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Wayne State College Spring 2013 Commencement

Published Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Wayne State College held commencement for graduate students at 9:30 a.m. May 4, 2013, in Rice Auditorium and at 2 p.m. May 4 for undergraduate students in Memorial Stadium.

Wayne State College held commencement for graduate students at 9:30 a.m. May 4, 2013, in Rice Auditorium and at 2 p.m. May 4 for undergraduate students in Memorial Stadium.  A total of 448 degrees - 354 undergraduates and 94 graduate degrees - were conferred at the ceremonies by Wayne State President Curt Frye. Nebraska State Senator Greg Adams, speaker of the Nebraska legislature and a 1974 graduate of Wayne State College, delivered the commencement address at the undergraduate ceremony.

Brandon Foote, husband of Staci Foote and the son of Brian and Tammy Foote, delivered one of two addresses at the graduate ceremony. Foote, who is graduating with his master’s degree in organizational management with an emphasis in sport management, earned his bachelor’s degree at Wayne State in 2011.

Foote has served as a graduate assistant for the Wayne State sports information office. His duties have included helping create all of the media guides for the various sports at Wayne State, while also updating the website with stories, photo galleries and press releases. Foote also entered live stats for the website at all home games along with numerous other tasks and responsibilities.

Graduate Commencement Address

Kimberly Hix, wife of Ryan Hix and daughter of Jim and Terri Vrooman, delivered one of two addresses at the graduate ceremony. Hix received her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She graduated from Wayne State in the winter of 2008 with her bachelor of science in elementary education with an endorsement in early childhood development.

Hix teaches fourth grade at Wayne Elementary School and has two children, Elizabeth and Benjamin.

Undergraduate Invocation

Alexis Sieh delivered the invocation at the undergraduate ceremony. She is the daughter of Mike and Shellie Sieh of Stanton, Neb. Alexis graduated as valedictorian from Stanton Community Schools in 2009 and studied chemistry health science with a minor in biology at Wayne State College. She has been on the Dean’s List with a 4.0 GPA all four years, is a Board of Trustees Scholar, and is a member of the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP).

Sieh has participated in Health Science Club, Cardinal Key Honor Society, Philomathean Presidential Honor Society, and was named a 2012 Homecoming Princess. She was the President of Rotaract Club and the Co-Student President of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Sieh has been a Science and Math Tutor for the Holland Academic Success Center and was their secretary. She graduated with High Honors in her major and has presented her honors research project at the National Academy of Science and the American Chemical Society. Sieh began her studies at University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Medicine to pursue a doctorate degree in medicine.

Alumni Achievement Award

Dr. Bonnie Bass was the recipient of the Wayne State Foundation Alumni Achievement Award. She is the founder and president of Expertise, a consulting and executive advisory firm headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with eight associate offices in the U.S. and Canada. She also serves as Vice President of Research and Development for Professional DynaMetric Programs, Inc., a Colorado behavioral research, program development, and international training company. She serves as Director of the DynaPro Consulting Division of PDP Inc.

Bass graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Wayne State College in 1954. After teaching at Wayne High School and Technical High School in Omaha, she enjoyed a number of years as a homemaker, parenting two children (Jefferson Bass and Jane Bass Page) and serving her community in cities in California, Iowa and Utah.  Her love of learning and a desire to assist people to become successful in life inspired her to enroll in a master’s degree program at University of San Francisco in psychology. After a two-year internship (1978), she was granted a license as a family counselor and opened an office practice.

During 1978 her brother, Bruce Hubby, a businessman in Colorado Springs, Colo., was funding and leading a new research project that incorporated technology with the vision of assisting businesses and organizations to achieve success through understanding people. The two siblings joined in this venture, later known as PDP Inc. Bruce Hubby, now deceased, graduated from WSC in 1957, along with his wife, Jan Hubby. Bruce Hubby's son, Brent Hubby, is now President of PDP Inc. To assist in the new research and expand her knowledge of business applications of psychology, Bass returned to the University of San Francisco, earning the doctor of education degree in 1983. She is a member of the Institute of Management Consultants USA and the National Speakers Association. Bass is honored to have been the first woman president and chairman of the board of the San Francisco Kiwanis Club (1990).

State National Bank Teaching Excellence Award

Matt Ley, chief executive officer of State National Bank in Wayne, presented the State National Bank Teaching Excellence Award to Dr. Mark Leeper, professor of politics. David Ley, the banks' chairman of the board, established the award in 1998 as a way of recognizing and strengthening outstanding teaching at Wayne State. David Ley and State National Bank of Wayne support the college in many ways, including scholarships and as a trustee of the Wayne State Foundation Board of Trustees.

This prestigious honor is awarded on the basis of rigorous standards that require a superior level of effective teaching. Leeper also was Wayne State's nominee for the Nebraska State College System Teaching Excellence Award.

This is Leeper’s fourth recognition for excellence in teaching, two at Wayne State and two at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Leeper teaches American government, constitutional law, elections, and American political culture through literature and film. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina and his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Leeper has taken students to observe oral arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court as a part of their honors projects; has taken students to Iowa caucus events to interact with major party candidates for president; and has co-authored papers with undergraduates and presented their findings at professional political science conferences.

His nomination materials note he “exhibits the traits embodied in the great teachers of politics: he is engaging, feisty, reverent, and when necessary, irreverent, critical, humorous, and intellectually curious. His approach to teaching has profoundly affected students for over a generation. His former students are now lawyers, teachers, political activists, lobbyists, and more. Most importantly, his students see the world more clearly, engage in their communities more passionately and find politics more interesting than they would otherwise.”

Undergraduate Commencement Address

Nebraska State Senator Greg Adams delivered the undergraduate commencement address. Adams represents the 24th District in the Nebraska State Legislature.

Adams graduated with a bachelor's degree in education in 1974 and a master's degree in education in 1975, both from Wayne State College.

He was elected to the legislature for the first time in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. He was elected Speaker of the Legislature for the 2013-14 session. He served as chair of the legislature's Education Committee, and served on the legislature's Revenue Committee, and the Committee on Committees from 2009 to 2012.

He began his teaching career in 1976 at York High School where he taught American government and politics until 2006. During his 30 years as an educator, Adams served as president of the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies from 1980 to 1981, was a member of the Nebraska State Bar Foundation Curriculum Committee from 1992 to 1994, administered the Washington, D.C. Close Up Program since 1982, and served as the K-12 Social Studies department chair from 1982 to 2004.

His service in government began in 1986 with election to the York City Council. After 10 years as a councilman he was elected mayor of York, a post he held until 2006. He was appointed by the governor in 1997 and again in 2000 to the Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

Adams married Julie A. Epke on Oct. 8, 1992. He has three children: Heather Loveless, Shawn Levitt and Sarah Adams.