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Graduates and spring flourishes

Graduates and spring flourishes

Spring spruce up around the Veterinary Technology complex at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (Horticulture Club / Callie Landauer photo)
Spring spruce up around the Veterinary Technology complex at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. (Horticulture Club / Callie Landauer photo)

NCTA Dean’s Message by Dr. Larry Gossen

It’s beginning to look a lot like …. springtime on campus. A finale of second semester. Time for our Aggie graduates to commence onto their next journeys.

What an incredibly busy and rewarding past two weeks we have experienced at NCTA. Whew.

With some much-needed rains and mowed lawns, the greener view invites me to linger on the front porch and enjoy some quiet evenings.

Thank you, Mother Nature, for bringing the nourishment of moisture.

Now that the flurry of Spring semester and graduation is complete, we can turn to some priority projects such as landscaping improvements and summer maintenance.

Plantings in the flower beds at Ag Hall and in large pots at the entry to the Education Center certainly brightened dreary spaces, thanks to the efforts of our facilities and custodial teams.

The Horticulture Club initiated clean up around the Veterinary Technology complex. Kudos to the 10 volunteers whose afternoon project made a big difference.

“We took out all of the dead plants and debris such as the tree needles and pinecones that fell,” said Larista Barner, a first-year veterinary technician student from Wolbach. “We put in new mulch and this summer we will plant some flowers.”

The group hauled away three or four pickup loads of debris and old wood chips. Campus pride is important, and the Horticulture Club recognizes that, Larista shared.

“We had decided we wanted to clean up campus and make it look professional so that others and potential students would want to come to NCTA and join our campus life.”

Larista will be among those taking summer courses in Veterinary Technology. Like me, she likes to work outdoors and appreciates campus beautification.

Next big project?  Sorely needed rehab and TLC to the grounds of the Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center.

Prepping for graduation

From dedicated behind-the-scenes projects and planning, to the front-and-center contributions on display, I’d like to thank every individual who helped in any way as NCTA hosted a wonderful week of graduation events.

Untold details and logistics go into hosting a community graduation amid the daily operation of a residential campus.

Not only was our Aggie Dining and Food Service preparing meals for all students and the public while keeping Chandie’s Castle deli operating, but they also served special events such as the Awards Night picnic for families and friends of our Aggie students.

The NCTA Registrar’s office of Vicky Luke and awards program leader Kevin Martin coordinated dozens of details. Vicky guides the graduation committee and logistics for the ceremony plus keeps our students and their families informed.

Prior to faculty submitting final grades, she has precalculated multiple scenarios of grade point averages. These help in projecting the graduates positioned for magna cum laude (3.75-3.99 GPA) or cum laude (3.54-3.74 GPA).

With final grades tallied last Wednesday, 12 Aggies graduated magna cum laude and 11 were cum laude. Valedictorian was Rylie Borgerding of Blue Rapids, Kansas, and salutatorian was Olivia Nyberg of Stromsburg.

Many helping hands

My deep appreciation to many others, as well:

  • Maintenance and Facilities for always having the buildings and event rooms set up, cleaned, and quickly re-arranged for next events.
  • Student Services for continued work on housing, enrollment, recruiting, student ambassadors for tours, and much more. They didn’t miss a beat during extra workloads.
  • Dean’s Office Josi Arnold for keeping things so well organized, communicated, and prepared for special visitors, dinners, reservations, and much, much more.
  • Student Resident Assistants for move-out and checkout of students from residence halls.
  • Animal caretakers on the NCTA Farm and Ranch Crews, and Vet Tech Facilities.
  • All faculty for their organization of final exams and projects, submitting grades on time, continuing to advise all students in current and future coursework.
  • Team coaches and club sponsors for end-of-year travel, contests, awards and advising.
  • Associate Dean Jennifer McConville – who wears many hats to keep the entire campus running smoothly – while also having a high school graduate this same weekend.
  • IT, sound technology, communications, public relations, and student photographers.

I certainly risk missing an acknowledgement. If so, please know it is an oversight. In a future Dean’s Column, I will address end-of-year awards which recognize our outstanding faculty and staff.

Meanwhile, step outside and savor the sounds of spring. Enjoy the beauty which surrounds us. Share gratitude each day. Celebrate the Class of 2022 with friends, colleagues and loved ones. 

Each of you makes our NCTA community a better place. Happy Spring!

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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