New Faces on Campus

New Faces on Campus

New faces at NCTA (L – R): Crystal Rhine, DVM, joins Veterinary Technology faculty; Nathan Nicklas, Residence Life Manager; Taylor Hendrix (far right), Welcome Center/tour manager and assistant coach of the NCTA Rodeo Team.
New faces at NCTA (L – R): Crystal Rhine, DVM, joins Veterinary Technology faculty; Nathan Nicklas, Residence Life Manager; Taylor Hendrix (far right), Welcome Center/tour manager and assistant coach of the NCTA Rodeo Team.

Oct 6, 2023

By Dean Larry Gossen, Ph.D.

Each semester, our campus eagerly awaits new students who bring an air of excitement into the town with their youthful energy and promise.

To join us all in welcoming them, we are fortunate to have three dynamic faculty and staff additions fulfilling essential roles in the student experience. These individuals' career paths are unique, but ironically, each has had "connections" to NCTA and Curtis that bring an authentic perspective that benefits our team.

Dr. Crystal Rhine

Crystal Rhine, DVM, joins us in our Veterinary Technology program, stepping into the role long held by Dr. Ricky Sue Barnes-Wach. Dr. Rhine comes to us from several years of clinical practice in the Omaha area, most recently as an associate veterinarian at the Westgate Animal Clinic.

In the clinics where she worked, Dr. Rhine always worked closely with the new veterinary technicians and assistants who joined the practice. She has served as a teacher at heart and loved mentoring those new technicians as they grow their skills. In addition, her passion has been educating her clients on pet care and preventative maintenance for their animals.

Dr. Rhine received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Nebraska Kearney before heading south for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University. She and her husband, Mark, have three children and will make their home on a small farm southwest of Curtis.

Nathan Nicklas

Nathan Nicklas, the new Residence Life Manager at NCTA, had previously worked through several summers with our student services team, training the new Resident Assistants and organizing our New Student Orientation.

Nathan was raised in Curtis and pursued ministry studies after graduating high school in 2018, obtaining degrees from Calvary University and Spurgeon College/Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In his role, Nathan oversees residence halls, Resident Assistants, and student events.

He is responsible for policy enforcement and a positive campus culture. Having worked at NCTA during multiple summers, he found himself drawn home by the opportunity to positively impact student development and make a difference at NCTA. He appreciates NCTA's focus on agriculture, which is crucial to Nebraska's economy, providing hands-on experiences. Nathan's interests span theology, history, sports, church, media, music, and board games.

Taylor Hendrix

As the campus tour season gets more intensive, students and families are welcomed by a new face at our welcome center. Taylor Hendrix, an alumna of the '22 class in NCTA's Agribusiness Management program, brings a fresh and authentic viewpoint as the coordinator for tours and events, along with other responsibilities, including assisting with the Rodeo Team. Hailing from Holyoke, Colorado, she was raised in a family deeply involved in farming and ranching.

Taylor has expressed her fondness for NCTA, highlighting the invaluable hands-on learning opportunities, the intimate campus environment, and the tight-knit Curtis community. In her words, "The chance to contribute to the institution that imparted so much knowledge to me and enabled me to establish remarkable connections was the motivating factor behind my desire for a career at NCTA."

Anticipated to have a positive influence, Taylor will be instrumental in training our Student Ambassadors, sharing her own student journey, and her enthusiasm for "almost anything outdoors—whether it's horseback riding, roping, working with cattle, or gardening."

FOR CAMPUS TOURS: Call Taylor at 1-800-3CURTIS or visit the website NCTA.UNL.EDU

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 student teams' success 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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