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    CHADRON – The historical significance of Chadron’s pioneer photographers Ray and Faye Graves will be celebrated Sunday, Jan. 13 through March 29 in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center on the Chadron State College campus. “Photos from the Rubble” tells the story of approximately 1,100 glass plate negatives taken from 1906 to 1940 that were salvaged during the 1973 demolition of the Graves’ former studio. A reception, including period music and food, is open to the public Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sandoz Center. Historians, researchers, volunteers and relatives who have helped preserve the Graves legacy are expected to attend. A reception, including period music and food, is open to the public Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Sandoz Center. Historians, researchers, volunteers and relatives who have helped preserve the Graves legacy are expected to attend. The Center is open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to noon. To learn more, call 308-432-6401. Some prints will be on display for the first time since the glass negatives were rescued, according to Laure Sinn and Holly Counts, a 2007 CSC alumna who has digitized about 200 of the glass plates in recent months. The exhibit commemorates the centenary of Ray Graves’ death in 1919. Plans to keep the exhibit open through Women’s History month in March are intended to honor Faye Graves. Besides nearly 100 prints of Chadron’s early buildings, people, trains, and agricultural scenes, an image of the June 24, 1910, groundbreaking ceremony for Chadron State College, a 1912 image of Theodore Roosevelt campaigning for a third presidential term, and one portrait, thought to be the last one taken of Chief Red Cloud shortly before his death in 1909, will be on display. The exhibit will also include other artifacts such as processing equipment, a Seneca Scout camera from the Graves’ studio and several hand tinted prints on loan by Chadron residents. The Graves’ marriage certificate and other historic documents, photos of studio registry pages, several original photos, an original postcard, copies of newspaper advertisements, and three glass plates will also be in the show.  “Only three original glass plates will be exhibited due to the fragile nature of the silver bromide emulsion. Thankfully, the entire collection of glass plates has been digitized because they continue to degrade with time, even when not handled,” said Counts, who is a former employee of the Nebraska State Historical Society and has experience preserving historical documents. The pioneer photographers provided an invaluable service by capturing images of space and time no conventional historian could, according to Dr. Allen Shepherd, a former CSC history professor. Shepherd said other photographers preceded Graves, but apparently none stayed long or left behind such a large cache of negatives. About 9,000 Graves’ negatives stored in a cabinet concealed by a false wall were destroyed in 1973 by a bulldozer clearing the building at 250 Main Street for new construction before the crew realized something was amiss. The late Don and Frances Huls, publishers of the Chadron Record, were notified and rescued about 1,100 plates. A few years later, the Huls family contributed their collection to the college. Efforts to preserve the plates have taken multiple forms. A 1978 community show was focused on identifying the subjects in the photos, according to Counts. About a decade later, CSC’s Campus Historical Forum, led by Shepherd, received a grant to print at least 100 of the negatives. In the early 2000s, Octavo Corporation set up a laboratory in the Sandoz Center to capture digital images of the plates and an exhibit at the Sandoz Center in 2004 showcased 50 portraits.

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      CHADRON – The beginnings of the Pan-African movement at the turn of the 20th Century and the activists of African descent who fought globally for equal treatment and citizenship rights in the face of European imperialist rule over most of the African continent comprise the subject of a recently released book by Chadron State College Associate Professor Dr. Tom Smith. And, while the topic is distant in time and place from the high plains of Nebraska, the issues raised by early Pan-African leaders are still relevant today, according to Smith, who is in his eighth year of teaching at CSC. Although the intellectuals involved in the early movement challenging European domination of Africa and its peoples were cutting through the once-common idea of skin color as a primary determinant of behavior, such beliefs persist more than a century later, said Smith. “It’s a messy area of race that hasn’t ever been straightened out,” he said. “It’s still with us today.” Smith’s book, “Emancipation without Equality; Pan-African Activism and the Global Color Line,” was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in October. The book is the product of more than six years of work. The topic has interested Smith since graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln when he learned about the life and work of Ida B. Wells, a 19th-Century African-American journalist and public speaker. Wells wrote a book about lynching in the American South following the Civil War and raised awareness of the issue through speaking tours of England in 1893 and 1894. “She was very understudied,” Smith said. Her tours took place a decade after the Berlin Conference, the event that forms the starting point of Smith’s book. That multi-nation meeting formalized European nations’ rules for colonizing Africa and led to eliminating or overriding most of the autonomous forms of African self governance. Tracing the growing recognition that the outlawing of slavery in Britain in 1833 and in America during the Civil War had failed to gain equal rights of citizenship for people of African descent, the book also examines the significance of the 1900 Pan African Conference. That’s where W.E.B. DuBois said “the problem of the twentieth century would be the global color line” that put white skinned people above others and created a racially divided world.   Smith’s book concludes with the 1911 Universal Races Congress, where people like pioneering anthropologist Franz Boas and others raised questions about the scientific racism of the times and the idea of a Euro-American civilizing mission in Africa. While many historians have advanced the idea of Pan-Africanism as a post-colonial movement with origins in the 1919 Pan-African Congress, Smith said his book shows that its roots are earlier. “My work argues that this idea of a unified Africa, in terms of a political and cultural identity, is in place by the turn of the 20th century,” he said. “There is a concept that internationally links these voices into kind of a trans-Atlantic world.” Research for the book took Smith to Oxford, England, for a summer, where he was able to access original documents from the conferences he studied and to a special institute of the New York Public Library that focuses on racial issues. Suggestions received from an anonymous reader of the initial manuscript were critical in bringing the book to fruition, said Smith. “Without that I don’t know if I would have gotten it done,” he said. “These kind of projects are really indebted to a lot of other scholarship and other scholars.” The book isn’t just aimed at historians who study the Pan-African movements, according to Smith. “I hope it interests people who want to know about this timeframe, about Pan-Africanism, about reform movements,” he said. “These issues are not just for historians. They have applicability outside the historical focus.” Smith said he hasn’t yet considered writing another book, but is reading a lot to decide what area of history he wants to pursue next. “I think it will be Atlantic world history at some level,” he said. “I would like to do something more explicitly on sub-Saharan Africa.” That’s another topic far from rural Nebraska, but the internet has opened access to historical documents that once could only be viewed in university or library collections, said Smith. “You would be amazed how Google books and digitizing the past has transformed the historian’s craft,” he said. “The stuff I had from archives that wasn’t really catalogued 10 years ago, now I can pull right up here.” And that’s a good thing for everyone, not just historians, according to Smith. “It’s good for the general opening of knowledge,” he said. “It has made the past more accessible to everybody.”

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  • 01/10/19--07:03: Range Day set for Tuesday
  • CHADRON – Two Chadron State College students and two alumni will make presentations during the Fourth Annual Upper Niobrara-White Natural Resource District (UNWNRD) Range Day Tuesday at Chadron State College’s Student Center. The CSC Rangeland Management program and C.F. Coffee Gallery with support from the Bill and Virginia Coffee Family Foundation are among the event’s major sponsors. According to Nevin Price, resources coordinator with the UNWNRD, the day-long, free event is planned to provide local agriculture producers and CSC students with industry news and best practices for range managers. The day begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes the presentation of the CSC Range Management Alumni Achievement Award during lunch. Those interested in attending should call 308-432-6190 to reserve a space for the free lunch. CSC Assistant Professor Dr. Tony Perlinski, who serves on the Range Day committee, said the agenda concludes with CSC student presentations at 3:30 p.m. Vanessa Yeoman of Hot Springs, South Dakota, will describe her field research about how controlled grazing might help control the spread of smooth brome, an invasive plant species. Marina McCreary of Morrill, Nebraska, will explain her research into man-made structures designed to mimic the appearance and purpose of beaver dams. Other speakers include Tim Buskirk, CSC alumnus and district ranger with the USDA Forest Service, who will talk about the status of recovery efforts from 2012 fires in the Pine Ridge National Forest and surrounding areas, and Kristin Dickinson, CSC alumna and district conservationist with the Natural Resource Conservation Service in Sidney, Nebraska, will describe ways to preserve and improve range health. Also, Aaron Berger, will speak on the unit cost of production and Don Day Jr. will present about weather. Two ranch managers, Jon Griggs, of Elko, Nevada, and Shanon Sims of McFadden, Wyoming, will describe environmental resources best practices. Griggs will explain how he oversees riparian areas for the benefit of wildlife and livestock and Sims will explain his rotational grazing plan. Agenda 8:30 a.m., Coffee 9 a.m., Pine Ridge Fire Recovery, Tim Buskirk  9:30 a.m., Riparian Management, Jon Griggs 10:30 a.m., Break 10:45 a.m., Range Health, Kristin Dickinson 11:30 a.m., Unit Cost of Production, Aaron Berger  12:15 p.m., Lunch featuring CSC’s Range Management Alumni Achievement Award 1 p.m., Current and Future Weather, Don Day Jr. 1:45 p.m., Break 2 p.m., Rotational Grazing by Shanon Sims 3:30 p.m. Presentations by student members of the Society of Range Management

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    CHADRON – Chadron State College will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21 with several free events that are open to the public. The “Grassroots Rural Civil Rights” schedule begins with a 9 a.m. presentation by Associate Professor Dr. Dave Nesheim in the CSC Student Center Ballroom. Nesheim will describe the development of the Freedom Party dedicated to increasing rights for poor citizens in rural Lowdnes County Alabama. He will also explain how Stokely Carmichael formulated the idea of Black Power, and address violence and the role of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Commission in development of a grassroots third party. The 10 a.m. session by Associate Professor Dr. Tom Smith will analyze the relationship between Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress (ANC) and rural constituencies in South Africa. His presentation will detail the rural elements of early South African reform movements and the tensions between rural and urban activism between 1960 when the ANC was banned to the free elections of 1994. “Selma,” a 2014 historical film about the 1965 Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, will be shown in the Ballroom from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The film, directed by Ava DuVernay, received multiple Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. At 1:30 p.m., the annual MLK Walk will begin at the intersection of Main and Third Streets. The route will proceed south on Main Street, turn east on Sixth Street, and finally, turn south on Shelton Street and proceed to the Student Center. At 2 p.m. in the Ballroom, three CSC students from Colorado, Jeff Mugongo of Aurora, BriYanna Lyon of Fountain, and Jalen Little of Colorado Springs, will share their experiences related to diversity in a panel discussion titled “My Story.” Ted Tewahade, Title IX Coordinator, will participate in the panel and serve as moderator. The Chadron High School Cardinal Singers and the Sixth Grade Choir will also perform. “Grassroots Rural Civil Rights,” is sponsored by the Social Science Club and the Diversity Committee. To learn more, contact Nesheim at or 308-432-7078.  

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    CHADRON – In August Associate Professor of Applied Sciences Dr. Josh Ellis did something many Chadron State College students do each semester – he moved on campus. Ellis, who has taught at CSC since 2014, helped pilot the Faculty in Residence program and as part of the program lives in Work Hall in an effort to increase engagement between students and faculty outside the classroom. Ellis said Work Hall doesn’t feel like a residence hall to him. “It has a real inviting living, learning community feel to it and is very conducive to learning and helping students find a self, which I think is a major purpose of college,” Ellis said. Ellis said the program has probably helped him more than the students. “Being immersed in the campus community has shown me how well CSC takes care of its students. Socially, personally and academically it seems they are very well taken care of and offered an optimal environment to figure out who they are,” Ellis said. Ellis said the Strategic Enrollment Management Team discovered there was student interest in having faculty live in residence halls and collaborated with several departments to set up the program’s pilot. When asked if he was interested in the program, Ellis hesitated, but after reading about the success it had at other schools, he decided to give it a chance. “There were a lot of people who had had experience with it and thought we should give it a shot,” Ellis said. “So far it’s been a great experience and hopefully the college sees it as a benefit as far as engagement, retention and similar areas.” Ellis didn’t want the program to come off as heavy-handed, but more of a behind-the-scenes reference or presence for students as he has realized how full students schedules are. “I just try to make myself available to students. If they want to visit, they can visit,” Ellis said. “I didn’t want it to be anything that was in their face. They have enough things scheduled for them, and I just wanted to serve as a reference for them.” The students’ busy schedules challenged Ellis when planning his monthly programs by the fireplace in Work Hall’s lobby. Ellis has presented on various topics including what the Faculty in Residence Program is and invited graduate students to present what they wished they would have known as an undergraduate. In addition to the fireside chats, Ellis spends a few hours each week in Work Hall’s lobby, making himself visible and available to students. CSC student Colton Perkins of Loveland, Colorado, often visits with Ellis. “I have gone to a few of his programs, but a lot of the time I just stop and talk to him if I see him watching TV or grading papers up in the lobby,” Perkins said. “I think that Dr. Ellis was the perfect candidate for this program. He seems to really enjoy engaging with students throughout the dorms.” Perkins views the program as a success. “I think it is a wonderful idea,” Perkins said. “I think faculty members can provide information and advice that other students in the dorms cannot. Obviously most faculty members have been here at Chadron State longer than most students and they all have prior college experience, so these faculty members can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, especially to newer students.” Edna Work Hall’s assistant director of Residence Life Channing Jons believes the program has worked toward bridging the gap between students and faculty. “Having Dr. Ellis in the building allows the students to see what a professor’s life is like outside of the classroom, and it allows Dr. Ellis to see how a typical student lives. He said that it allows him to give students in Edna a parent’s perspective on many things, as his children are around the same age as the students here on campus,” Jons said. Ellis plans to live in Work Hall through May. “It is nice being immersed in the community of CSC all of the time. Every morning I walk out of Edna (Work Hall), it just feels like home,” Ellis said. “I haven’t had a bad day on campus yet.”

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    CHADRON – As a candidate for governor in Minnesota, Tim Walz wanted to unite the state as “One Minnesota.” And following a successful campaign, Walz became the first Chadron State College graduate ever elected governor of one of the 50 states. After serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years, Walz was sworn in as Minnesota’s 41st Governor Jan. 7 in St. Paul. During the 2018 election, Walz, a Democrat, received about 54 percent of the vote, or nearly 300,000 more votes than his challenger, Jeff Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner. The 1,392,958 votes that he received are the most ever for a gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Walz, 54, was born in West Point, Nebraska, and spent most of his childhood in Valentine. He moved with his parents, Jim and Darlene Walz, to Butte, Nebraska, when he was a high school sophomore. Walz graduated from Chadron State in 1989 and spent the following year teaching English and American history and culture in southern China. Afterwards, he led tours which included numerous western Nebraska residents to China several summers. Following the year in China, Walz taught global geography in Alliance for six years. During that time, he met his wife, Gwen, a native of Minnesota who also was teaching in the Alliance Schools. In 1997, the couple moved to Mankato, her hometown, and he joined the faculty at West High School as a geography, history and sociology teacher. In 2002, he was one of six Minnesota teachers to receive a $10,000 award recognizing their high performances and contributions to teaching. His award was for Ethics in Education. Walz had joined the National Guard the summer after graduating from high school. Soon after he had been honored, his teaching career was interrupted when the First 125th Field Artillery Battalion from Minnesota that he had joined was sent to Afghanistan during the early stages of a conflict there. He had served in the National Guard 24 years when he retired with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. When he took office in the U.S. House, he became the highest ranking retired enlisted soldier to ever serve in Congress. Throughout his tenure in Washington, he championed enhanced veterans’ benefits. In May 2014, Walz returned to Chadron State to give the commencement address and also was presented the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award. During his talk, Walz said he was appreciative that his alma mater had provided middle class families like his the opportunity to earn a college education. “The professors at this college wanted us to succeed,” Walz said. “The door was always open for us to learn and to grow. We got a great base for future success. “A healthy and educated populace creates economic and national security. We have the right of self-governance which was paid for with blood. We need more critical thinkers like the students who graduated from CSC today.” Two of Walz’s siblings, Jeff, who lives in Florida, and Sandy Dietrich of Alliance, also graduated from Chadron State. Tim and Gwen have two children, Hope and Gus. While Walz is the first CSC alumni to become governor of a state, two graduates have served as the governors of American Samoa, a U.S. territory, since 2003. Togiola (Tala) Tulafono, held the office for 10 years, and was succeeded by Matalasi Moliga, the governor since 2013. They were among the two dozen or more American Samoans who attended Chadron State in the 1960s and ‘70s. Tulafono graduated from CSC in 1971 and Moliga in 1973.

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    CHADRON – The Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) at Chadron State College has earned plenty of attention in the nearly three decades since it began as a joint effort with the University of Nebraska Medical Center to help provide doctors, nurses and other health care workers for underserved rural areas. The focus on RHOP is fine, said Kristal Kuhnel, Director of Health Professions for CSC, but it can reduce awareness of the many other pre-professional training opportunities that Chadron State offers for students interested in careers in health care. “What we don’t talk about enough is health professions,” Kuhnel said. “Health professions is the big picture; RHOP is a small portion. (RHOP) is limited to nine health care professions and we need more than that.” In addition to the nine fields of study offered through RHOP, CSC offers preparation for 10 other health care professions, Kuhnel said. That means that students interested in pursuing careers such as optometry, podiatry, veterinary medicine and mortuary science can obtain their pre-requisite course work at Chadron State. RHOP has a limited number of openings and is only for Nebraska residents, restrictions that exclude many qualified students who are planning careers in health care, said Kuhnel. Students who may not be certain of their career choice when they enter college can miss out on RHOP, which generally enrolls high school seniors who are focused on a particular medical profession. “Sometimes you get to college before you figure out what path is for you,” Kuhnel said. “We get students like that all the time.” Training requirements for the 19 different health professions vary but many of the pre-requisite courses are similar, according to Kuhnel. In subsequent years, each student works with a faculty advisor to determine the courses needed for their particular field. “What we are trying to do is check off all the boxes they need to get into the professional school they want to go to,” Kuhnel said. “Their advisor will sit down with them and look at those schools and make sure they have all the pre-requisites they need.” Changes in entrance requirements for professional schools require Kuhnel and CSC science faculty to stay alert, so students find appropriate courses for their field. “It’s constantly evolving” she said.   Not all health professions students will actually earn a CSC degree, Kuhnel said, because schools for some professions, such as nursing, pharmacy and mortuary science, don’t require four years of pre-requisites. “If they don’t graduate with us, they will graduate with their professional school,” Kuhnel said. “Each profession has a unique take on it.” Besides helping health professions students take the right classes, CSC assists them in many other ways. Faculty members are generally on a first-name basis with their students and can write letters of recommendation that may be critical in gaining entrance to highly selective professional schools, she said. “I think it really does make a difference, especially for students who are not applying to the University of Nebraska Medical Center,” Kuhnel said. Help in arranging internship opportunities is another benefit for health professions students at CSC. Kuhnel and faculty members also set up mock interview sessions to help students prepare for the process of gaining entrance to a professional school. And there is a continuous emphasis on behavior, which can be an important factor in admission to a professional school, said Kuhnel. “It’s tough to get into professional school. We have a really good record of our students getting in because we work with them on professionalism,” she said. Students are also strongly encouraged to join the Health Professions Club, which provides opportunities to learn from others who are following similar paths. Senior club members help newer students with tips about preparing for entrance exams and useful study aids, and the club often brings in alumni to talk about their experiences. While RHOP participants automatically receive tuition scholarships, CSC also has some other scholarship opportunities for students in specific health professions fields. Recruiting for the health professions program, which takes Kuhnel to some 18 college fairs for high school students each September, is part of the effort to increase enrollment in the field. The planned renovation and expansion of CSC’s Math Science building should help bring more students into the health professions program, according to Kuhnel. “We are trying to have students prepared for a modern workforce in an antique building,” she said. “Our faculty are top notch, but it would be nice to have newer technology available, and larger labs. A new building would be very critical.” Pre-Health Professions programs at Chadron State College Chiropractic Medicine Cytotechnology Dentistry* Medicine* Nuclear Medicine Occupational Therapy Osteopathic Medicine Physical Therapy* Podiatry Veterinary Medicine Clinical Perfusion Dental Hygiene* Medical Laboratory Science* Mortuary Science Nursing* Optometry Pharmacy* Physician Assistant* Radiography* (*Available for Rural Health Opportunities Program participants)