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UNL's engineering college increases staff, spaces in Omaha and Lincoln

New staff augment Nebraska Engineering student support

Group photo: Advising Team--clockwise from top left are Kevin Sueper, Adam Smith, Brian Keiser, Lori Straatmann, Kayla Person, Lark Bear; at right, Mike Loehring, senior drector - Engineering Student Services.

With increasing numbers of students entering the UNL College of Engineering, the college is enhancing its student services, including added support staff and spaces.

David Jones, Nebraska Engineering’s associate dean for undergraduate programs-Lincoln, announced new hires as part of implementing plans to better serve the college’s students in Lincoln and Omaha.

Mike Loehring joined the college as senior director of Student Services; he was executive director of Enrollment Management with Angelo State University in Texas. Loehring will lead efforts to coordinate and enhance student services in Lincoln and Omaha, and will report to Jones and John Thorp, associate dean for Omaha programs.

The college also added academic advisors Brian Keiser, Kayla Person and Kevin Sueper. They will move into new offices in the recently renovated UNL Engineering Library in early fall. Jones said the 1,700 square foot area houses the newly expanded Engineering Student Services Center, which will provide student support services such as academic advising, referral services and retention initiatives, including tutoring and peer mentoring activities, and will help collaborations with the Engineering Library as an important resource for students.The Student Support Services team also includes Dave Williams, director of retention; Lark Bear, career development & academic advising coordinator; Lori Straatmann, assistant director - advisin; Adam Smith, graduate assistant, and Alma Ramirez-Rodgers, assistant director of college relations and student programs - Omaha.

Professor and Vranek Distinguished Scholar Lily Wang was appointed associate dean of Graduate Programs and Faculty Development. Wang teaches in the college’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction and is a leader with the University of Nebraska Acoustics Group. Wang will divide her work week between the college’s Omaha and Lincoln locations.

Karen Stelling, P.E., a 1987 graduate of UNL’s mechanical engineering program, is a professor of practice. Stelling, who also has an MBA degree, most recently served as vice president of Aviation and Facilities, FES, with Burns & McDonnell Engineering in Kansas City. An advocate for STEM education, she will lead in developing new leadership curriculum for the college.

The college’s enrollment management staff expands with Nicole Franta, assistant director of recruitment, based in Omaha at The Peter Kiewit Institute.

The college also welcomes Jacki Allensworth as assistant dean of Business and Fiscal Affairs. Allensworth was formerly the financial officer with the Nebraska Supreme Court and worked with the Nebraska Department of Roads.

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