First Husker Staff

First Husker Program

Staff

There’s no time in your life quite like college. You’re starting a brand new adventure, taking that first big step toward independence, and striking out on your own. College is an exciting time, but there will likely be some bumps in the road along the way. The FYE&TP staff have been there and we're here to help!

Meet the team!

Ann Callies

Ann Callies

Academic Success Coach

Learn more about Ann

College
University of Kansas
Degree
B.S. in Education
Favorite toy/game growing up?
The Atari — playing PacMan and Space Invaders. (That’s a really early version of something like Playstation for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about).
If you could time travel, where would you go?
The 1960’s — So many significant historical things happened in American history. Also, it would be fun to see my parents when they were young.
Sasquatch — real or fake?
Who knows? Fake — until I see definitive proof. The truth is out there...
What were you most afraid of when you started college? How do you feel about it now?
I was most afraid of fitting in, meeting people, and finding friends. In retrospect, everyone else was worried about the same things too. Just be yourself and give things a try, and you will find your people.
Anna Lowe

Anna Lowe

Administrative Coordinator

Learn more about Anna

College
University of Rochester
Degree
B.A. in Music
Favorite junk food?
Cheez-its
You just won an all-expenses paid vacation. Where would you go?
Australia
Who is one person, alive or dead, you would like to meet?
Ludwig van Beethoven
What is your most vivid memory from college?
The relationships I established with friends and professors. Believe it or not, I still keep in touch with several of my professors and advisor.
Anna Witte

Anna Witte

First Husker Intern

Learn more about Anna

College
Truman State University
Degree
B.A. in Communications
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Earning my bachelor’s degree! Also watching The Office seven times.
What’s your dream vacation?
Running around Italy in a convertible.
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Don Krause because he incorporated llama and alpaca pictures into his slides.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Totally real.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Be yourself. Find your people and programs to support you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Ashlee Young

Ashlee Young

Coordinator, Emerging Leaders Program

Learn more about Ashlee

College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Degree
B.A. in Psychology
Favorite quote?
"All I ask is one thing, and I’m asking this particularly of young people that watch: Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism; for the record it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen." -Conan O’Brien
What’s your dream vacation?
I am adopted from South Korea and arrived in the U.S. when I was 4 months old. Therefore, my dream vacation (I fully intend on taking as a reward after I finish up my Ph.D) is to take a couple of weeks to explore South Korea and the culture with my husband and son. I want to wait until my son is a bit older so he remembers the trip.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
In another life, I was most definitely a hippie. I would love to experience either 1960s and early 1970s counterculture. So much was happening politically with civil rights and the Vietnam War. Plus, I am a huge Beatles fan and would love to attend one of their concerts live!
Sasquatch—real or fake?
OBVIOUSLY REAL
What were you most afraid of when you started college? How do you feel about it now?
As a first-gen student, I was afraid everyone would find out I was scared of failure about 75% of the time. I am originally from a very small town where it was easy to excel. When I arrived at Nebraska, I realized I was surrounded by people who were as good, or better than me. I felt I went from being the big fish in a small pond to the okayest fish in the huge pond. During my first year, I put so much pressure on myself to excel because of my family and community expectations. After I started to become involved in leadership positions in student organizations and did well in classes, I regained confidence in myself and my abilities but it definitely took some time. In hindsight, I emerged from that fear a stronger and more fearless person.
Cheryl Pflueger

Cheryl Pflueger

Academic Success Coach

Learn more about Cheryl

College
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree
B.A. in Speech Communication Education
Favorite junk food?
Cheese popcorn
Favorite spot on campus?
Broyhill Fountain. I love the sound of the water.
What is the one thing that has made you laugh the hardest recently?
Seeing Sasquatch at a Husker baseball game
How did you spend your time outside class (besides studying)?
Going to the dollar movies on campus on Friday and Saturday nights
Dan Hutt

Dan Hutt

Academic Success Coach

Learn more about Dan

College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Degree
B.A. in English
Favorite quote
"We are closest to God when we are dying laughing." -Bryan Wilson, 1966
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I’ve written a couple good songs.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
Coffee and donuts.
If you could time travel, where would you go?
1966 Los Angeles.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real.
Favorite spot on campus and why?
Kimball Hall—that’s where the operas are.
Kassi Woods

Kassi Woods

Academic Success Coach

Learn more about Kassi

College
University of Nebraska-Omaha
Degree
B.A. in English with a specialization in Creative Nonfiction
Favorite quote?
"Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can't do something. Not even me. Alright? You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period." –Christopher Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness
If you could time travel, where would you go?
The Renaissance—the most artistic and creative time in human history. If it’s anything like Shakespeare in Love, I’m not coming back.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself feel better?
I go for a cruise in my car on the outskirts of town on dirt roads with my music cranked, windows down, singing Hold On by Wilson Phillips loudly.
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Fake – Sorry, Dan.
What were you most afraid of when you started college? How do you feel about it now?
I was most afraid of people liking me for me. A majority of my friends from high school went elsewhere. So, I had a clean slate to be whoever I wanted to be, which took some time to discover.
Kristy Saunders

Kristy Saunders

Graduate Assistant

Learn more about Kristy

College
University of Montana
Degree
B.A. in Psychology
Favorite toy/game growing up?
I loved my Razor scooter until I fell into a rose bush. I’ve also always loved board games!
Best piece of advice you ever got?
Don’t focus on never failing. Focus on always pulling yourself back up if you fail. Some of the most important moments that define who you are take place during moments of perceived failure.
You can invite three famous people (living or dead) to a dinner party. Who would you choose and why?
Freddy Mercury, Prince, and Paul Simon. Instead of dinner, we can do karaoke instead!
Sasquatch—real or fake?
The skeptic in me says fake, but the optimist in me says it’s real and living happily somewhere.
What words of advice would you give an incoming student?
Remember that you deserve to be here. Every person is scared when starting college, no matter how confident they may appear. Also, use the resources available to you!
Lori Romano

Lori Romano

Coordinator, First Husker Program

Learn more about Lori

College
Concordia College – New York
Degree
B.A. in English with a specialization in Creative Writing
Favorite quote?
"Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good hot black coffee, like this." – Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks
Best piece of advice you ever got?
Let it in, and let it go.
You can invite three famous people (living or dead) to a dinner party. Who would you choose and why?
David Lynch, Carol Burnett, and Ann Wilson. It would be an evening filled with intriguing conversation, lots of laughter, and amazing music—all of my favorite things!
Sasquatch—real or fake?
Real! There’s way too much unexplored wilderness out there to say otherwise.
What were you most afraid of when you started college? How do you feel about it now?
Failure—Those college days were especially hard because I felt like so many people had such high expectations and were counting on me to succeed. That’s a lot to carry! It’s something I still struggle with at times, but now I know that there really is no such thing as failure as long as you learn something from the experience.
Mikayla Mericle

Mikayla Mericle

Administrative Coordinator

Learn more about Mikayla

College
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Degree
B.S. in Sociology and Anthropology
If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series
What app do you use the most?
Pinterest—does that count?
Who is one person, alive or dead, that you would like to meet?
Andy Cohen
How did you spend your time outside class (besides studying)?
I was involved in a few student organizations. Some of my favorite college memories include the activities and trips we did together like tie-dyeing shirts, seeing the sandhill cranes, and canoeing down the Niobrara River. I also worked on campus, which was great because I learned more about the university and it made it easier to balance work and school.
Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy

Director of First-Year Experience & Transition Programs

Learn more about Sarah

College
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Degree
B.A. in Psychology and History
Favorite TV/movie quote?
"That which you believe becomes your world." – What Dreams May Come (one of my very favorite movies!)
Do you ever talk to yourself? When? And what did you say?
All the time! I mostly chastise myself in the third person when I mess up something I’m working on. I also commonly mutter "Jiminy Christmas" under my breath, which is something my dad also says!
Who is one person, alive or dead, you would like to meet?
I’d love to meet Maya Angelou, author and poet. Her words have inspired so many areas of my life since I was 15 years old and I would love to have the chance to share a cup of coffee with her.
What were you most afraid of when you started college?
I remember feeling afraid of looking foolish. I felt like everyone else knew what they were doing. I had no idea how wrong I was! Nearly every new student spends their first few weeks (or even months!) learning the "ropes" of college student life. It is totally normal to get lost and ask questions!