A New Era for the Raikes School
January 2016 marked a major milestone for the Raikes School. After serving as Executive Director for 14 years, Dr. Dave Keck started his transition to retirement by returning to faculty as a Professor of Practice. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as the Director of the Raikes School and to have been part of building this uniquely innovative program of excellence at UNL” says Dr. Keck. “After 14 years in an administrative role, and with the School in a strong position for continued success, now is the right time for new leadership. My interests have evolved over the years and as a faculty member I will be able to better focus my attention on some amazing opportunities for the School.” Stepping in to fill the role of Executive Director is Stanford computer science professor Dr. Steve Cooper who was recently interviewed for this newsletter.
As big a change as Dr. Keck’s return to faculty was, two other long-term leaders in the Raikes School departed in the last year as well. After serving as Director of Operations and Marketing since 2008, Lori McClurg retired last July. Dr. David Rosenbaum, who had been involved with the Raikes School since its beginnings in 1999 returned to the College of Business Administration faculty to serve as Associate Director of the Bureau for Business Research in January of 2015. David will still be a regular in Kauffman, continuing to teach freshmen economics. Dr. Cooper said, "I regret the opportunity not to have been able to see Dave, David, and Lori performing their 'magic' with the Raikes School. I am thrilled that Dave and David will continue to teach classes in the School, and to advise me. I hope that we can find a way to keep Lori involved as well. They have done an amazing job, and the whole community owes them a great deal!"
Alumni and students will see several new faces as result of the changes. In July, 2015, Anna Pressler joined the Raikes School administration, serving as Director of Recruitment and Student Success. Anna will be responsible for recruitment and retention efforts, as well as alumni and employer engagement. Anna has a rich background in higher education administration and student services. Prior to joining the Raikes School, she was Assistant Director of Operations in admissions at the University of Nebraska and has held leadership roles at the Executive Headquarters of Chi Omega and the Nebraska Alumni Association. Anna holds a master's degree in Higher Education Administration and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, both from the University of Nebraska. In many ways, she is coming home as she was a front desk worker in the Raikes School from 2003 – 2005. Everyone here is thrilled to have her join the team and is excited to work with her as she brings a new perspective on student success.
At the same time as Anna joined the team, we brought on another new staff member. Kylie Penner joined the Raikes School as the Administrative Coordinator last June and is transitioning into our Events and Projects Coordinator this month. Before the Raikes School, Kylie was a Spanish teacher at Ashland-Greenwood High school. She brings to the team a passion for students and creating new connections that will helpfully result in more high school teachers and their students learning about the Raikes School. Faculty, students, and staff all appreciate working with Kylie and the dedication she brings to the School.
Despite so much change, alumni will still find more familiar faces in Kauffman than new. After serving as Associate Director of the School during the transition, Ian Cottingham remains on the administration, returning to his role as Director of Design Studio. Amanda Leingang remains on staff and has joined School administration as the Operations Manager. The Design Studio team, having seen significant growth over the last 4 years, has made minor adjustments during the transition. Zach Christensen will step into the role of Assistant Director of Design Studio later this summer. Jeremy Suing continues to be the senior project manager for Design Studio but has expanded his role to oversee a new Design Studio project manager, Christy Thomas, who has just started this month.
It has been a big year in the Raikes School and everyone on the team is excited about what the future holds. We hope to see members of the alumni community often and look forward to collaborating with each of you as we build a strong Raikes School community.