Nebraska’s unprecedented natural disaster brought out the best of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors;” and a UNO student stepped up time and again to lend a hand.
Alyssa Spartz, a UNO Emergency Management and Disaster Science and Psychology honor’s student was one of the many deserving honorees selected by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts for recognition at this year’s ServeNebraska Step Forward Awards.
Spartz received one of the Disaster Volunteer Awards, which were given to “Individuals and groups that have demonstrated exceptional commitment to volunteerism, by helping with a special project or ongoing activities, in preparation for or during times of disaster”.
In her nomination for Spartz, UNO Academic Advisor Lyndsey Rice, wrote, “Alyssa balances academic demands with a strong commitment to volunteerism; one that I have not seen by many college students.” Rice also praised Spartz’s “commitment to volunteerism, passion for emergency management, and willingness to answer the community’s call for aid.”
UNO’s Emergency Management major program allowed Spartz to put her course of study into action by volunteering with the Red Cross in Fremont. She helped start an emergency housing facility where she set up cots and organized donations. After the waters receded, she assisted in cleaning homes of flood survivors and worked with the University of Nebraska Extension Office’s project to rehabilitate the Washington County Fairgrounds which involved power washing, sanding and painting in preparation for the upcoming fair activities.
Rice said that Spartz’s commitment to community exemplifies the true spirit of Nebraska volunteerism.
The 2019 ServeNebraska Awards were held Friday, October 25 in Ashland, NE. Spartz was presented the award by Lt. Gov. Mike Foley. Supporting her at the Luncheon were her parents, Dale and Donna Spartz, Academic Advisor Lyndsey Rice and three of her colleagues from the Nebraska Extension Office, Tracy Behnken, Emily Bormann, and Autumn Lemmer.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.