Staff Spotlight: Stephanie Connelly

Stephanie Connelly
Meet Stephanie Connelly, Nebraska Extension assistant for Scotts Bluff County.
April 25, 2022

About Stephanie

I grew up on a ranch outside of Bridgeport, Nebraska. I grew up riding horses and fell in love with the sport of rodeo at a young age. I began showing in 4-H when I was old enough and was an active participant in the program and showed horses competitively. I decided to join FFA my sophomore year of high school and found my second love - livestock judging. I judged for Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, and then went on to judge for the University of Wyoming, where I was a member of the best livestock judging team to ever go through the program. My coaches and teammates were of the highest caliber and my time collegiately livestock judging changed my life forever. I know without a doubt I would not be where I am today without those experiences.

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

I am the Scotts Bluff County Extension Assistant.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

What drew me to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is simple. It was the amazing people who are a part of the Husker tradition, and the outstanding programs and opportunities it offers not only those who are employed by the university, but to everyone who is involved in any number of their spectacular programs, especially youth enrolled in Nebraska 4-H.

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

I earned my bachelor's degree in agriculture education, so this position just fit into what I really wanted to do. I am truly passionate about teaching and interacting with young people, and I want to give them the opportunities they need to excel at whatever they chose to do. I also love working with educational professionals, because in my opinion, they are the foundation of this society. Regardless of someone’s profession, every single person has been in direct contact with an educator or instructor, and I feel like every person has had one teacher, one instructor, or one mentor that has truly changed their lives for the better, and I hope that I can grow into that role and be that person for youth here in Scotts Bluff County and surrounding areas.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement so far has been graduating college. I know that sounds like something so simple to most, but me and my twin sister are the first people to graduate college in my family. Something else I am very proud of is the success I had judging for the University of Wyoming. Being able to win at the highest level, considering I didn’t start judging until my senior year of high school, was something I worked and prayed every day for.

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

Something most people don’t know about me is that I really love to garden and plant things. I’m a huge “nerd” when it comes to plant ID and love to quiz people randomly about a plant we are walking by. I also absolutely love to read and have a small library of books accumulated.

What is your life like outside of work?

When I’m not at work, you will most likely find me in an arena working horses, or running barrels, or coaching my 4-H livestock judging team. I also love to refurbish antique furniture so that gives me a bit of a brain break. I love to spend my time with family and friends as they mean the world to me, and I owe my success heavily to their support and love.