Cherish Nebraska team, including Joeckel, to earn Kudos Award

Matt Joeckel served as one of the visionaries for the Cherish Nebraska exhibit space in Morrill Hall.
Matt Joeckel served as one of the visionaries for the Cherish Nebraska exhibit space in Morrill Hall.

The NU Board of Regents will award the Cherish Nebraska team the Kudos Award during the Oct. 25, 2019, meeting at Varner Hall. Cherish Nebraska is the $11.4 million University of Nebraska State Museum expansion, featuring nine new gallery spaces that celebrate Nebraska’s natural history: landscapes, birds, plants and animals.

Matt Joeckel, School of Natural Resources senior associate director and director of the Conservation and Survey Division, served on the original planning team with nearly 20 others.

“I want to extend my heartfelt appreciation to each member of the visionary team,” wrote Bob Wilhelm, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development, in a letter to the Cherish Nebraska team. “Each of you saw potential in the long-closed fourth floor and together imagined and pursued a bold vision for its future. Without your dedication and hard work, the fourth-floor renovation at Morrill Hall and its impact on visitors would not have been possible.”

The Board of Regents selects individuals or groups who go above and beyond job responsibilities for the recognition. Nominees for the award must consistently demonstrate high-quality job performance, project a commitment towards excellence in the quality of daily work, inspire a teamwork attitude, contribute to high staff morale and use sound judgement in the exercise of duties.
Joeckel hopes the exhibit makes a difference for Nebraskans, and reconnects her residents with nature.

“Today, many of us seem to lack a substantive sense of place, which can be a formidable barrier to the conservation of the natural world. We fail to see the wonders right in front of us because our minds are fixated on other things and other places,” he said. “Such oversights are all but inculcated in us — but why, for example, do tropical rainforests seem more worthy of our concerns than do our own tallgrass prairies? Indeed, what we typically overlook is far more wondrous than we know.

“‘Cherish Nebraska’ amply testifies that Nebraska is an astounding place with an amazing natural heritage. I fervently hope that the exhibit will engender a deep sense of place and reconnect Nebraskans with Nature in an abiding way.”

Natural Resources