Staff Spotlight: Cheyenne Gerlach

Meet Cheyenne Gerlach, the assistant director at the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
October 23, 2023

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

I am the assistant director at the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. I started in July of this year, so while it still feels "new," I have learned so much, so quickly, it feels like I've been in the position for a while! I look forward to seeing how much I'm able to learn throughout the course of even just a year, because every day is different.   

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?   

I received my bachelor's from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May of 2020 and I really believe my time at UNL as a student was some of the most pivotal in forming who I am and in finding the places that feel the most like home. I spent two and a half years studying and working at Wageningen University in the Netherlands after graduating from UNL, and I love the community that I found there, but ultimately, I wanted to be closer to family. The work that I get to be a part of at the Yeutter Institute compliments my background in development and rural innovation in really interesting ways. I think international trade and economy is the other side of the same coin to development and rural sociology.   

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

I have always really appreciated school and am very convinced the university setting is the most enjoyable environment to work in. I'm so grateful to get to learn from both the students and the faculty I work with every day. Since I've moved back to Nebraska, I have also been overwhelmed by how gorgeous East Campus is! I can't imagine a more beautiful place to come to work every day and would happily take college classes at UNL for the rest of my life.  

What do you consider your greatest achievement?   

I consider myselfincrediblylucky to have received a Fulbright Study Grant to get my master's at Wageningen, however, I think the achievement I'm most proud of is making the leap and moving to the Netherlands amidst the Covid pandemic. I was given the choiceofwaiting to move and doing my first year online, but ultimately decided to move, even if it meant I would be isolating and social distancing for the first few months I was there. The risk worked out in my favor, and I was able to join an entire community of international students that made the same decision. I treasure those relationships more than anything and look forward to visiting my friends that are now scattered across the world for many years to come. Living abroad inspired so much confidence and competence that I hope to carry with me for a long time.  

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

I have always been an avid reader, but I haven't read a non-fiction book cover to cover in almost three years.Duringmy master's programI foundthat reading fiction helped me approach my course readings more enthusiastically and creatively. I read 2 or 3 sci-fi, fantasy, or historical fiction books a week and am always able to find the most interesting parallels between the world portrayed in fiction books and the real world I study in an academic setting. My most respected life rule is to never be too busy to read a good story at the end of the day.   

What is your life like outside of work?  

I love to go home to my family's farm on weekends where we raise Angus cattle, and my little brother is starting a cattle panel welding business. I love gardening, bottle feeding bucket calves and running with our farm dog.  

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