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Hats Off to Aggie Alumni and Team NCTA
By: Ron Rosati, Ph.D., Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture - 07/09/2019

Our celebratory air of early July includes an appreciative summer salute to several outstanding alumni, partners and the staff of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

First, I extend a tip of the hat to volunteer leaders of the Aggie Alumni Association. A special salute to retiring president Dave Mehaffey of Bellwood and Burwell for a fine two-year term.

We had a great turnout for the 2019 reunion and Aggie alumni gathering on June 22 in Broken Bow. The evening banquet provided alumni from the past 50 years an opportunity to get together and catch up on news since they've graduated.

Three alumni from the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture (UNSTA) Class of '69 were in the college's first graduating class. Kent Myers, Eddyville, production agriculture; Jim Skinner, Craig, agricultural mechanics; and Byron Vanness, Wausau, agricultural mechanics, reminisced about their experiences at Curtis from 1967-1969.

Fifty years later, May 2019 graduates Lucas Kolterman of Pierce and Shayla Woracek of Maxwell were recognized along with incoming third-year student Paige Twohig of Axtell.

Woracek, a livestock management major and class valedictorian, was joined by her father, Tom, production agriculture, '85, who described his college years "a memorable experience" and helpful to his work in ranching and livestock management.

Kolterman and Twohig each received a "Leave Your Mark" award for dedication in their campus jobs, academics and making a significant difference by helping others in the campus community.

Twohig's mother, Kerri, is an NCTA alumna, Class of '98 in agriculture production and livestock. Paige will be back this fall adding a second degree in agricultural business management.

Congratulations to these students and their families!

A well-deserved Alumni Achievement award was presented to Joan Ruskamp, veterinary technology, Class of '80. She is active in agriculture production, farming, feeding cattle, and the family business near Dodge, Nebraska with her husband, Steve, also an alumnus in production agriculture, Class of '76.

Gary W. Hansen, Ag Mechanics Class of '74, a native of Coleridge, Nebraska received a posthumous honor for Alumni Service which was accepted by his brother Byron Hansen, Class of '76. The Hansen family has established a memorial gift to the NCTA welding program and facility upgrades, as Gary had credited his early interest in agricultural mechanics and later a lifelong career in engineering to his first two years of college at UNSTA-NCTA.

Our campus programs and student opportunities are greatly enhanced by the partnerships we have with our college alumni. Congratulations to the honorees and the Aggie alumni leadership.

Mark your calendar now to reserve the date for next year's activities, back in Curtis and NCTA on Saturday, June 27, 2020 for the Aggie Alumni Association banquet.

Catherine Potter Hauptman, Vet Tech, Class of '2003, has served as Alumni Association secretary and interim treasurer. She also has worked in two capacities at NCTA, first in staff support for the Veterinary Technology division, and for the past four years as administrative associate in the NCTA Dean's Office.

This summer, Catherine and her family will be leaving Curtis as she relocates to central Nebraska where she will resume University employment in the financial aid office at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. We thank Catherine for her dedication and outstanding contributions to NCTA, particularly her excellent support to all facets of campus, from administration, staff and faculty, to hundreds of students and alumni. Her friendly competence will be missed on campus. Thank you, Catherine!

In the interim, several staff associates will be assisting in temporary duties as NCTA accepts applications for the position. Thank you to Linda Cole and Jan Price, in particular, as well as others in the business and facilities offices in Ag Hall. To apply for NCTA employment, see Jan Gilbert in HR.

July 16 -- New Student Enrollment, 8:30 a.m., NCTA Welcome Center

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