CHADRON – Caden Shanklin of Hot Springs, South Dakota, is Chadron State College’s first student to earn the state Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) Outstanding Health Education Major of the Year overall award.  

The SHAPE Nebraska award ceremony took place during SHAPE Nebraska’s annual fall conference Nov. 7 in Lincoln. Students at CSC are nominated for Major of the Year by faculty members in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) department. This year, students in Dr. Dawn Brammer’s Special Methods/HPER (EDUC431C) class earned a Dean’s Council grant to pay their SHAPE Nebraska membership fees.

Other CSC winners include Joel Carpenter of Sturgis, S.D., Physical Education Major of the Year, Parker Gonser of Windsor, Colo., Sport and Recreation Management Major of the Year, Braden Mechem of Torrington, Wyo., Exercise Science Major of the Year, and Kenzey Kanno of Morrill, Neb., Athletic Training Major of the Year.

During Shanklin’s college career, he has coached football in Hot Springs, worked at Chadron Middle School’s after-school program, and served as one of SHAPE Nebraska’s board members. He has also volunteered for SHAPE Nebraska’s Western Nebraska PE Summit and CSC Fitness and Nutrition Days in addition to serving as a volunteer coach and official for the Black Hills Youth Football League. He believes these volunteer and service opportunities, along with his work experiences, contributed to his nomination.

Shanklin originally came to CSC to pursue math, but said he quickly realized that Health Education was for him after taking a couple of HPER classes. He credits the entire HPER department for helping him realize he wants to share his passion for health and fitness with children.

“Every one of my HPER professors helped me realize that HPER was where I wanted to be,” said Shanklin. “I have taken a lot of great classes with a lot of great professors.”

Shanklin also notes a high school teacher for impacting his desire to become a teacher and a coach.

“I need to give credit to my high school health and PE teacher, Mr. Ben Kramer, as he also helped to show me how impactful and amazing being a teacher and coach can be,” Shanklin said. “My experience with him also helped me make my decision to major in Health Education.”

Brammer recognizes Shanklin for his connection to learning and application of skills when working with his students. 

“Caden is very engaged in learning content and activities to support the needs of his students,” Brammer said. “He is very thorough in his work and is able to deliver the content in a way that students understand.”

Brammer also notes Shanklin’s passion and efforts that make him deserve the award.

“His passion for teaching and coaching is evident in his preparation and delivery,” she said. “I believe he was nominated for this award because he goes above and beyond on his assignments and is willing to put in the extra effort helping set up and take down equipment. He has a great personality to get along with most everyone.”

Shanklin expressed gratitude for the help he has received throughout his educational journey at CSC.

“Every HPER professor has helped me in a different way to become a better teacher in the future. I do not know where I would be without them; they proved to me every day that CSC was the right choice to receive my college education. I am grateful for the countless people who have helped me along the way,” he said.

After graduating from CSC, Shanklin plans to become a teacher and a coach in South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, or Montana.

According to SHAPE Nebraska’s mission statement, the organization strives to promote healthy lifestyles through leadership, professional development, and advocacy in the areas of health, physical education, recreation, and dance. Students from colleges and universities with a SHAPE Nebraska membership are eligible for Major of the Year. The nominees are voted on by the SHAPE Nebraska board in both Health and Physical Education categories.

Fall Fund Drive volunteers raise more than $100,000

CHADRON – Fourteen teams of volunteers with the Chadron State Foundation’s Fall Fund Drive raised a total of $106,227 from donors and supporters of CSC. Sixty-seven volunteers canvassed the Chadron State College campus and surrounding communities in October and gathered at the Bean Broker Nov. 16 to celebrate.

Eight teams representing the CSC campus asked employees to donate to scholarships, programs, and funds of their choice. Six teams of volunteers representing the Chadron community sought philanthropy from organizations, businesses, and individuals in the area.

According to Development Officer Brandon Davenport, the annual Fall Fund Drive includes a competitive element to motivate volunteers and add a spark of fun.

This year’s winning campus team, led by Christine Fullerton, Public Services Librarian, included campus members Laure Sinn, Sandoz Center Program Coordinator, Kate Pope, Project Coordinator, Laura Bentz, Art Professor, and Andrew Smith, IT Technician. The winning community team from the First National Bank of Omaha  was led by Brenda Morford and included Jennifer Galbraith, Tony Denke, Amy Hawk, and Bobbie Gill.

Campus teams were led by Fullerton, Kaylee Summers, Christian Miller, Kayla Junge, Britt Helmbrecht, Stacie Mittleider, and Carrie Sayaloune. Community teams were led by Clayton Riesen with Nebraska Bank, Pete Johnson with Homestead Bank, Morford, Bobby Griese with Chadron Community Hospital, Misty Hickstein with Wahlstrom Ford, and Jason Carnahan with Security First Bank.

Co-chairs for the event included Cody Benton with Homestead Bank, Cali Frankovic with Chadron Community Hospital, Kim Hernandez, Assistant Director of CSC Human Resources, and Chantel Merchen, Director of CSC’s Office of Academic Success.

Contributions to this year’s Fall Fund Drive bring the Foundation’s annual campaign total to $180,000, a figure which will continue to increase during the next few months, according to Davenport. The annual campaign encompasses annual gifts and pledges.

This year’s Fall Fund Drive was the first to feature a student showcase. On Oct. 13, about 10 students spoke about their CSC experiences, accomplishments, internships, and research. Some even contributed vocal and guitar performances, and read poetry. The event, in the Student Center, also featured a display of student artwork. Davenport said the Foundation plans for the event to continue in the future.

Nebraska State College System Recognizes Outstanding School Counselor with 2023 Counseling Excellence Award

LINCOLN – The Nebraska State College System (NSCS) announced Laurel Kreifels, School Counselor at Conestoga Public Schools in Murray, Nebraska, is the recipient of the 2023 NSCS Counseling Excellence Award. This annual accolade, instituted to applaud counselors for their service and commitment to student success, reflects the NSCS's appreciation for professionals who play a pivotal role in supporting students.

Paul Turman, Chancellor of the NSCS, underscored the crucial contribution of high school counselors in the college exploration journey.

"High school counselors play a vital role in the college search process," Turman said. "We are thankful to have counselors like Ms. Kreifels helping students explore opportunities after high school and identifying the best fit for their future."

The NSCS Counseling Excellence Award is a testament to the dedication and impact of counselors like Kreifels who go above and beyond to empower students at Conestoga Public Schools. Students at Chadron, Peru, and Wayne State Colleges actively participate in the nomination process, recognizing the instrumental role counselors play in shaping their educational paths.

Kreifels, originally an educator specializing in business and computer classes, discovered her true passion in fostering positive relationships with students as they navigate life's journey. As a school counselor, her focus extends to college and career readiness, academic success, and equipping students with the skills to advocate for themselves. Kreifels said she believes when students become advocates for their own needs, the possibilities for personal and academic achievement are boundless.

Her transformative influence extends beyond the school doors, positively impacting the wider community.

"Ms. Kreifels is an advocate for higher education and for her students, and she truly embodies the spirit of the Nebraska State College System's 2023 Counseling Excellence Award," remarked Turman. “The award not only recognizes Ms. Kreifels' outstanding achievements but also serves as an inspiration for educators and counselors statewide.”

Esports team advances to division playoffs

CHADRON – Chadron State College’s Rocket League Black has advanced to the playoffs and will continue their season Monday, Dec. 4. With an undefeated record of 7-0 in the EAST 12B Conference Champion III division, CSC will play the winner of the Ohio Northern University or Northern Michigan University match set for today.

Playoff brackets can be found online.

CSC played NMU in the regular season and won 3-2, according to Dr. Ryan Morgan, Dean of Business Math and Science. He said the open division in which CSC competes includes 293 teams in 19 divisions. He added that CSC is in the top 10 percent of teams competing nationally.