CHADRON – The twelfth president of Chadron State College, Dr. Ron K. Patterson, took office July 1. Patterson conducted a listening tour, Building Our Future Together, with more than 20 stops in three states within CSC’s service region. He said he wanted to learn more about what the college is doing well, as well as learn about areas for improvement.

In addition to the public events, Patterson conducted listening sessions with students, employees, and alumni. He plans to use the information he gathers to help determine priorities for the college’s strategic plan. Patterson’s inauguration will be April 5, 2024.


Austen Stephens was named the Dean of Student Affairs.

Grant Sasse was named the Dean of in December following a national search.

Nationally known saxophonist Bobby Watson played a composition by Dr. Michael Stephens.

Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Dr. Britt Helmbrecht wrote a $100,000 Wellness Grant for CSC and was named Wellness Officer. She also initiated a bike-sharing program on campus through a $10,000 grant she received from Healthy Blue, an arm of the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance company. Helmbrecht also unveiled the Campus Wellness program intended to prioritize well-being and foster the abilities of students to achieve optimal health by providing and promoting strategic wellness activities.

Laure Sinn, Sandoz Center Program Coordinator, received the Frontline Employee Award of the Year from the Northwest Nebraska Tourism at it annual banquet. Sinn has been with CSC for 29 years in various roles, including Student Activities Coordinator and Rangeland Center Program Coordinator. She has worked at the Sandoz Center for approximately four years.

Dr. Jim Powell, Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced he plans to retire in June 2024. Powell has worked as an administrator at the college since 2015. He has been the VPAA since 2020.

Associate Professor of Music Dr. Brooks Hafey taught classes, performed concerts, and made a conference presentation this summer in Romania and the Baltics. Hafey presented a Masterclass in June for piano students ages 12-17 at the Sigismund Toduta School of Music in Cluj-Napoca. He also performed a concert with three colleagues two whom he had hosted at CSC for guest performances in the past.

Director of College Relations Alex Helmbrecht received the Magic Key Award from the Chadron Area Chamber of Commerce in July. The award is designed to honor residents who have dedicated their time, talents, and resources to assisting civic organizations and businesses.

new beetle species will be named for Professor of Life Sciences Mathew Brust who discovered it. He returned to south-central Wyoming this summer with the intention of capturing additional specimens to confirm what he suspected was his discovery of a new species of bumblebee scarab beetle in July 2022. He also discovered an unusual range expansion for the pallidwinged grasshopper

Dr. Ann Buchmann, a Biology Professor who teaches genetics and advises IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) research students, and a student, Emmanuella Tchona, received training during the fall break about how to use a new piece of scientific research equipment called a flow cytometer. The compact tabletop unit uses a laser to detect and analyze the chemical and physical characteristics of cells. Buchmann said the $32,000 unit purchased with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) is a welcome addition.

Justice Studies Instructor Danielle Covolo presented Sacred Knowledge, a panel discussion about the culture of the Oglala and Lakota people and the Pine Ridge Reservation. The panel included Duane Two Bulls and a singing performance by Virgil RedCloud Goode.

Seven new faculty members joined CSC in the fall semester. Three of the new faculty earned their undergraduate degrees from CSC. In the School of Liberal Arts they are Dr. Adam Hoesing and Dr. Tiffany Wasserburger. In the School of Professional Studies and Applied Sciences they are Adrianna Calle, Jessica Heesacker, and Dr. Miranda Scoggan. And, in the School of Business, Mathematics, and Science they are Dr. Clint Evrard and Kinsley Mason.

Title IX Coordinator Morgan Cullan presented at the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) in Philadelphia. The opportunity came her way when she was approached by Tom Green, Director of Title IX Compliance for Nebraska State College System.

Chadron State College's High Plains Herbarium Director Steve Rolfsmeier taught youth and adults about local plants at Chadron State Park in September during the Nebraska Game and Parks Bioblitz.


Caden Shanklin of Hot Springs, South Dakota, was CSC’s first student to earn the state Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) Outstanding Health Education Major of the Year overall award. 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.

Rocket League Black won the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) championship game against Ohio Northern University in early December. The team finished the season undefeated in the EAST 12B Conference Champion III division playing against Sam Houston State University, Florida International University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Drexel University, Grand Valley State University, and Northern Michigan University.

Emmanuella Tchona and David Johnson, presented their summer research at the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program conference in August in Nebraska City, Nebraska.

Students participated in a swift fox study, the second hosted by CSC in 10 years. Dr. Teresa Frink, Professor of Rangeland, said 15 students enrolled in Mammology (AGRI 445/BIOL 435) have strategically deployed 20 trail cameras, to document if the state endangered animal, Vulpes velox, is living in western Nebraska.

Allison Acosta of Tucson, Ariz., and Cole Martinez of David City, Neb., won American Advertising Federation awards.

Seven Chadron State College students and Music Professor Dr. Joel Schreuder attended the American Choral Directors National Conference in Cincinnati. The students are TJ Chadwick of Akron, Colo., Felicity Suelter of Lincoln, Madison Schafer of Sturgis, S.D., Rayne Charging Thunder of Gordon, Neb., Josh Fernau of Chadron, and Jacob Haertel and Wyatt Ellis of Hot Springs, S.D.

Five students attended the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in Denver. Sigma Tau Delta is an international English Honors society that strives to confer distinction for and promote interest in English language and literature and hosts an annual convention where selected student works are presented in panel-style presentations.

Ashlyn Jensen of Green River, Wyoming, traveled to Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn, South Africa, in June to gain experience in veterinary medicine. Jensen, an Organismal Biology and General Chemistry major, chose LoopAbroad as her travel platform.

Seniors in the Social Work program presented a conference Nov. 8 entitled Helping Overcome Poverty and Eliminations (HOPE). Members of the SW435 class taught by Rebecca Fernau are Ashley Gonzalez-Rodriguez of Marquette, Neb., Makayla Keck of Pueblo, Colo., Minh Le of Saigon, Vietnam, Nicole Scarrow of Chadron, and Madison Watt of Broomfield, Colo.

Nine students, Associate Professor Dr. Mary Keithly, and Instructor Kinsley Mason traveled to Universal Studios Florida to enhance their scientific understanding. The members of the Physics 152 class included Samuel Aden, Cobie Bila, Jordan Economou, Emily Evans, Carrie Drake, Alexis Kramer, Brady McDaniel, Emma Stewart, and Aubree Quast.

CSC graduate students who are also current employees of the Anchorage School District were honored in a graduation ceremony in Anchorage in the summer. CSC President Ron K. Patterson and Nebraska State College System Chancellor Paul Turman officiated the event.

The Theatre department presented Heidi Schreck’s play, What the Constitution Means to Me, in the fall. Theatre Professor Scott Cavin selected three directors, Olivia Freeze, Josie Fritz, and Halle Smith, who each directed a separate cast providing the public with nine shows.

Homecoming royalty were King Porter Anderson of Russellville, Arkansas, a Marketing major, and Queen Olivia Trembly of Thornton, Colo, a Business Administration major. First Attendant to the King was Creighton Trembly of Longmont, Colo., a Business major, and the Second Attendant was Cooper Reichman of Chappell, Neb., a Rangeland Wildlife Management major. First Attendant to the Queen was Jayden Kanno of Morrill, Neb., an Elementary Education major, and the Second Attendant was Aubree Quast of Clarks, Neb., a Human Biology and Chemistry major.


Megan Helberg, Mike Sandstrom, and Shane Terrell, were honored during Homecoming activities as recipients of the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Jennie May Donnell and Dr. Josh McConkey were honored as recipients of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Chelsea Zuege was selected as the 2023 Secondary Art Teacher of the Year by the Nebraska Art Teachers Association.


During its first year of operation, the Dr. Lois Veath Planetarium in the Math Science Center of Innovative Learning (COIL) served 2,404 people, according to Kinsley Mason, an Instructor in Physical Sciences who managed the planetarium this year. The attendance was more than double the final year the planetarium operated in Math Science before its renovation and expansion.

CSC hosted its 60th annual Scholastic Contest in October. Thirty-two schools from Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Colorado, brought more than 900 students to campus to take 42 tests, according to Caitlin Roes chair of the Scholastic Contest Committee. Students who earned high marks in their respective tests, received CSC scholarships.

A special session for art teachers during Art Day showcased Paint the Town, a project including more than a dozen murals on buildings in downtown Chadron, and most recently, a city water tank about 15 miles south of Chadron along Highway 385.

The Food Pantry expanded its hours of service, added fresh produce and social media posts with recipes.

Campus was busy throughout the spring and fall semesters with many departments and organizations hosting various events. Those events included: the Best of the West Business Invitational brought 106 high school students to campus in January, the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Conference in February, and Western District History Day in March.

The Child Development Center has earned national accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.

The college hosted several events in recognition of Veteran’s Day including a Quilts of Valor ceremony. The Nebraska Army National Guard from Grand Island displayed a static LUH 72 Lakota helicopter and other military vehicles were on display south of Beebe Stadium during the football game.