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UNK Student Profiles

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Loper stories you helped make possible

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is filled with amazing students working toward their dreams. Through the UNK Fund, you can help them get there. Here are five stories from incredible students who have benefitted from the generous donations of alumni, like you, who supported the UNK Fund:

To make a gift or learn more about the UNK Fund, click here.

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Abbey Rhodes '16

Major: business administration with an emphasis in economics and finance


I moved to Kearney, Nebraska, from Michigan to start my senior year of high school. Looking to make new friends, I attended the annual Blue and Gold days at UNK where I began to get involved in student organizations on campus. After helping to organize a few events that impacted UNK's campus and the Kearney community, I knew I could pursue my passions for human rights, community service and entrepreneurial empowerment as a Loper. 

Throughout my academic career at UNK, I served in multiple student organizations, studied internationally and gained valuable business experience through various internships. My intern experiences ranged from managing policies at a Nebraskan rural health care facility to internal auditing at one of the largest corporations in the world.

I served as president of Enactus, an entrepreneurial organization, where I was able to work as the student manager of the Brewed Awakening coffee shop, a business started by Enactus members. I’ve also been active in the UNK Honors Program, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the UNK Sustainability Committee and other organizations. In 2014, I had the opportunity to spend a semester studying abroad in the Netherlands and attend the University Scholars Leadership Program in Hong Kong as one of 11 U.S. student delegates.

These achievements would not have been possible without the scholarships, moral support and professional development offered by UNK, the College of Business and Technology and the University of Nebraska Foundation. 

I realized early on that UNK life is like being one big family. Any goal that I set for myself has been supported by my fellow students, my professors and all of the staff and administration workers who truly want their students to succeed. You're never alone at UNK — opportunities await around every corner!

Click here to make your gift to support the UNK College of Business and Technology.


Carrie Hanson '17

Major: middle level education science and mathematics endorsements


I decided to transfer to UNK after completing my freshman year at the UNL. It's education program is one of the best in the state, and I knew, in order to achieve my goals, UNK was where I needed to be. Growing up, I always had a feeling I was supposed to become a teacher, but I tried to push that feeling aside. However, when I arrived at UNK I knew I was where I belonged.

The classroom has always felt like home, so it makes sense to want to be there. After graduating in May I hope to find a teaching job around the Kearney area. Kearney is a great community which has provided me with several opportunities, and I can only hope to give back to Kearney what it has given to me. 

Click here to make your gift to support the UNK College of Education.


Seth Dikeman '17

Major: guitar performance and English education for grades 7-12


I am earning a double major in guitar performance and English education for grades 7-12 from UNK. I am from Ogallala, Nebraska. I decided to come to UNK because I thought it had a very friendly environment. I wanted to be an involved student and felt I would be appreciated as an individual. The cost of UNK tuition is lower than many other schools, and I felt like I was getting the same amount of resources and more one-on-one time with teachers. UNK offers an affordable program in which one has a high sense of achievement and where you can achieve your goals.

Four years after enrolling at UNK, I am very satisfied with my decision. Through my time as a drum major I have honed many of my leadership skills. I was able to travel to Norway with the marching band, which was my first experience in Europe. While playing with the Jazz Rock ensemble I performed with Grammy Award-winning jazz musican Chris Vadala and other award-winning musicians. I am extremely involved academically but still find time to participate in student organizations and attend performances throughout the Kearney area.

The relationships I have formed with other students and professors at UNK have been extremely meaningful and useful. There is an abundance of opportunity at UNK, and the faculty truly want you to be part of the great culture found on campus. The conversation and communication that is available to me as a student is what will make me successful as a future educator. The wonderful departments at UNK will give you the hands-on experience in whatever you choose to do. "You can at UNK," and the university will do what it can to put your dreams and career in motion.

Click here to make your gift to support the UNK College of Fine Arts & Humanities.


Maggie McPhillips '18

Major: advertising and public relations


I graduated from St. Francis High School in Humphrey, Nebraska, in 2014, and I am currently a junior studying advertising and public relations. I am at a point of deciding if I want to stick with this major or switch to education. I really like both majors, and I am working to find out which of the two options is for me. If I major in advertising and public relations I might continue on with school at a graduate level, hoping to work for an amazing company or teach at a college. If I pursue a degree in teaching, I hope to teach high school students and maybe even become a coach!

I first heard of UNK from my mom and siblings who were constantly sharing their amazing stories of their college experiences. I chose to come to UNK after I experienced the atmosphere through state speech and one-act play competitions and different sports camps. Looking back to my senior year, I was worried about picking the right college. I can now say I made the right choice. UNK has provided me with a plethora of opportunities to grow in confidence, networking skills, knowledge and self-discovery. I have met faculty members, professors and friends who have worked to help me become a better student and person.

The most important things in my life are my faith, family and friends. I am passionate about education, spreading knowledge and love to our youth, new ideas, creating things that inspire others and finding joy in others and every situation. 

Click here to make your gift to support student scholarships at UNK.


Jaime McCann '17

Major: business administration with an emphasis in accounting


I am a senior at UNK. I am originally from Kearney, and after deciding that staying close to home for college was important, I decided on UNK. I was offered great scholarships to make school affordable — and I knew that UNK has an outstanding business college — so that made my decision to stay easy. I'm currently studying business administration with an emphasis in accounting. I also have a minor in Spanish. I earned half of the required credits for Spanish when I studied abroad in Lima, Peru, my sophomore year. I have plans to work as a certified public accountant (CPA) after graduation, contingent on my completion of graduate school and the CPA exam. I hope to stay Nebraska.

Throughout my time at UNK I've been involved in several campus organizations, held various leadership positions, and also worked a part-time job at the Kearney Public Library — staying busy helps to keep me accountable and focused. Working at the Kearney Public Library has taught me various life-long lessons and provided me with an opportunity to become involved with the Kearney Literacy Council, through which I am helping a gentleman learn English. In addition, I have participated in UNK Outdoor Adventures trips which have enabled me to discover a passion for activities such as rock climbing, hiking and camping.

Click here to make your gift to support the UNK College of Business and Technology.


The UNK Fund helps make stories like these possible every day at UNK. See the options below to make your gift to the UNK Fund today!