Student Spotlight: Courtney Nelson

Courtney Nelson
Meet Courtney Nelson, a junior studying mechanized systems management from Monroe, Nebraska.
December 21, 2020

Hometown: Monroe, Nebraska 

Major: Mechanized Systems Management

Anticipated Date of Graduation: December 2021

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I have always dreamed of coming to the university. As a Nebraska girl, I envisioned playing volleyball and basketball while I was here which didn't happen (haha), but at least a third of the dream came true!

What is your favorite thing about University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

My favorite thing, and sometimes least favorite thing when it means getting to classes on time, is that we have multiple campuses. Each campus gives a different vibe and feel, and I appreciate that if you want hustle and bustle you can find yourself on City Campus. If you want a calmer, more community-based small town feel you can head to East Campus or if you want to find new ideas or delicious food head to Innovation Campus. I often prefer to be on East, and I love that every time you walk around you find at least one if not multiple people that you know to say hello to.

How has diversity and inclusive excellence played a role in your CASNR experience?

I feel that I don't have the best answer for this, but some things that I've noticed and truly enjoyed about college is surrounding myself with people who are curious. They love to ask questions to better understand you and the world. Engler is one program that has always made me feel more than welcome, and other experiences such as involvement with The Lutheran Center have shown me different perspectives. This really humbles a person and challenges them to think differently about the world. 

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?

My favorite class has been EAEP 375, innovations in agriculture, with Sam Wortman. I loved this class because for the first time ever it felt like the content we were learning and the projects we were doing mattered. We as students truly got out of it what we put into it, and we did a pitch about once every two weeks to solve different problems within agriculture. It challenged you to think differently, and I loved that aspect of the class, even if the innovation matrices for decision-making we had to do stressed me out.

What are your plans post-graduation?

Post-graduation, I have no set plans. What I have penciled out so far, because you ALWAYS map your life out in pencil, is to move home with my boyfriend who is from the same area and find a job working for a precision ag company helping farmers make more precise management decisions. I'm currently most interested in irrigation management. I'm not sure exactly what shape this is going to take, but the pandemic has solidified that my job needs to be outside of the same structure I live in and I also need to work a lot with team members and others. This isn't currently part of the plan, but I often think it would be fun to continue recruiting for CASNR for a few years after graduation, so we'll see!

What’s life like outside of school?

Outside of school, I find myself doing a lot. Currently I am home over this eight-year, or two months more specifically, break on the farm helping my folks here and there discing or whatever else needs to be done. I am also playing the piano consistently again since I am home and around it every day. I enjoy reading, journaling, and I just started a 1500 piece puzzle my grandma got me for Christmas last year, which I tell her is the gift that keeps on giving. I love playing cards and am always searching for someone to play cribbage or pitch. I'm a Husker volleyball fan through and am excitedly awaiting the start of the season this January. I try to really remember that as children we always had time to play and as I'm adulting I find myself often getting swept into the hard conversations and not taking the time to smile and celebrate joy. I am really focusing on taking this time to not only get some projects done, but also have fun and lean into play a little bit more. Family is a bit part of my life, so I try to spend as much time with them as I can.

Courtney has been humbled, honored and blessed to have received a generous number of scholarships throughout the years. She has received scholarships from the Regents Scholarship, FAFSA, many private scholarships, a National FFA Scholarship, BSE scholarships, and the T-L Irrigation Scholarship.