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Dr. Brad Bigelow Receives WSC Alumni Achievement Award

Published: 5-27-2011 9:10 am

Dr. Brad Bigelow
Dr. Brad Bigelow
Dr. Brad Bigelow received this year's Wayne State Alumni Achievement Award presented at the undergraduate commencement ceremony held May 7 in the Willow Bowl. A graduate of Lyons High School, he earned his bachelor of arts in education in 1957. While at WSC, he was active in theatre, lettered in tennis, and as a senior served as editor of the Spizz and the Goldenrod. He went on to earn his master's in education/clinical psychology in 1958 and doctorate in 1964, both from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Bigelow served as the guidance counselor at Lincoln Northeast from 1959 to 1960. He became the first psychologist for the Nebraska Penal and Correctional complex in 1960 and served as the chief psychologist until 1968. He co-hosted a one-hour monthly TV series, The Prisoner Speaks, on channels 10-11, and originated Project Youth, a panel of inmates that spoke to various schools, civic and religious groups around the state.

He later served as psychologist/program director at Kearney Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center from 1968 until retirement in 1998. He created the State of Nebraska Evaluation Program for pre-adjudicated adolescent male offenders. Bigelow still maintains a private practice, serving as psychological consultant to school districts, rehabilitation services, the courts, and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bigelow's professional memberships include the American Psychological Association, American Association of Professional Psychologists, National Rehabilitation Association, Nebraska ELCA Prison Ministry Steering Committee and former member of the ELCA Church Vocations Committee and Examining Board.  A current member of the Buffalo County Mental Health Board, Bigelow also completed a four-year term on Lutheran Family Services Board of Directors and served a five-year term on the Governor's Behavioral Health Oversight Commission.

He was the co-founder of Kearney Friends Program (Big Brothers, Big Sisters); co-founder and board member of Campus House Group Home for Girls; co-founder and former president of Nebraska Juvenile Justice Association (recipient of association's Service to Youth Award in 1986 and 1998); and co-founder, former president and current member of South Central Behavioral Service.

Bigelow's wife, Karen, attended WSC from 1953 to 1955, graduated from UNL and worked as an elementary teacher. Brad and Karen's family includes a daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Jeffrey Kurtz; daughter Leann Welsh; and several grandchildren.

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