Jackson Stensgard '22 poses with his diploma next to Dr. Roger Hughes '82 during commencement on May 8, 2022.
Jackson Stensgard '22 poses with his diploma next to Dr. Roger Hughes '82 during commencement on May 8, 2022.

We asked faculty from Crete, Lincoln and Omaha to recommend graduating seniors in spring '22 who stood out in their classes. These students — our Featured Tigers — are just a few of the many talented and driven leaders from Doane's undergraduate and graduate programs. View all Featured Tigers here.

Let’s get started: tell us your name, your hometown, your degree program and some of the activities you participated in at Doane.

Jackson Stensgard, he/him/his

Maricopa, Arizona

Majored in biology, health sciences and natural resources and environmental sciences (NRES)

While at Doane, Jackson played baseball and was inducted into Kappa Alpha Omicron (KAO), an honor society supporting the fields of environmental science and studies.

First off — congratulations! How do you feel as you head into the next phase of your life?

I feel quite confident going into the next phase of my life. I have a plan in place that’s going to give me an opportunity I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, and an education that has prepared me for close to every encounter I may face along the way.

What’s your next step after graduation?

After graduating from Doane, I will be furthering my education through the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Pharmacy in Omaha.

How has attending Doane prepared you for your next steps?

Throughout my education, Doane has encouraged me to be the best version of myself in every facet of my life. I have been able to take advantage of opportunities I never would have dreamed of had I not attended Doane, both in the classroom and out, and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

What do you consider the best part of your Doane experience?

The Doane experience has given me a new outlook on life. Obviously being a part of the University itself is enjoyable, but I leave here knowing I am a better person than I was when I came in, and Doane has been a huge reason why.

What is something you’re proud of achieving or accomplishing while at Doane?

Academically, I had no intentions of earning three majors in college — when I walked onto campus, I only had intentions of earning one. But in having an extra year of college due to athletic eligibility, things worked out to where I could earn all three, and for that I am truly proud. As for athletics, the run our baseball team is making right now is one that is as special as anything I’ve been a part of in my sports career, and I am curious to see how successful we can be this year.

Who was a major influence for you during your education here, and how have they helped you? 

While I have had enough luck to keep positive relationships throughout my time at Doane, two individuals in particular stick out — Dr. Dane Bowder and Dr. Brad Elder. Dane is an incredible professor, research mentor, and human being in general who knows how to relate to college students and enhance their education, all while keeping a smile on his face, which is hard enough on its own. Brad is one of the smartest men I’ve ever met, and being his advisee and student has reshaped my entire idea of what an education is worth. These two professors have both influenced my education, and will continue to do the same for many more students in the future.

What will you miss the most about being a Doane student? 

The day-to-day encounters with the teammates, classmates, coaches, and faculty members here at Doane will always stick with me. These strong relationships won’t leave anytime soon, but to not have them around as frequently as I do now will be something I’ll certainly miss in the future.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Work as hard as you can, and make as many friends as you can in the process. College probably won’t be what you’re used to, but in all honesty that’s kind of the whole point.

Finishing a degree is tough to begin with, but especially so in recent years — what has helped you overcome the challenges of the past three semesters?

Keeping a line of communication between professors and classmates is instrumental now that technology is becoming a stronger part of education. Even with the risk of COVID receding, online lectures and assignments are becoming commonplace for many classes, and by taking advantage of these resources it makes learning course content that much easier.

Finally — what are you most excited about for your future?

I have an idea of what I want to do, but in terms of where or in what capacity, I have no clue. I think that open-ended aspect of the future is quite intriguing, and I can’t wait to see how things shake out.