Featured Tigers is a monthly series wherein the spotlight shines on a few students, alumni, faculty and staff from our Crete, Lincoln and Omaha campus locations. These individuals stand out in the best way — as talented and driven leaders.

View all Featured Tigers here.

Jaiden Papik (far right) sits with fellow Tigers on Tour (TOTs), Lindsey Udell (left) and Blair Souchek (middle) on the curb in front of Boswell Observatory.
Jaiden Papik (far right) sits with fellow summer 2023 Tigers on Tour Lindsey Udell (left) and Blair Souchek (middle) on the curb in front of Boswell Observatory.

What is your name and graduation year?
Jaiden Papik, 2025

What is your major or degree program? 
K-12 Physical Education and Secondary Education Spanish

What do you hope to do after completing your degree?
I plan to teach either P.E. or Spanish in a rural Nebraska school district. I have also considered continuing my Doane education by pursuing a Master of Education degree.

How is Doane preparing you to reach your goals?
The faculty and advisers at Doane challenge the students, which makes me strive to do better each day in all different aspects. At the same time, the support and motivation I receive from those around me is incredible. With innovative curriculum programs, Doane has set me up to be successful in life after college, too. I feel confident and prepared to pursue my goals following graduation. I know the connections that I am building with both students and staff here at Doane will be with me forever.

Who has been a major influence for you during your education at Doane? How have they helped you?
Two people who have really made an impact on my education here are Jared List and Cindy Meyer. Both of these professors help guide me as advisors and challenge me to reach my academic and career goals. Coming from an English-speaking background, Jared has helped me learn a lot about the language and culture, and encourages me to practice my Spanish in settings outside of the classroom. Cindy has been a great mentor as a physical educator, gives me lots of hands-on experience, and has really taught me to have a welcoming and inclusive class for all students!

What is something you're proud of accomplishing or achieving while at Doane?
Being involved in so many different campus organizations and leadership roles, I stay plenty busy as as student-athlete. I am proud that I have been on the Dean's List for every semester I've been at Doane. I have also been named as an NAIA Scholar Athlete after each softball season.

What advice would you give to an incoming student?
My best advice I can give to incoming students is to just be yourself. Your time in college goes by so fast, so make sure you are watering where you want to grow. Make time to focus on your school work, get involved, but also leave a little room for fun and live it up! Put your all into everything you do and don’t take any moment for granted!

What's something you like about yourself that other people may not know?
Most people don't know that Coach Al Papik ’50 was my grandpa's twin brother!

What is something you've really enjoyed about your time at Doane?

What I have most enjoyed during my Doane experience would be the lasting relationships I have built. By just living in the freshman residence halls, spending time on campus, and being in the community, I have met some of my best friends! It is awesome to see how quickly Doane has become a second home and the people here like family. From Homecoming to Stop Day, and everywhere in between, we have made so many memories together that I know I will cherish in the future!