I am originally from Brandon, South Dakota. Growing up, I had a love for sports and the outdoors. I came to UNL to study architecture, but soon realized that wasn’t my calling. I figured out that I could combine my interests of golf, drawing and the outdoors by studying landscape design. My plan was to be a golf course architect. After taking a turf class and working on a golf course for three years, I shifted my professional goals and pursued a master’s degree in turfgrass management with an emphasis on golf green management. Part of my master’s research required me to visit more than 100 golf courses in Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa. For someone who loves golf, playing the game and just being on the course, this was an awesome research project! I worked for a golf course construction company and a turf chemical company after graduate school before coming back to UNL to start my career in Extension. After about eight years in extension, I moved into a student focused position that has included student recruitment, advising and teaching. I love learning, so while working at UNL I started taking classes and completed a second master’s degree in community and regional planning. This fall, my husband Chad and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We have two kids, Zac and Taylor.
What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I am an associate professor of practice and a professional advisor for students in the agronomy, horticulture and turfgrass and landscape management majors. In addition to advising, I teach plant science, a career and internship preparation course and a series of internship courses. I have also been a club advisor for many years.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
I missed academia. After being away for a couple of years, I realized I missed being in an environment of learning and discovery. I also missed the daily variety that comes with academia. No two days are ever the same.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
I love the energy that students bring to campus. I enjoy getting to know them and seeing them gain confidence as they find their passion.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Without a doubt, it is raising my kids. They are both kind people and hard workers.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I love doing puzzles. The largest puzzle I have completed had 3,500 pieces. That one took a long time to finish!
What is your life like outside of work?
For many years it was getting the kids to their activities and watching them play their sports. Now with our youngest driving, I’m still attending her activities, but there is much less time spent on the road driving her places. In my free time I enjoy golfing, biking and going for walks. This past year, I have found some neat places around Lincoln to take walks and explore the landscape at the same time. I have also played a lot more golf. Some days last summer I’d play 18-holes on one golf course and drive to another course to play 9-holes - and that’s my plan for this summer, too!