Staff Spotlight: Tessa Burford

Meet Tessa Burford, a research technician at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln West Central Research, Extension and Education Center.
July 26, 2023

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

Hello! I am a research technician located at UNL’s West Central Research, Extension & Education Center (WCREEC) in North Platte, Nebraska. I work predominantly with WCREEC’s ag economist and specialist in farm management, Matt Stockton, as well as serving as part of the Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) program team in a supporting role. Mostly, I assist Stockton and TAPS, and oversee specific communications, social media presence, writing, reporting, editing, and other contributions, as fit. By profession, I am a writer, so I feel fortunate to apply my skillset to the support of agricultural education programming through my current position. 

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

I grew up in western Nebraska and I am happy to be a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Equal opportunity for educational access, as related to personal career and major workforce goals and accessibility of education in remote areas and/or underserved populations, particularly, are all important to me. After I graduated from UNK, I spent the early years of my career working directly with these groups within the 2-year college system; the work that was being done in these interest areas by UNL, particularly its far-reaching Extension centers throughout the state, ultimately drew me to UNL. 

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

I really enjoy working with non-traditional students. All students comprise the core of what fuels the university forward, but working with the non-traditional student demographics is my favorite aspect. In my current position, I get to see a lot of adults continuing education in practice, and I like seeing the applicability of skills, knowledge, and technology provided and uplifted by the university across many different vocations and locations. As I’m at WCREEC, I really am able to recognize firsthand each day that the main service we provide is quality education, but a close second is acting as a major resource in many ways for our communities. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Completing my master’s in English in 2019 at UNK was a top achievement for me. Being able to put my degrees into practice, however, and serving the people of western Nebraska in their educational and career-related endeavors these past five years, I consider my greatest achievement to date. 

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

Most people probably wouldn’t know that I’m bilingual, I minored in Spanish in undergrad. Also, I play guitar and golf, just two random skills that I generally keep hidden until needed to seem more interesting. 

What is your life like outside of work?  

Life is great and very mellow. My family is in the North Platte area as well, so I can spend a lot of time with my family. I have two dogs and they keep me on my toes and seem to enjoy doing so. I like to be outside, so now that it’s summertime, I’m looking forward to frequently going to the pool and to the lake with my dogs, too. Otherwise, I enjoy going to the movies (especially scary ones), traveling, attending concerts, longboarding with my sister, and losing to her at Mario Kart. 

Share to: