she will apply her UNO experiences to the opportunity.
She took second place at the College of Business Administration’s Capstone Cup, and she also interned a Core Bank and Mavcard Services at UNO.
One of the things Fripp loved about UNO is the community.
“I like UNO because of the community,” Fripp said. “It’s like a small town in a big city.”
Another memory Fripp will take with her is the time she spent with friends and classmates in the Thompson Learning Community (TLC). She credits TLC with making her a better leader and pushing her to reach for the stars.
“The Thompson Learning Community really encouraged me to go after my dreams and they showed me I had what it takes to be successful. They got me out of my shell and made sure I was getting the most out of college.”
Zach Padilla, a Millard North graduate, stayed close to home and chose UNO.
A journalism and media communications major, he realized he was in the right field after winning third place in a Broadcast Education Association Awards Competition. He also was a producer at Omaha News where he was able to gain experience interviewing story subjects and producing content.
“One thing I learned is that if you try your hardest it will never go unnoticed,” he said.
One of Padilla’s classmates took notice of his effort in class and the consistency in his presentations. They were not more than acquaintances at the time, but Padilla’s work impressed enough that his classmate approached him about an internship opportunity at Fortune 1000 company Valmont Industries of Valley, Ne.
“He recommended me to his boss,” Padilla said. “It just goes to show you that hard work pays off."
Padilla and the classmate remain close friends and coworkers. He continues to work at Valmont creating training videos for their human resources department. Eventually he would like to work for a video production company.
“The people I met have really impacted not only my learning experience, but the type of people I want to work with and be around," he said. "Even now I work with people from UNO. I know I developed relationships that will last forever.”
Cydney Dorsey came to UNO with hopes of being a physical therapist. It wasn’t long before she had a new calling, however.
After working as a paraprofessional for Omaha Public Schools, she began to consider a career as a teacher. It also helped that her mother was an assistant principal, so she has been around education her whole life.
She will graduate from UNO with a degree in elementary education and an endorsement in ESL (English Second Language).
Dorsey credits UNO with preparing her for the “real world” through their practicum program. She recorded over 150 hours of teaching during her time as a student, so she is not worried at all about the transition to being a full time teacher. She’s already accepted a position teaching sixth grade math at Monroe Middle School.
“I feel really prepared for the job I am going to have. I had lots of exposure to teaching through UNO’s practicum program,” she said.
Another memory Dorsey will take with her is the relationships that she developed during her time in school.
“Through the College of Education we collaborated with our peers a lot. We helped each other and I will carry that with me.”
An Nguyen always knew he wanted to go to college, and when the time finally came he was going to make the most of it.
Nguyen served as a senator on student government and also studied abroad in Portugal during his time as an undergrad. After graduation he plans on continuing his education at UNO while obtaining his master’s in mathematics.
“I’m really happy that I went to UNO because it gave me these opportunities,” he said.
He already has plans to teach math at Omaha North High School. He hopes the master’s degree will allow him to take on calculus and AP courses.
Nguyen is a Goodrich scholar, which is housed in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service. He says the Goodrich Scholarship program provided him with a tight knit group of friends during his time at UNO.
“The Goodrich community made UNO feel like home, it was great for networking and making friends,” he said.
Nguyen, whose family is from Vietnam, lived life to the fullest during his time as a Maverick.
“I feel like it’s unreal, it’s all done. I’ve been working so hard for this moment and now I am here.”
After growing up in Grand Island, Nebraska, UNO felt like home to Jeffrey Allen.
“I love the environment at UNO,” he said. “It’s a really collaborative. There’s beautiful art in the PKI building, there’s great facilities.”
Allen is graduating from UNO with honors from the computer science program in the College of Information Science & Technology. He plans to continue his education at UNO and will begin taking classes to obtain his master’s in computer science next semester. He hopes to have a long career as a software engineer after that.
If there’s one piece of advice Allen could give to incoming students, it would be to take advantage of all of the professional opportunities that UNO provides. That’s what drew him to Omaha in the first place.
“Really be sure to take advantage of the career fairs, the resume sessions, the mock interviews, there’s weekly internship emails. There’s lots of resources that can help you find a job.”
Taking his own advice, Allen attended one of the College of IS&T’s career fairs and was able to get an internship at CSG International in Omaha.
Allen’s capstone project was another memorable experience. He and his group worked on a form generation system for Methodist Health Systems. The system digitized forms and made it easier for health care professionals to obtain patient information.
It was an invaluable experience for Allen as this was something that is going to be used by a major healthcare company.
Lastly, Allen thanked his fellow students and professor for making his UNO experience one he will never forget.
“I’ve met a lot of great people and professors," he said. "They’ve all been very influential."
It was 15 years ago when Bridget Hall moved from her hometown of Creighton, Neb. to Omaha so she could attend UNO and earn her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Now, after returning to UNO for a second degree, she is continuing her career with a Master of Business Administration degree.
Since originally graduating in 2005, Hall’s professional career has included working at a local broker/dealer and cleaning firms in financial and accounting-focused roles. Currently, she works for ACI Worldwide, which she joined in 2012, in the market facing product management department as a senior product manager.
“I decided to get my MBA to help progress my career,” she says. “I think [showing I was pursuing my MBA] helped show the hiring managers that I am serious about growing my career. It also shows I am willing to learn new skills in addition to those I already have to succeed at my position’s goals.”
One of Hall’s favorite memories of her time at UNO has been the faculty mentors and adjunct instructors she has been able to meet and learn from.
“I was lucky enough to have many great adjunct professors and professors that previously worked in corporate America teach the classes I took,” she says. “There was a strategy class in particular that I remember constantly applying what I learned in class at night to work the next day.”
Even after graduation, Hall plans to stay connected to UNO, currently serving as Sigma Kappa’s representative on the Omaha Area Panhellenic Association. She also enjoys volunteering at local the Habitat for Humanity.
After growing up halfway across the world, Astril Quadros is making Omaha her new home thanks to her new master’s degree in Management Information Systems from UNO.
Quadros came to Omaha three years ago not knowing what to expect, but now has a career she is incredibly passionate about and a support system of host families, faculty mentors and advisees.
“UNO has brought out the best in me,” she says. “I developed a strong passion for learning and met wonderful people who share the same interests as me.”
One of Quadros’ favorite experiences was getting involved in UNO’s Women in IT Initiative, which exposes middle school students to careers and opportunities in information technology – a field that is predominantly male.
“I was instantly drawn towards it and wanted to be a mentor,” she says. “I had a great time meeting women who make a difference in information technology in and around Omaha.”
Throughout her education, Quadros also had the opportunity to participate in several internships, the most recent of which, at Baldwin Hackett and Meeks, let to a full-time job.
“At every internship I played different roles,” she says. “I worked as a developer, a quality assurance analyst, a business analyst, and also a network support administrator. All of these roles enhanced my knowledge.”
Quadros hopes to return to UNO in the near future in order to earn a business administration degree and continue to support the Women in IT Initiative.
“I have never felt more confident in my life. UNO gave wings to my dreams and taught me to fly.”