Department COVID-19 Updates:

A Gold Standard for Service

A Gold Standard for Service

Dean Larry Gossen presents NCTA faculty and staff service awards (top L - R) Mark Ehlers, Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Vicky Luke, Kevin Martin, Brad Ramsdale, Jo Hergenreder, Jo Popp, Chrissy Barnhart, Jennifer McConville.
Dean Larry Gossen presents NCTA faculty and staff service awards (top L - R) Mark Ehlers, Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Vicky Luke, Kevin Martin, Brad Ramsdale, Jo Hergenreder, Jo Popp, Chrissy Barnhart, Jennifer McConville.

Jan. 16, 2023

By NCTA News

CURTIS, Neb. – At a time when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employees averaged 4.6 years with their current employer, we are grateful for the longevity of service represented at NCTA. The University of Nebraska recognizes employees across Nebraska for their years of service.

NCTA Dean Larry Gossen presented the 2022 Employee Service Awards at the staff and faculty in-service on campus prior to this spring semester. Employees receive awards based on five-year increments, with a plaque, clock or other memento provided by the NU system.

40 Years:

Mark Ehlers was celebrated for serving for 40 years as a maintenance technician. Mark has seen a lot of change and improvement over his many years of service. Notably, his knowledge and experience with the steam heat system has been crucial during the recent overhaul.

30 Years:

Judy Bowmaster-Cole, Assistant Professor of Veterinary Tech is an NCTA Vet Tech 1992 alumna who has now served the college for 30 years. After graduation, she worked as the necropsy supervisor at the UNL Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, then returned to join the faculty of NCTA. Judy has been instrumental in starting, coaching, or advising our NCTA Ranch Horse and Stock Dog teams and initiated the Safari Club’s study abroad program.

25 Years:

Vicky Luke celebrates 25 years of service. She earned her A.A.S. in Agribusiness Management from NCTA in 1998 and became employed the same year. She has worn many hats including the Assistant Dean’s Office and now on the Student Services team in the Office of the Registrar, as the Veteran’s Affairs certifying official and as financial aid liaison.

15 Years:

Kevin Martin has served for 15 years, now as the NCTA Student ADA/504 Coordinator/Advisor. In these roles, he is an advisor and liaison between students, faculty, and parents. Kevin also plans and hosts the annual Career Fair which brings upwards of 30 employers to campus for students to find internships and career prospects. In this process, he provides valuable life skills to students. Kevin earned his degrees from MPCC-NP and UNK.

Brad Ramsdale Ph.D., Associate Professor of Agriculture Production Systems, has led the NCTA agronomy department for 15 years. He instructs all agronomy courses and coordinates with the ag mechanics programs with a mission of innovation while honoring tradition. Brad also coaches the Crops Judging Team and is the advisor for the Collegiate Farm Bureau Club. Brad earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kansas State University and his Ph.D. from North Dakota State.

10 Years:

Chrissy Barnhart, Admin and Lab Support Associate for Vet Tech is an NCTA alumna, serving for 10 years. Chrissy manages the student workers, has taken students on many study trips, assists with STVMA and is instrumental in managing the facility and caring for the animals.

Joanna Hergenreder, Associate Professor, has served for 10 years. She instructs all Equine courses in the Animal Science/Ag Education Division. Additionally, Jo manages the college horse barn, horse herd, the LTC, and coaches the NCTA Ranch Horse Team. Jo earned her M.S. Colorado State, B.S. Univ. of Wyoming, and A.S. Laramie County CC.

Jennifer McConville Ed.D. has served NCTA for 10 years, now as the Associate Dean for Finance, Operations, and Student Services. Her first role on the faculty of the Agribusiness Management program for three years guided her toward administrative leadership. Jennifer recently completed her Doctoral degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, after completing an M.B.A. UNK, B.S. Bellevue University, and A.S. MPCC-McCook.

Jo Popp has served in the vitally important role of Food Service Associate for 10 years. Her valued engagement with students in assisting with the NCTA Stock Dog and Safari Clubs led to her participation in the recent Costa Rica Study Abroad trip. Jo attended Montana State for three years and is Basic and Manager’s Servsafe certified.


Part of the University of Nebraska system, the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture is a two-year institution with a statewide mission of preparing students for successful careers in agriculture, veterinary technology and related industries. NCTA is known for its affordable tuition, high job-placement rate for its graduates, and for the success of student teams in competitive activities including crops judging, ranch horse events, livestock judging, shotgun sports, stock dog trials, and intercollegiate rodeo. The college is consistently ranked as one of the best two-year schools in the nation.

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