New Academic Year Brings New Faces, Program and Facility Enhancements

Nebraska Wesleyan University’s fall semester begins Monday, August 22. Faculty and students will return to find some enhancements to programs and facilities and will also find a few new faces.

Enhancements have been made to the Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS) thanks to a $50,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. New students are required to take a first semester LAS course, which introduces college research, writing and critical thinking through the study of an interdisciplinary topic. The grant provides an updated slate of topic choices for students and provides additional experiential learning opportunities. For example, new students taking the “Necessity of Wilderness” LAS course will travel to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota where they will spend six days canoeing, portaging and camping in a remote area. This experience will serve as their case study for the exploration into the necessity of wilderness during the remainder of the fall semester. Twenty-five LAS classes will be offered with other topics including “Superheroes in North American Culture,” “Community, Self and Service,” “Blowin’ In The Wind” (a course on Bob Dylan’s musical influence), “Issues in Biomedical Science,” “Hamlet,” and “Friends and Enemies.”

A $51,600 grant from the Cooper Foundation of Lincoln will be used to increase staffing and hours at NWU’s Cooper Foundation Center for Academic Resources. The grant will also provide funds for the implementation of the Supplemental Instructing Model. The Cooper Center is staffed by faculty and trained student consultants whose goal is helping all students refine their writing, speaking, study, computer and foreign language skills.

Nineteen students will live in two theme houses. Students living in the “Hope House” will focus their activities and volunteer efforts on spreading positivity. Students living in the “Fitness House” will focus their efforts on promoting life-long healthy habits. The theme house living option is in its second year and is among a variety of efforts the University is making to fuse students’ academic and residential lives.

Later this fall a new press box will be completed at Abel Stadium. Renovations will double the size of the current press box and will provide larger coaching booths, media booths, and a restroom. The renovation has been made possible by funding from the Gardner Foundation.

Meeting space has been expanded in the lower level of Story Student Center. The former Round Up Room has been remodeled and can provide space for large meetings in one room or can divided into multiple sections for smaller meetings.

New employees include John Greving, vice president for advancement; Dan Hays, assistant professor of theatre; John Spilker, assistant professor of music; Mark Stutz, assistant professor of health and human performance and director of the athletic training program; and Sean Steele, men’s and women’s soccer coach. Sarah Barr is the new director of global engagement, and the former International Education Office is now the Office of Global Engagement. Brandi Sestak, who most recently was a residence life coordinator, is the new director of residential education. The former Residence Life Office is now the Office of Residential Education.

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NWU's Liberal Arts Seminars have been enhanced thanks to a $50,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A $51,600 grant from the Cooper Foundation of Lincoln will increase staffing, hours, and instruction at NWU's Cooper Center.
Students living in the Hope House theme house will spend the year focusing on positivity.
Students living in the Fitness House theme house will promote life-long healthy habits.