CASNR announces Change Maker scholarship recipients

Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss speaks to a crowd of incoming students in the East Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
10 months 16 hours ago
June 8, 2020

Lincoln, Neb. —The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln launched the CASNR Change Maker Competition for prospective and current students who dare to dream big and do the extraordinary to address worldwide issues. The video competition was held April 20 through May 15 and attracted more than 50 submissions, each pitching their big idea to address our global society’s grandest challenges.

Eight full-tuition scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year for incoming CASNR students were awarded on June 1. The following students’ videos were evaluated on their creativity in tackling the grand challenge(s) of their choosing, how they will achieve it and leave their mark on the world, and alignment of their idea with one or more of the University of Nebraska’s aspirations. A committee comprised of Emeriti faculty, CASNR faculty, staff and students have selected the following individuals:

  • Caleb Durheim, agricultural economics; Sunbury, Ohio
  • Brett Gerdes, agronomy; Auburn, Neb.
  • Elizabeth Karnopp, biochemistry; Oakland, Neb.
  • Kaitlyn Lee, forensic science; Mansfield, Texas
  • Alex Lautenschlager, fisheries and wildlife; Lincoln, Neb.
  • Aliyah Muniz, forensic science; Papillion, Neb.
  • Cole Simmons, biochemistry; Parkville, Mo.
  • Lydia Storm, forensic science; Lawrence, Kan.

Two full-tuition scholarships for the 2020-21 academic year for returning CASNR students were awarded on June 15.

  • Emma Hoffschneider, agricultural and environmental sciences communication; Burwell, Neb.
  • Kayla Vondracek, environmental studies; Salem, SD

The 6-11th graders who received $1,000 CASNR scholarships are:

  • Emma Barney
  • Mackenzie Evan
  • Matteo Gibbs
  • Wynand Hanssen
  • Maya Hildago
  • Kylie Roeber
  • Madeline Spreeman
  • Cambrea Vogel
  • Liam Wiig

“CASNR is blown away by the innovation and creativity all applicants have shown us during the competition. These students are enthusiastic about making a change and dedicated to their education. We are extremely excited for them to make their big ideas a reality in our college,” said CASNR Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss.

All submissions were selected by a committee of CASNR and emeriti faculty, staff and students who evaluated applicants’ creativity in tackling the grand challenge or challenges of their choosing; their plan for addressing the challenge; and how their idea aligned with the goals and mission of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The winning incoming student videos were shared on CASNR’s Facebook page for the People’s Choice Award. Aliyah Muniz's video received the most likes and reactions and she will also receive a $1,000 textbook scholarship. Find the videos at

Taylor Hart
Recruitment Associate
College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources