Staff Spotlight: Amber Hadenfeldt

Amber Hadenfeldt
Meet Amber Hadenfeldt, administrative associate for the Department of Plant Pathology.
May 17, 2021

About Amber

My professional journey with UNL started as a student editor. In graduate school, I became a communications associate and was promoted to research coordinator after graduation. During this time, I gained valuable experience editing technical reports and dissertations, managing social media, writing newsletters, contributing to the website and assisting with educational outreach programs for underrepresented students. In December of 2019, I joined the Department of Plant Pathology.

I grew up on a beautiful acreage outside of Lincoln. I have two calico cats (Bug and Kyd), a betta fish (Boba) and over 100 houseplants. I finally wore my significant other down on getting a dog and can’t wait to welcome them to the family. My favorite musicians include Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (formerly Jack’s Mannequin, formerly Something Corporate), Hozier, Florence + the Machine and The Lumineers. I love movies, especially “Slice of Life.” The slower, quieter and more lacking of a plot, the better.   

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I am the administrative associate for the Department of Plant Pathology. Despite much of my experience with the department taking place remotely during COVID, it has been an amazing opportunity. I enjoy our close-knit community and how each day is different from the one before. Last year, our department celebrated our 100-year anniversary and implemented our own graduate program. I’m happy to be part of this exciting time of progress and change.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I completed both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English at UNL. The university had a significant impact on my academic and personal development as a student. It was important to me to continue being part of this community and to give back. I was lucky enough to find a position that matched perfectly with my skills and my interest in plants.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy the opportunity to be continually learning from the best in their respective fields. Every time a professor stops by my desk to chat about an article they read, or to pull me into a lab to look under a microscope, I’m grateful to be included in those moments. Everyone’s passion for what they do is contagious and creates a positive work environment. It’s rewarding to support students and faculty in their pursuits of knowledge and progress and know their efforts are improving the greater community.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

It is more about the accumulation of smaller moments for me. Every time a student tells me I had a positive impact in some way I feel a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. Outside of work, my greatest achievement has been finishing the epic and critically described as unreadable “Ulysses” by James Joyce. What an experience!

What is something that most people don't know about you?

Most people don’t know that I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I never intend to! I’m also a huge rock collector and always have been. I easily have over 200 specimens around the house. I’m going to start taking silversmith classes to learn how to make jewelry out of some of the stones.

What is your life like outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my significant other, family and friends. We love to get out and go on new adventures! If the weather is nice, we sit on the patio with the cats, visit the buffalo at Pioneers Park or go for a picnic. Many of my favorite activities have been on hold during the pandemic, but I’m looking forward to swimming, yoga classes and haunting coffee shops again soon.