Engineering students excel at athletics and academics

Engineering students excel at athletics and academics

Calendar Icon Oct 01, 2009      Person Bust Icon By Carole Wilbeck | Engineering     RSS Feed RSS


Freshman Brian Donohoe, currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, was a top prep catcher in the state playing for Papillion-LaVista South High School. He hit .415 with four homers, 41 RBIs and 36 runs scored and led his team in hits (49), RBIs (41), runs scored (36) and triples (4). He was the valedictorian of his high school class and also played two years of football.

Freshman Bryan Peters, now studying to earn a bachelor's degree in Biological Systems Engineering, was considered one of Colorado's premier high school seniors at Rocky Mountain High School. Named second-team all-state as a pitcher, he had a record of 5 wins and no losses with a 1.30 ERA, and struck out 48 in 37.2 innings, while also hitting .436 with six homers, 27 RBIs and 41 runs scored. In high school, he also played quarterback in football and was a starter on the basketball team. He was ranked in the top five percent of his class and was a member of the national honor society.


Ethan Luebbe -- see description under Track & Field


Senior Wes Cammack, an agricultural engineering major, is a receiver with the Husker special teams units. He has played in 26 games over the past three seasons and was one of Nebraska's leading special teams tacklers in 2008. Cammack is a UNL Regents Scholar and carries a 3.888 cumulative grade-point average. He has been a two-time first-team academic All-Big 12 selection.

Freshman Jesse Coffey is one of four offensive linemen in Nebraska's 2009 recruiting class, all of whom stand at least 6-5 and weigh at least 260 pounds. Coffey is also one of the year's eight recruits to join the Nebraska program from Texas. He was a standout in the classroom who carried a 5.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale, and tied for first in his class.

Junior civil engineering major Curenski Gilleylen is moving into a leading role in the Nebraska receiving corps this year. The 6-0, 215-pound Gilleylen is from Cedar Park, Texas.

Junior Alex Henery, a construction management major, is a place kicker and punter. As a sophomore, he kicked six field goals of 40 yards or more, including a school-record 57-yarder for a win over Colorado. As the 2009 season began, this Omaha native had a 101-of-102 success rate on extra points, the most accurate career mark for a Nebraska kicker.

Center Jacob Hickman, a senior construction management major, has started in 23 games for the Huskers--including all 13 contests at center in 2008. Hickman is a preseason member of the Rimington Award watch list.

Sophomore Marcel Jones is a solid tackle for the Huskers. Jones, a native of Phoenix, Ariz., is 6' 7" and 310 pounds. He was a first-team academic All-Big 12 selection in 2008 and carries a 3.394 grade-point average in construction management.

Junior Micah Kreikemeier, at 6' 3" and 220 pounds, looks to play at the Buck linebacker position this season. A second-generation Husker, Kreikemeier carried a 3.939 cumulative grade-point average in civil engineering after his first year.

Junior Luke Lingenfelter made the switch from defense to offense and pursues playing time at tackle. The 6-4, 275-pound Lingenfelter was a walk-on who has had a 3.446 cumulative grade point average in biological systems engineering.

Senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh emerged as one of the Big 12's most dominant defensive forces during his junior season and anchors the Nebraska defense in 2009. The 6' 4", 300-pound Suh led all Big 12 defensive linemen in tackles per game, and produced several critical game-changing plays in 2008. He earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2008. He is a construction management major from Portland, Ore.


Junior Rachel Hanigan, Dunlap, Iowa, has been named to the first-team academic All-Big 12. As a third-year sophomore in 2008-09, Hanigan competed in 27 rounds for the Huskers and managed an 80.63 stroke average. A 2009 NGCA Scholastic All-American, Hanigan tied for 38th in a 60-player field at the Big 12 Championships as a sophomore.


Christopher Damian-Reddish was on the Junior Olympic Region 4 team member and a Junior Olympic National Championship qualifier. Damian was a 2008 graduate of Lincoln Southwest High School and is now a construction management major at UNL.

Ronald "Bear" Danley is a junior electrical engineering major.

Junior Stefan Wallof is a senior civil engineering major.


Jessica Mills, of Houston, Texas, has been a Big 12 Player of the Week and was named to the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll (Spring: 2008, 2009; Fall: 2007, 2008). She plays goalkeeper and, as a starter in the first three games of 2008, collected 10 saves while helping the Huskers to 3-0 victories. Mills graduated No. 1 in her class of more than 800 with a perfect grade-point average of 4.50, despite graduating a full year ahead of schedule. She is currently a junior majoring in biological systems engineering.


Sophomore Bobbi Balogh is a distance freestyle swimmer who also contributes in the individual medley events. She finished her 2008-09 season with four career-best times at the Big 12 Championships in Columbia, Mo. Balogh graduated from Lincoln Southeast H.S. with a perfect 4.0 GPA, was in the top three percent of her class, and was a member of the National Honor Society. She currently majors in biological systems engineering.

Bailey Bolinske is a sophomore civil engineering major. She finished the 2008-09 season with three career-best times at the Big 12 Championships. Her primary event is the breaststroke, and she also particpated in the individual medley. In high school, Bolinske was the 2006 North Dakota Class A 100 breaststroke state champion. She was also part of Williston HS' 2005 state championship freestyle relay team.

Blaine Hoppenrath is a senior majoring in industrial & management systems engineering and is one of Nebraska's most versatile swimmers. She swims in the distance freestyle, 200-yard butterfly and 400-yard IM races. She set four career-best times at the conference meet in Columbia, Mo., including a standout performance in the 200 Fly (2:00.12, 5th place all-time at NU). Hoppenrath's hometown is Overland Park, Kan.


David Adams is a junior majoring in electrical engineering. Adams made the most of his first collegiate cross country season by leading the Huskers in six of his seven meets, earning him the team's Most Valuable Runner honor. He won his first career meet with a 6K time of 19:06 and led the men to the team title. Adams completed the 2009 season with a trip to the NCAA Championships. Midway through the outdoor season at the Payton Jordan Invitational, Adams set a personal best in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:43.79, the sixth-best performance in Husker history. He was the 2005 and 2006 Nebraska Class B state cross country champion, and his 2005 winning time of 15:55.18 earned him the All-Class gold medal. At the 2005 state meet, he was the Class B 3,200-meter champion.

High jumper Jordan Bicknell leapt a personal best of 6' 10" in 2008. He was a three-time champion in the Southeast Kansas Conference. He plans to major in engineering.

Aaron Engel, a junior who majors in electrical engineering, has competed in the 4x100 (second), 4x200 (fourth), 4x400 (fifth) and 200 (ninth) meter events.

Travis Englund is a freshman who majors in biological systems engineering. At Grand Island Northwest High School, he made several state meet appearances, competing in the long jump, high jump, triple jump and 4x400 meter relay.

Pole vaulter Luke Franssen ended the 2009 indoor season with a jump of 16' 2" and raised his personal best at 16' 6 ". He is a junior who majors in mechanical engineering.

Suzanne Higgins is a junior from Grand Island who majors in biological systems engineering. At UNL, she specializes in the hurdles, having competed in state meets with her high school in the 400 meter and 4x400-meter relay team, and she was a member of the fourth-place 4x400-meter relay races.

Ethan Luebbe, a junior from Waco, Neb., has earned academic and athletic distinctions including: Second-Team Academic All-Big 12 (2007); Big 12 Commissioner's Fall Honor Roll (2006, 2007, 2008); and Big 12 Commissioner's Spring Honor Roll (2007, 2008, 2009). Luebbe majors in mechanical engineering.

Taylor Shapland earned state meet medals in shot put and javelin when representing Millard West High School. He achieved a personal best of 59' 6 ¾" at the 2009 Millard South Invitational. He is a freshman majoring in construction management.