CEHS Alumi bring home six awards in 2013

CEHS Alumi bring home six awards in 2013

29 Apr 2013    

Cather Circle Collegian of the Year

Abbie Gabel, a junior from Lincoln majoring in hospitality, restaurant and tourism management, has been a member of Cather Circle since the fall of 2011. She has served as student representative on the executive committee and is active on the student committee. Gabel's other campus activities include service on the College of Education and Human Sciences Advisory Board, Campus Night Life, the Student Education Association of Nebraska and Pi Beta Phi sorority. Her academic achievements have earned her membership in Phi Upsilon, Pi Lambda Theta and the Sigma Alpha Lambda honors societies and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. A former ASUN student government senator, Gabel is also an avid scuba diver.

Early Achiever Award

Misty Thomas, a member of the Santee Sioux Nation of Nebraska and a descendant of the Tlingit of Alaska, is director of the Dakota Tiwahe Service Unit, the Social Services Department for the Santee Sioux Nation. She administers the Child and Adult Protective Services, Indian Child Welfare Act, Independent Living, BIA Social Services, Native Employment Works Program, AmeriCorps, Tribal Youth Program Grant and the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Program. Recognized as a Champion of Change by the Whitehouse, Thomas turned the dream of a shelter in Santee, Neb., into reality with Otokahe Teca Tipi (New Beginnings House) in 2011. She obtained her bachelor's degree in 2001 from the College of Human Resources and Family Sciences and her master's in sociology in 2006, both from UNL.

Alumni Achievement Award

Jane Schuchardt is executive director, Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, the representative leadership and governing body of Cooperative Extension nationwide. Located at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C., she works to build partnerships, acquire resources, increase strategic marketing and enhance leadership and professional development. Schuchardt received distinguished alumna awards from three universities, was named distinguished fellow by the American Council on Consumer Interests, received a USDA superior service award, and was cited for excellence by the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, the National Endowment for Financial Education, and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. She earned her bachelor's degree from UNL in 1974.

Alumni Achievement Award

John Skretta is superintendent of the Norris School District and Region I Nebraska Council of School Administrators Superintendent of the Year for 2012-13. A member of the Midwest Dairy Health & Wellness Advisory Council, and a 2010 national Healthy Schools Champion, Skretta led the Norris Schools to participation in Nebraska's Coordinated School Health "Building Healthy Schools" pilot, with each school recognized for meeting rigorous criteria from the Alliance For A Healthier Generation healthy schools program. Skretta is an avid runner who was featured in Fitness magazine as a "Champion of Health & Fitness," and won a WorkWell Wellness Champion award. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English in 1991 and 1994, and master's and Ed.D. in educational administration in 2000 and 2008, from UNL.

Outstanding International Alumnus

Noel Stonehouse is semi-retired as a principal fellow and associate professor in the Graduate School of Education in the area of education policy and management at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at The University of Melbourne. He has broad work experience in Australia and more than 25 other countries in the policy and management area as lecturer, conference presenter, consultant and adviser. Stonehouse has mentored many academics and educators in Australia and overseas and has led official delegations for senior educators to India, Thailand and PR China, where he frequently speaks on the cultural aspects of developing relationships. Stonehouse received his Ph.D. in educational leadership and higher education from UNL in 1988. He represented the Nebraska Alumni Association in Australia from 1995-2005.

Family Tree Award

Among three generations of the Eickhoff family, six members earned 10 different degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln between 1950 and 2009. Ralph Eickhoff, Sr., obtained his B.S. degree in 1950 after serving as a Navy pilot in World War II. He spent most of his professional career as a vocational agriculture teacher, receiving his master's degree in agricultural education from UNL in 1970 and retiring from teaching in 1984.

The four children of Ralph and his late wife, Hilda, also earned multiple degrees from UNL. Bruce and Larry graduated in 1968 and 1975, respectively, as Distinguished Graduates of the Air Force ROTC program and served as U.S. Air Force pilots and instructor pilots. Bruce recently retired as director for government business development for Rockwell Collins. Larry received his MBA from UNL in 1977 and is currently an international pilot for FEDEX.

Ralph Jr. and daughter, JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, followed in their father's footsteps by becoming educators. Ralph Jr. received his bachelor's degree from UNL in 1971 and went on to become an international economist at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He later earned a J.D. degree and practiced law for 15 years before becoming a high school government and history teacher in Virginia. JoAnn earned a bachelor's degree in 1974, master's in 1981 and Ph.D. in 1995, all from UNL. She is a professor in the undergraduate and graduate exercise science programs at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Representing the third generation is Larry's son, Aaron, a 2009 UNL grad who is currently completing his nursing degree in Virginia.


College of Education and Human Sciences
Child, Youth and Family Studies
Educational Administration
Nutrition and Health Sciences
Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education