Burr and Fedde Alums – Where are they now?

Burr and Fedde Alums – Where are they now?

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Jean Rhodes

Jean Rhodes

Ag Honors – Agricultural Education '82, Law '82
Fedde Resident: 1975-1982

Jean Rhodes has called two places "home" in her lifetime; Bridgeport, Neb. and Fedde Hall. During her seven years at the university, Rhodes lived in Fedde Hall the entire time, studying ag education then law. After earning a law degree, she returned to the family farm in Bridgeport.

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She still maintains that land today while also practicing law. A self-described prankster, Rhodes will never forget the night she and her roommate tried to catch the masterminds behind Fedde Hall's infamous "Thorny."

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Walter and Natalia Bjorklund

Walter Bjorklund

Ag Honors - Range Management '64
Burr Resident: 1960-1962

Natalia Bjorklund

Horticulture '02
Burr Resident: 1997-1999

Burr Hall runs in the family for the Bjorklunds. Walter Bjorklund, a native of Greeley, Neb., was a resident in the early 1960s while a part of the ag honors program, and nearly 40 years later his daughter Natalia moved into the same hall, where she began her pursuit of a horticulture degree. Their East Campus connection has sparked several moments of reminiscing between the father and daughter.

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"While I was waiting for class one day as a freshman, I was in the animal science building looking at old pictures of the livestock teams, and I saw my dad's name — I didn't even know he was on the team," laughed Natalia, now a horticulture educator with Nebraska Extension. "It was hilarious. And just what a homesick freshman needed."

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Doug Swanson Portrait

Doug Swanson

Agricultural Journalism '91
Burr Resident: 1987-1989

Doug Swanson's life today is much different from his childhood. He was raised on a small farm in northeast Nebraska and now he lives in an urban neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, and rides the train to Washington, D.C., each day, where he works as national program leader at the 4-H National Headquarters within the United States Department of Agriculture. He's also pursuing a doctorate in human and organizational learning.

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"I was pleasantly surprised in my doctoral courses at George Washington University that there were several researchers and professors from UNL who were referred to in our program," Swanson said. "Very nice to see the caliber of academic work that comes from my alma mater."

Swanson earned a degree in agricultural journalism from the university in 1991. He, along with several of his Burr Hall friends, was very active in the collegiate 4-H club and did many service projects on campus and in Lincoln.

"Several of my best friends today were people I met in Burr Hall. I fondly remember going to the East Campus cafeteria early for dinner and then going back to the dorm to watch many repeats of M*A*S*H* before whatever we did for the evening."

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Kathleen Lodl Portrait

Kathleen Lodl

Family & Consumer Science Education '85
Burr Resident: 1981-1985

Kathleen Lodl has been on East Campus since the fall of 1981. She holds three degrees from the university and is currently associate dean of Nebraska Extension and Nebraska 4-H program administrator.

"I came to campus and never left!"

Jennifer Schoen Portrait

Jennifer Schoen

Agricultural Education '11
Burr Resident: 2007-2008

Jennifer Schoen's first memory of Burr Hall came at a young age. She remembers her father driving their family through campus and telling tales of his time at the university. When the time came for Schoen to head to college, she only had one residence hall in mind. Still, the Oxford, Neb. native was nervous about moving to a new environment.

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"The nerves wore off pretty quickly thanks to my first night in Burr Hall. We lined the hall of B3E in our pajamas, passing junk food around, dishing on the good looking boys on the other side of the building and quickly bonding as a family," Schoen recalls. "We did everything together that first year. Nearly 10 years later, we still get together a few times a year and even have our own Snapchat group. I thank God and Burr Hall for giving me my favorite memories and my closest friends."

Schoen earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education in 2011. Today she is a 4-H Youth Development educator with Nebraska Extension, serving Garfield, Loup and Wheeler counties.

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Phil Erdman Portrait

Phil Erdman

Agricultural Education '00
Burr Resident: 1996-2000

After a two-term stint in the Nebraska Legislature then nearly six years working alongside U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, today Erdman is the vice president of membership for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation."My favorite memory of living in Burr Hall was the 1998 Bull Fry when we raised money for the Adrian Regier family."

Zach Hunicutt Portrait

Zach Hunnicutt

Agricultural Economics '04
Burr Resident: 2000-2003

"The community in Burr Hall was wonderful to be a part of," recalled Zach Hunnicutt. "Whether it was playing cards all night, having Bible studies, or road tripping to Husker games, there were always plenty of people to hang out with."

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Hunnicutt came to the university in 2000 from Giltner, Neb., to study ag economics with a minor in agricultural leadership, education and communication. Today he's back on the family farm working with his family raising corn, soybeans, popcorn and seed corn.

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Boone McAfee Portrait

Boone McAfee

Agricultural Economics '13
Burr Resident: 2009-2013

Who needs sleep in college? Boone McAfee did not!

"All of my best memories from Burr Hall were spending time with friends and playing sand volleyball for hours, the Bull Fry, making late night grilled cheese in the dorm and hanging out in the hall at all hours of the night."

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McAfee, a native of Leigh, Neb., lived in Burr Hall for four years while earning his degree in agricultural economics. McAfee is currently the director of research for the Nebraska Corn Board.

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Val Kesterson Portrait

Val Kesterson

Agricultural Journalism '15
Burr Resident: 2011-2012
Fedde Resident: 2012-2014

Val Kesterson lives in Minneapolis working as an assistant account executive for Broadhead — an advertising agency that is focused on connecting the interests of urban and rural. It's a mission that she believes in because she has lived in both places.

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In 2011 Kesterson moved from Bridgeport, Neb., population 1,500, to Lincoln to study agricultural journalism. It was the nice residents and tight-knit community she found on East Campus that made the transition easier.

"The people are what made Burr/Fedde the best place to live on campus!"

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