Chadron State College

  • Food service provider, A'viands, to begin partnership with CSC July 1

    Monday, April 22nd, 2019

    CHADRON – Chadron State College will have a new food service provider at the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year. A’viands, based in Roseville, Minnesota, will become the college’s food service vendor July 1, 2019. “Chadron State College is excited to have A’viands provide new ideas and more fresh, made to order food for our students beginning this fall semester,” Vice President for Administration and Finance Kari Gaswick said. “We’d also like to thank Creative Dining for serving Chadron State College admirably for 14 years.” According to its website, A’viands provides food service to education, businesses, and healthcare facilities. The company, which was founded in 2003, serves more than 275 locations throughout the United States and has more than 2,400 employees. The Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees Policy requires Chadron State College to submit a request for proposal for food service every five years. CSC received proposals from Aramark, A'viands and Creative Dining, the food vendor at CSC since 2006. Each company hosted on-campus presentations and representatives from the college took campus visits and spoke with references for each vendor. After the various presentations, CSC’s food service selection committee – consisting of one student, four employees, and liaisons from the college’s administrative team and Information Technology – made its decision to select A’viands. In its proposal to campus, A’viands said it is committed to enhance the student experience by creating a culture of hospitality, becoming community ambassadors, and focusing on wellness. According to A’viands, students with meal plans and other on-campus diners will see variety in each day’s menu, including vegan, vegetarian, and allergen friendly options with each meal. A’viands will incorporate digital menu signage to inform students about the variety of food on the menu, as well as highlight nutritional information, ingredients, and allergy risks. A’viands also plans to make changes to what is offered in the Eagle Grille by introducing a Starbucks with a barista. Additionally, A’viands will include additional fresh and made to order options in the dining hall. Chadron State College’s contract with A’viands will end June 30, 2024.

  • Can art works speak to students?

    Friday, April 19th, 2019

    CHADRON – How do you get freshmen college students to think of art as something more than a framed image in a museum or a colorful illustration on the wall of their room? In an essay published April 12 by “Streetlight Magazine”, an online literary journal, Chadron State College Associate Professor and Social Work Program Director Rich Kenney Jr. shares an answer to that question that he hit upon while attending the CSC faculty art show, Time Lapse, in 2017. The essay, “Bring Them to an Art Show: On Teaching Imaginative Writing,” opens with a question that occurred to Kenney as he was viewing the show: If a piece of artwork could express itself in words, what would it say? For Kenney, who has had essays and poetry published in other literary and academic journals, giving form to thoughts about art might seem natural, but he decided to see how students in his First Year Inquiry course would respond. The course, Matters of Opinion, is designed to help students develop critical and creative writing skills. “I wondered, what essays and stories would Time Lapse tell them,” Kenney said. Not without trepidation about the response, Kenney took the class to the Memorial Hall gallery to view works by Dewayne Gimeson, Laura Bentz, Daniel Binkard, Trudy Denham, Mary Donahue, Carly Heath, and Sarah Polak. “There were whispers and wisecracks when I assembled my class of 25 students in the lobby,” Kenney writes in his essay. “Scattered frowns and looks of indifference … had me second guessing what I originally thought was an enterprising plan.” The misgivings disappeared, however, as the students began interacting with the artwork, and voicing their thoughts. “Black and White Crease,” a painting by Gimeson of a crumpled piece of paper, inspired one student to comment: “I think if this painting could talk, it would say everyone is like crinkled paper. No one is without flaws. We’re a lot more alike than different.” Another student said, “The artist believes that the creased and crinkled paper still has value. That goes for people too … No matter how someone looks, they too have value.” Other works likewise inspired thoughtful comments and writing from the students, who were asked to focus on a single work in the show and write why it caught their attention, what the artist believes in and why, and what the piece would say in words. “What this piece would say is that I believe there is too much man-made interference in our lives. We all have to take a step back and enjoy what we are given; we need to take a deep breath,” a student wrote about the photograph, “Toadstool,” taken by Bentz. Donahue’s painting, “Nebraska Pine Ridges: Beaver Wall,” elicited this response from one student: “I believe in the unity of sky, land and rocks. On a canvas the three become as one and they make something beautiful. Earth.” Kenney was captivated by the responses. “I was impressed with the creative responses the students came up with,” he said. “They were reflective and profound. It was nice to see them lose themselves in the moment. The only cell phones I saw were ones used to take pictures of the various pieces.” Getting students to think creatively about art and helping them put their thoughts into words, is an important educational experience, according to Kenney. “Of course, imaginative writing goes well beyond expos and galleries. Life and everything around us is an art show,” he said.

  • Pollinator presentation open to public

    Thursday, April 18th, 2019

    CHADRON –Dr. Katherine Kral-O’Brien, a Practitioner in Residence at Chadron State College, will present “Pollinators on Rangelands” Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center. The event, sponsored by the Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter at CSC, is free and open to the public. Kral-O’Brien will explain how rangelands benefit pollinators, how pollinators benefit rangelands, and how different management strategies impact rangeland pollinators. Alissa Sweley of Scottsbluff, Nebraska, president of Collegiate Farm Bureau, said the presentation will be an opportunity for attendees to learn about the importance of pollinators. “We hope that her presentation will encourage the public and students to explore how different management strategies can affect these insects and ways to promote these essential insects on the landscape,” Sweley said. Kral-O’Brien has been teaching an eight-week class, Special Topics in AGRI: Pollinator Ecology (AGRI 460), funded by the Bill and Virginia Coffee Family Foundation Grant, at CSC this semester. After earning a bachelor’s degree in fisheries and wildlife and conservation biology from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Kral-O’Brien earned a master’s and a doctorate in range science from North Dakota State University. While pursuing a Ph.D., Kral-O’Brien focused on researching pollinators. “I was particularly interested in different methodologies used to study pollinators and how to improve conservation efforts for butterflies. This was a vital focus because so many researchers and agencies are starting to study pollinators due to their declines,” Kral-O’Brien said.

  • You@CSC to support student success

    Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

    CHADRON – Chadron State College launched an online service this week to support student success. You@CSC is available to students at The website uses multi-media content to help students build skills, strengthen resilience and approach health from a holistic perspective. The portal centralizes online and on-campus resources in three areas: Academic and Career Success (Succeed), Physical and Mental Well-being (Thrive), and Purpose and Campus Connections (Matter). Succeed provides study tips, connections with tutors and internships, and support for goal setting. Thrive helps students achieve mind and body balance, while proactively dealing with stress. Matter addresses the importance of involvement and increases visibility of campus resources, fostering equitable access for all student populations. The confidential, anonymous service includes support for major stages in a typical collegiate experience such as freshman orientation, mid-terms, final exams and internship and career searches. Users can take quizzes to assess their current strengths and challenges. Based on this secure information, the system provides on-campus resources, wellness tips, modules, and other helpful tools the student can save and use to set goals. Surveys at Colorado State University, where the product was launched in 2016, indicate students who used the service became more aware of campus resources, managed stress better managed, and learned something new about their physical and mental well-being. Brittany Helmbrecht, who led the committee that implemented the resource, said the service was discovered during an October webinar hosted by the Teaching and Learning Center. In a follow-up meeting, the product gained support and financing from the academic deans and Student Services. “We were able to move ahead at a quick pace thanks to the support we received,” Helmbrecht said. Task force members include Keith Crofutt, Josh Ellis, Deena Kennell, Kim Madsen, Tracy Nobiling, Megan Northrup, Jennifer Schaer, Tamara Toomey, and Tom Tylee.

  • Seven CSC students attend Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

    Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

    CHADRON – Seven Chadron State College students attended the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention in St. Louis in late March. Dr. Kimberly Cox, and Dr. Mary Clai Jones, co-advisers of CSC’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, attended the convention with the student group. Cox said the CSC students have cultivated a clear presence at both regional and international Sigma Tau Delta events in the past three years. Zane Hesting of Chadron earned an honorable mention and ranked fourth out of 85 for his poetry. Alyssa Ermish of Chadron also presented a creative piece, while Shannon Schneider of Cody, Nebraska, and Naomi Sughroue of Chadron, presented critical pieces on Shakespeare and John Milton, respectively. Schneider said she enjoyed talking about literature with other English enthusiasts. “Being in St. Louis, surrounded by English people, was surreal. It was one of the biggest conventions I've ever attended,” Schneider said. Sughroue said she enjoyed seeing so many people in one place celebrating literature and the art of writing. Ashten Gerbing of Fort Collins, Colorado, Lydia Privett of Wahoo, Nebraska, and Nalani Stewart of Fort Sill, Oklahoma, attended panels about career opportunities for English majors. Privett said the convention was an eye-opening experience. “It was great to see all of the career options we have as literature majors. It’s a great time spent with our professors,” Privett said. Stewart said the panel discussion topics ranged from how to write horror, to women in Shakespeare. “It was wonderful to see all of these creative people coming together to show what came from their imaginations,” Stewart said. Cox said she is continually impressed by the quality of the students' work and how thoughtfully they are able to answer questions about it. “Our students fill me with pride as a professor and adviser, and they continue to show the strong work that comes out of Chadron State College,” Cox said. “As a rural institution, it's so important for our students to have the opportunity to network and professionalize with students from other colleges and universities in our region and outside of it. Our students' attendance at this conference illustrates the well-rounded education students in the English program receive here at CSC.” Clai-Jones said she was inspired by her students’ presentations. “[It] reminded me how valuable it is to share our work, whether it be critical or creative. Our students presented their work with poise, confidence, and enthusiasm, often better than veteran academics,” Clai-Jones said.