Friday, August 8, 2014

Senior Advisor Amber Messersmith Recieves National Award

Mortar Board Xi Phi Chapter Senior Advisor Amber Messersmith won the prestigious Excellence in Advising Award at the Mortar Board National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia last week. The recognition was awarded to the top three advisors from more than 230 chapters across the nation.

Messersmith's students nominated her for her dedication to the organization.  She takes the time to get to know each member and fosters a sense of community within the chapter.  Students also noted that she is present at all chapter activities and continuously encourages them to go above and beyond, always proving to be an inspirational force. 

Mortar Board Earns National Recognition

Xi Phi Chapter President Maggie Jackson and Senior Advisor Amber Messersmith, second and third from left respectively, received the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award at Mortar Board National Conference.  Also pictured are Section Coordinator Kristi Okerlund from the University of North Dakota, far left, and president of Mortar Board National Council Martha Starling, far right.

The Xi Phi chapter of Mortar Board won the organization’s highest national honor, the Ruth Weimer Mount Chapter Excellence Award, at the Aug. 1-3 Mortar Board National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  The award is presented each year to the nation’s single most exceptional chapter.

The Xi Phi chapter of Mortar Board also received the Golden Torch Award, which is awarded to 24 chapters that contribute meaningful scholarship, leadership, and service to their institutions. UNK has received the recognition 15 out of the last 16 years.

In addition, Xi Phi won nine Project Excellence awards, given to chapters for notable achievements in scholarship, leadership, fundraising, service, and involvement. The recognized projects were: Faculty Appreciation Dinner, Campus Cleanup, Freshman and Sophomore recognition event, Fuel Around the Fountain, Last Lecture Series, Outstanding Freshman and Sophomore Awards, Reading is Leading program, True Blue game days, and Veteran's Day letter writing event.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

2013-2014 Outstanding Sophomore Sends Appreciation

Sophomore Mallory Placek was awarded the Rosenlof and McKenzie Outstanding Sophomore Scholarship during the new member initiation last April.  After receiving her award, Mallory wanted to send her thanks to all of the Mortar Board Alumni who made this scholarship possible.  

Dear Alumni,

Thank you for your generous donations that help fund the Mortar Board Outstanding Sophomore Scholarship that I received this last spring.  I was humbled to receive such an honorable scholarship.  Thank you for all of your encouragement and support that you give to the students of UNK. 

This upcoming fall I will be a junior at UNK studying both Spanish and Organizational and Relational Communications.  I will be participating in the Peru Study Abroad trip this spring to further my Spanish major and enhance my Spanish speaking and listening skills, as well as experience an entirely new culture.  I am excited to spread my wings and be pushed outside of my comfort level.  I know that Peru will offer me new and sensational opportunities that I will never forget. 

Again, thank you for supporting me.

With appreciation,
Mallory Placek

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mortar Board Receives University Awards

On Thursday, Apr. 25, the Office of Student Life and Division of Student Affairs hosted the 3rd annual Applauding Excellence event. Mortar Board and those affiliated with the group proudly took home multiple awards!

First, the group was honored with Outstanding Collaborative Program for its True Blue Game Days campaign.

Members of Mortar Board on hand to accept the Outstanding Collaborative Program Award, many of whom were nominated and received other awards during the program as well (l-r): Jordan Bloesser, Karlee Nuttelman, Amanda Swenson, Nicole Connor, Michael Christen, Chaney Black, Adam Kahle, Blair Youngs, and chapter advisor Amber Messersmith

Second, Chapter President Michael Christen was honored as Outstanding Organization Leader. This marks the second time (in the three years of this event's existence) that this award has gone to a Mortar Board member! All leaders in nearly 200 UNK student organizations are eligible to be nominated for this award.

Michael (left) accepts his award from Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Joseph Oravecz (right)

Finally, the chapter's senior advisor, Dr. Amber Messersmith was humbled to win the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor award, for which the chapter surprised her with their nomination. 

More information about the other award winners may be found at the following link:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Initiation 2014

The Xi Phi Chapter held its initation ceremony on Friday, Apr. 11 at the Museum of Nebraska Art. This formal event is always bittersweet, as we say goodbye to the outgoing class as well as welcome the new group.

Thanks to all of the family members, friends, and members of the UNK community who joined us to celebrate Mortar Board!

A great looking group of new and outgoing Mortar Boarders!

We wish the 2013-2014 group all the best as they graduate and begin the next chapter of their lives. Thanks for all of your hard work this year!

The torch has been passed to this capable and accomplished 2014-2015 group (plus a few individuals are not pictured). We have 27 terrific students who exemplify scholarship, leadership and service entering the group.
Check back next school year to see how they continue serving the UNK and Kearney communities!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Congratulations to the newest members of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, 2014-15

New Member Xiaojun Liu with Michael Christensen and Michael Bohn
Jessica Albin
Megan Brown
Daniel Carlson
Chesany Eberle
Lindsey Eubanks
John Gibbs
Haley Gunnink
Jonathan Hess
Heidi Hostert
Margaret Jackson
Britt Jensen
Morgan Kristensen 
Billie Kunzman
Matthew Lenagh
 Kaitlyn Liberty
Xiaojun Liu
Bethany Lueck
Sarah Maginnis
Cole Manhart
Tessa Mannlein
Kelly Messbarger
Rachel Nozicka
Kelsie Post
Connor Schulte
Katee Rocheford
Carly Wollman
Kenneth Trantham, Ph.D.
Mortar Board supporter, Dr. Trantham, received a surprise tapping
from members Mary Ann Pelc and Adam Kahle

Monday, February 24, 2014

Outstanding Freshman & Outstanding Sophomore Scholarship

Mortar Board, the Senior Honor Society at UNK, is awarding one Outstanding Freshman scholarship and one Outstanding Sophomore scholarship, each of which will be applied to the Fall 2014 semester.  Winners will be selected on the basis of their proven leadership, scholarship, and service.  In order to apply for the freshman scholarship, you must have completed 24 credit hours by May 9, 2014 and sophomores must have 48 credits done by May 9, 2014.  Finally the last requirement is that your cumulative GPA must be at or higher than a 3.3. 

You are able to pick an application up at the Student Union Welcome Desk or from any Mortar Board member.  It due on Friday, March 14th to the Mortar Board on-campus mailbox.   If you have any questions, please contact:  Mortar Board Member MaryAnn Pelc at or Mortar Board Advisor Dr. Amber Messersmith at

Good luck to all who apply!
Freshman Application:
Sophomore Application: