FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2017, 10:00 a.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402-872-2429
Peru, Nebraska- Peru State College Assistant Professor of English, Kristi Nies, was named the College’s 2017 Teaching Excellence Award winner. Nies will be honored during the College’s commencement on May 6.
President Dan Hanson said, “Professor Nies has a passion for students. Her investment in the success of students exemplifies the College’s long tradition of quality, personalized education.
“She also has a long connection to Peru State College and its tradition of excellence. As we plan the College’s next 150 years, Professor Nies and our committed faculty will serve as the strong base for continuing our mission of engagement and excellence at Peru State .”
“It’s still a little unreal,” Nies said. “I am tremendously humbled because I look back on the others that have won [this award] in the past, and that is some amazing company to be in . . . so, I’m still blown away by it . . . and I’m still very emotional about it.”
Nies joined the Peru State staff in 1999 as a part-time writer for the then-Office of Advancement. In 2001, she became the Tutorial Coordinator for the Student Success Services program at Peru State, while also serving as an adjunct instructor of English. In 2009, she joined the School of Arts and Sciences as a full-time member of the English faculty, and in 2013 was promoted to Assistant Professor of English.
While teaching English composition and journalism classes, Nies serves as the Faculty Advisor for The Peru State Times, the College’s award-winning student newspaper. During her tenure, the Times has earned 15 Golden Leaf Awards from the Nebraska Collegiate Media Association. Nies has also finished her first year as President of NCMA during the 2016-2017 school year. The Golden Leaf Awards recognize student excellence in print, radio, television, and web.
Nies is the Faculty Advisor for the Peru State College Black Student Union. In 2010, the Union won the Nebraska Governor’s Points of Light Award for outstanding community service. The Points of Light Award recognizes “Nebraska volunteers who give their time, talent and energy to help Nebraskans build stronger communities.” Black Student Union will celebrate their 10th anniversary during the 2017-2018 school year.
She works with the Athletic Department as an informal academic advisor to the Bobcat football team. Other campus duties include co-chairing the Council for Inclusion and the At-Risk Subcommittee of the Retention Committee. She also serves as a representative of the School of Arts and Sciences on the Strategic Planning Committee and on the Assessment Committee.
In 2012, Nies was the recipient of The Barb Lewellen Award for outstanding service to the students of Peru State College. The award “honors an outstanding faculty, staff member, or administrator who has distinguished himself or herself through the betterment of students and student life at Peru State College.”
In addition to her many duties on campus, Nies is currently serving as the Church Council President at Peru Community Church and Secretary of the City of Peru’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Other off-campus activities include membership in the American Hereford Association, the Peru Historical Society, and the Nature Conservancy.
Nies is a member of Peru State’s 1867 Society and received the Nemaha County Friend of 4-H Award in 2012.
Nies earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Writing from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and holds a Master’s of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently completing her dissertation, “The Impact of the Use of Open Education Resources on College Student Success, Course Evaluation and Course Preference”.
Before moving to Peru in 1997, Nies was a reporter at a daily newspaper in central Illinois. She moved to Nebraska to assist her grandmother following the death of her grandfather. Nies’ grandparents, Ross and Maryon Adams, were both graduates of Peru State College. Her grandfather served as president of the PSC Foundation Board of Directors for several years, and is in the Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1941 championship football team. Her late grandmother taught kindergarten at Peru Elementary for 30 years and served as an adjunct faculty member in the College’s School of Education.
Nies lives on her grandparents’ farm outside of Peru with her dog Bodhi, horses Gunner and CJ, and many beautiful cows.