Student Honors Convocation is an annual celebration where UNO students are recognized for their distinguished academic achievements and as a means to further encourage sound scholarship.
This year, the work of dozens of students from across the UNO campus were celebrated, virtually, as part of the annual Student Honors Convocation, which is one of the University’s most important academic traditions.
Missed the ceremony? No problem!
You can still help honor some of UNO’s best and brightest students who were recognized at this year’s Student Honors Convocation by watching a recording of the proceedings.
The ceremony was conducted virtually, featuring remarks from UNO Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, M.D.; Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sacha Kopp, Ph.D.; Faculty Senate President Matt Hale, Ph.D.; and outgoing Student Body President/Student Regent Aya Yousuf.
"Our students' dedication to their studies, community service, student organziations or athletic endeavors is remarkable to watch," Gold said at the ceremony. "They are accomplishing truly incredible things."
- View the 2020 Student Honors Convocation Program on ISSUU
- Download the 2020 Student Honors Convocation Program (PDF)
Students from each UNO department, school, and college were recognized at this annual award ceremony. One paticular group of students were specially regcognized with campus-wide awards from Chancellor Gold for their accomplishments in the last academic year and - for many - over their entire academic careers.
Here are just some of the students recognized by UNO this year:
- Ming Xie - Helen Hansen Outstanding Graduate Student Award
- Chelle McIntyre-Brewer - Helen Hansen Outstanding Graduate Student Award
- Sarah McCarty - Chancellor's Award for Academic Excellence
- Cade Wolcott - Chancellor's Award for Student Leadership
- Jabin Moore - Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Service Learning
- Tanner Chilson - Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Service Learning
- Sara Parcher - Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Research or Creative Activity
- Emma Dargy - Outstanding Student Athlete Award
- Nathan Reekie - Outstanding Student Athlete Award
Helen Hansen Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Ming Xie is a student in the doctoral program of the School of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. She will graduate in August 2020.
Her research interests focus on nonprofit and public management, organizational communication, civil society, intercultural communication, information technology, and emergency management.
She credits faculty mentors for helping UNO feel like home and inspiring her to find her passion.
"I would like to say 'thank you' to Dr. Chin-Chung Chao," Xie says. "She is a role model for me as such a responsible, professional, and committed professor.
"I especially want to thank my supervisor Dr. Angela Eikenberry. I admire her intelligence and enthusiasm in academic research, which has inspired me a lot. More importantly, she is always responsive and supportive of everything helpful for my career development."
In addition to her schoolwork, Xie has been an active member in academic organizations such as Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, National Communication Association, and International Society for Third-Sector Research.
"The award is a big honor and an important recognition of my academic achievements at UNO," Xie says. "It also shows UNO as a supportive community to motivate the students to keep learning and growing."
Chelle McIntyre-Brewer - Graduate College, Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking
Chelle McIntyre-Brewer is a Masters student in the Critical and Creative Thinking program with dual concentrations in Cultural and Global Analysis and International Migration, Development, and Citizenship.
This Presidential Citizens Medal Recipient, 2008 DoD Military Spouse of the Year, American Red Cross Military Hero, and international health and human services advocate is a graduate student in the Critical and Creative Thinking program.
"I put my heart and soul into my work because what I'm studying is a labor of love so that I can be a better servant to our community," McIntyre-Brewer says. "This award is dedicated to our public health, medical, and essential workers who are keeping this country going right now."
McIntyre-Brewer's work is featured in AUC Geographica, White House Archives, the Irish Heritage Trust, ABC, Marvel, and Disney+. She will attend Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean in Scotland this fall to continue her graduate work.
"There are four people I'd like to recognize for encouraging and supporting me on this journey: Dr. Joseph Price, my academic advisor who never stops believing in his program and its mission; Dr. Michele Desmarais, my mentor and friend who reminds me what a strong Indigenous woman looks like; Dr. Petr Pavlinek, the man who pushed me to get published and have my voice heard; and Dr. Nikitah Imani, someone who has been through so much and still keeps giving. There are so many others, including all of my professors, who have made my journey at UNO filled with amazing memories. I cannot thank you all enough."
Sarah McCarty, College of Information Science & Technology
Sarah McCarty, an Omaha native, is completing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She will graduate in May 2020.
She is also the recipient of this year's College of Information Science & Technology Dean's Award. The success is something she says has come thanks to support from faculty mentors.
"I have been fortunate enough to be mentored by several professors," she says. "I appreciate Dr. Pei-Chi Huang for her excitement for and dedication to helping students, Dr. Gregory Gelfond for his philosophical outlook on computer science, and Dr. Griff Elder for always having a vision for what to do next."
McCarty is a Walter Scott Jr. Scholarship recipient and a Nebraska NASA Space Grant research fellow. Additionally, she is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery - Women. Her career interests include becoming a professor in computer science and/or mathematics. She is especially interested in fields relating the two, such as number theory.
"I am grateful for the university and faculty I have worked with to recognize the work I have done over the past four years," McCarty says. "I hope to be able to live up to those aspirations throughout my career after graduation."
Cade Wolcott, College of Information Science & Technology
Cade Wolcott is a student in the Computer Science program with a minor in IT innovation. He will graduate in May 2020.
"I have loved working alongside peers to advocate for and create positive change at UNO," Wolcott says. "I have been inspired by so many students during my time here. I believe students can change the world and there are so many students here who are already transforming their community for the better. Working with these talented and passionate students has been a highlight of my life."
In addition to his academic work, Cade is involved in UNO Student Government, the University Innovation Fellowship program, and the Walter Scott Jr. Scholarship program.
The Louisville, Nebraska, native served UNO Student Government sitting on the Academic Excellence Committee and as a student court justice. He also served as a member of the Scott Scholar Leadership Council to improve the student scholarship experience.
"My favorite aspect of UNO is the community of passionate and caring people here," Wolcott says. "At UNO, there are outstanding leaders everywhere. I am also so grateful for the community of students who have continuously empowered, supported, and advocated for each other. These people, and many more, have impacted my life immensely."
Jabin Moore - College of Business Administration
Jabin Moore is one of two recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Service Learning. The junior, who is studying business with a concentration in entrepreneurship, was recently elected to serve as UNO's Student Body President and Student Regent for 2020-2021. He previously served as Student Body Vice President and chair of the Freshman Leadership Council 2019-2020 cohort.
He credits his time on the Freshmen Leadership Council with getting him involved in service learning through the UNO Service Learning Academy.
"With this partnership, we were able to connect the knowledge of being an engaged student, to becoming engaged in the community," he says. "I am grateful for all of the support that I received from the amazing staff at the Service Learning Academy. This program partnership helped me to grow immensely, and I am so thankful that I got to be a part of it."
Beyond his involvement on campus, Jabin, a first-generation student from Omaha, is an intern at Seventy Five North Revitalization Corp. where he assists in the everyday operations of actively finding ways to provide access to enriching opportunities within North Omaha, and uplift the Highlander community.
"Being recognized for this award is a tremendous honor because it helps me to realize the true impact of being a servant leader, and the value that comes with putting time and effort into something that is meaningful," Moore says. "This simply reminds me that being committed to civic engagement, and being active in your community creates lasting impressions that do not go unnoticed."
Tanner Chilson - College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media
Tanner Chilson is a master of music candidate in double bass performance, previously earning a bachelor of music education from Northern State University. He will graduate in 2020.
"It was very surprising to be recognized, because I had no idea that this is something the school awards," Chilson says.
Along with his studies, Chilson has participated in two service learning projects in the past three semesters: Sound Health; Bringing Music to Medicine and Partners in Performance. The projects brought together the Omaha Public Schools, the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Healing Arts Program, and Omaha Area Youth Orchestras along with the UNO School of Music. Through these efforts, he has served as a performer, student mentor, performance manager, and survey distributor.
He is also the current president of the UNO American String Teachers Association student chapter.
Chilson credits mentorship from Mary Perkinson, D.M.A., coordinator of string studies, for guiding his service learning experiences as the coordinator of the the UNO Sound Health and Partners in Performance project.
Sara Parcher - College of Arts and Sciences
Sara Parcher, who is also the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award winner, graduated in December 2019 with a bachelor of science in geology. In addition to schoolwork, Sara engaged in numerous research opportunities in Alaska, Norway, and Australia, and also worked as a research assistant in the Department of Geology soil lab during her time at UNO.
"My professors in the geology department have truly made all the difference in my education," she says. "They have become a support system and a network of people I can trust and look to for guidance."
Parcher was also awarded FUSE grants through The Office of Research and Creative Activity to pursue research in soil microbes and rare metamorphic features. She also presented her research at several conferences and is co-author on a paper published in the academic journal Frontiers in Earth Science.
Parcher is currently employed as a Design Geologist at Griffin Dewatering.
"Being recognized is a great honor," she says. "I strive to continue learning and growing in this field and appreciate the recognition for the work I had the privilege of engaging in during my undergraduate studies."
Emma Dargy - College of Information Science & Technology
Emma Dargy is a student in the bachelor of science in computer science program with an additional major in Mathematics and one of two recipients of the Outstanding Student Athlete Award. She will graduate in May 2020.
"It means a lot to me to be recognized as an outstanding student-athlete because I know how many other hard working student athletes there are at UNO," Dargy says. "It’s nice to see all of the hard work that I have put in being recognized."
In addition to her schoolwork, she is a member of the UNO softball team. During her time on the time, the Papillion-La Vista native was recognized with inclusion on the Summit League Academic Honor Roll in 2017, 2018, and 2019; being named to the Summit League All-Tournament Team in 2018; and was named an Easton-NFCA All-America Scholar Athlete for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Dargy also serves as a mentor for Girls Inc. of Omaha and works part time as both a tutor and a member of the Student Athletic Operations Team.
"There are so many people who I have been lucky enough to have support from while being an athlete here," she says. "I’ve really had the chance to work with the best people."
Nathan Reekie - College of Business Administration
Nathan Reekie is a student in the bachelor of business administration program with a triple concentration in business finance; banking and financial markets; and investment science-portfolio management.
"It’s a great feeling to know that my hard work has culminated into something tangible, and worthy of recognition," Reekie says. "Not only is this the end of my time at UNO, but it’s also an exciting bridge to new beginnings."
The Sugar Land, Texas, native is also a member of the Omaha Men's Tennis team and competed with the team each of his four years at UNO. He was recognized as a member of the All-Summit League Team in 2017 and has been named to the Summit League Academic Honor Roll in 2017, 2018 and 2019, as well as the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence in 2018 and 2019.
"Glory first to God, always," he says. "In addition, many of those whom I used to look to for guidance and friendship are no longer at UNO. To those who have, Savanna, Abdoul, Joni, Alex, Marko, you all have been a great reminder that you can’t get through life alone."
It should be no surprise that Mavericks are doing incredible work and there is no reason not to continue the celebration! Join us in honoring some of UNO’s best and brightest students by sharing your support and spread the word on social media:
Ask your friends, family, and followers to watch the ceremony and join the celebration by sharing this article, https://www.unomaha.edu/news/events/honors-convocation.php, and use the hashtag #MavSpirit!
Share the link to the video of the ceremony and tag us @unomaha.
Know somebody who won an award? Want to help celebrate the academic achievements of fellow Mavericks? Post a shout-out to the winners on your social media channels with the hashtag #MavSpirit!
We’re excited to have your celebrate the distinguished achievements of our students and join the entire Maverick community in supporting their academic journeys!
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.