Alumni Spotlight: Susie Owens

Susie Owens
Meet CASNR aluma Susie Owens, director of strategic partnerships at MENTOR Nebraska.
January 5, 2023

Graduation Date: December 2019 

Major: Leadership Education (ALEC), master’s degree

What is your current position?

I am the director of strategic partnerships at MENTOR Nebraska.

How did your time in CASNR shape your career path? 

My degree in leadership education has definitely accelerated my career path and opened new opportunities. Because of my degree, I’ve been able to move from directly working with youth to teaching, training and coaching youth serving professionals. The skills I learned in adult education, leadership, influence and organizational change have been invaluable. 

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is knowing that the work we do at MENTOR Nebraska supports mentoring programs as they implement best practices for young people. All young people deserve to have a caring adult in their lives. We help organizations carry out their mission to provide those key mentors in a young person’s life.

What activities were you involved in during your time at UNL?

I was involved in OASIS programming at the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, was a New Student Enrollment Orientation Leader, a Nebraska College Prep Academy mentor and an employee at the Office of Admissions. As an alumni, I’m a CASNR First-Generation mentor.

What is your best memory of your time in CASNR?

My best memory of my time in CASNR was working directly with the amazing faculty in the ALEC program. All of my professors, but especially my advisor L.J. McElravy, had a profound impact on my time in the department. They cheered me on, believed in me and supported me the entire way through. 

How did CASNR prepare you for your life outside of work?

CASNR prepared me for a lifetime of learning. Whether through formal or informal means, I have a curiosity for learning that my time in CASNR helped me explore and deepen.

What do you think IANR and CASNR contribute to Nebraska, the United States and the world?

What really sticks with me is the CASNR Cares model. I really felt impacted by the emphasis on student support. I think that carries in the hearts of students as they enter the workplace and/or academia. 

What is your one piece of advice for current CASNR students?

My advice to CASNR students is to make a personal connection with your professors and/or graduate teaching assistants. Those personal relationships can be a protective factor when things get tough.

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