Student Spotlight: Katie Nolles

Katie Nolles
Katie Nolles

Hometown: Bassett, Neb. 

Major: Agricultural Education with minors in leadership/entrepreneurship and Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars

Anticipated Date of Graduation: December 2019

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

The University was the only school that I applied to during my senior year, although when I started looking at colleges I was very set on going out of state. As I changed my mind on what major I wanted to pursue, I realized the benefits of integrating myself in a professional network of my future colleagues as a college freshman. I had been on East Campus several times throughout high school for FFA and livestock-related events. When I came on my college visit, it felt like home. My mom attended UNL and earned her degrees on East Campus, so it is even more meaningful to share these experiences with her!


What is your favorite thing about the University of Nebraska–Lincoln?

East Campus is my favorite aspect of the University. I love the hometown feel of walking around campus seeing so many familiar faces and knowing that peers and professors alike will stop and visit. On a broader perspective, I love the traditions that UNL is rooted in that unite present students with generations of alumni. At the same time, the research that is done at our land-grant university makes such an impact on the world. There are countless experiences to take advantage of to learn and contribute to society while knowing that we can always come “home” to UNL.


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

It has been enlightening to work with students from all walks of life, whether from a small Nebraska town or a city across the world. In CASNR courses, I have never felt like my voice was hushed. The courses have shown me the relationship between different industries and sectors and how interconnected the world is. The respect for each other that exists on East Campus is something that I value so highly; I may disagree with an opinion, but still am able to engage in a respectful, insightful discussion. Overall, my CASNR experience has taught me to think with a broad perspective and to be more open-minded.


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

This is difficult to choose just one! When I came to college, I was told that I would be lucky if I had three really impactful professors. This worried me, because I had three within my first year! I would have to say that EAEP 388 with Dave Lambe is my favorite class that I have taken, because it was so literal and applicable. In eight weeks we went from brainstorming business ideas to pitching complete business plans with actual products or testimonies to investors. As a future educator, I see immense value in providing students experiences to get out of the classroom and to be responsible for creating their future.  Other professors who have greatly influenced me are Tom Field, Lindsey Hastings, Matt Kreifels, and Mark Balschweid.


What are your plans post-graduation?

Perhaps the biggest lesson that I have learned in college is that I can make many plans, but much of life is out of control. Ideally, I hope to return to my family’s ranch in the Sandhills and teach agriculture at a rural high school. If that opportunity does not arise, I plan to work in communications or education and outreach for a commodity organization and expand on my leadership consulting business while growing my Hereford cowherd. Whatever career I pursue, I hope to utilize my talents to impact people and agriculture.


What’s life like outside of school?

I like to think that my life reflects my interests and values! As I wrap up my time on campus before student teaching, I am grateful for my involvement in Sigma Alpha sorority and the Agricultural Education Club, where I served on the executive committees for both organizations; competing on the livestock judging team; serving as a senior counselor for the Nebraska Human Resources Institute; pursuing professional development through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program; and attending the Newman Center to continue growing my faith. I love listening to red dirt music, reading, writing and sharing food with friends!