There’s always a lot happening in the Doane community — more than typically can fit into a few long articles or enewsletter blurbs. To catch you up on even more on-campus events, student successes, faculty and staff achievements and alumni accomplishments, we’re publishing more short-form content each month as a way for readers to see more of what makes Doane amazing.

Get caught up this month on:

  • TRiO students' educational spring break trip to Disney World
  • The power of vulnerability at International Women's Day Tea Time event
  • Annual luncheon honors civil rights leaders César Chávez and Dolores Huerta
  • Greek life welcomes new members to chapters
  • Doane women inspire next generation of girls

TRiO Students Spend Spring Break at Walt Disney World

TRiO student group at Disney World
TRiO students and staff traveled to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, over spring break to partake in Disney Imagination Campus workshops. Photo courtesy of Jovany Chavez.

Eighteen TRiO students and two staff members from Doane’s Academic Success Center (ASC) descended onto Walt Disney World for five days of sun and educational creativity March 9-13.

The group attended three half-day workshops on leadership, teamwork, creative design and storytelling through Disney Imagination Campus. They had the opportunity to collaborate on and present a theme park design (which was approved!)

“The Disney Imagination Campus trip was designed to help students explore and improve their leadership and communication skills, broaden their horizons, and, most importantly, learn something new about themselves,” Jovany Chavez said. Chavez is the academic engagement coordinator with ASC and was one of the two staff members who attended the trip. 

He said the trip’s immersive opportunities were well-received by the TRiO students. TRiO is a federal program that provides academic support for students who are first generation, low income or experience a disability. 

Annual Luncheon Honors Legacy of Civil Rights Leaders Chávez and Huerta

Adan Martinez gives the keynote speech at an annual luncheon
Two-time Doane graduate and current master's student Adan Martinez gives the keynote speech at the annual luncheon honoring the legacy of César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. Photo by Liz McCue

The Doane University Latinx Student Association (DULSA) and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted their annual luncheon honoring César Chávez and Dolores Huerta on Tuesday, March 26. 

This year’s keynote speaker was Adan Martinez, Lincoln High School Instructional Coordinator. Martinez is a two-time Doane graduate who is currently working toward his Education Specialist degree at Doane, with plans to continue onto a Doctorate of Education. 

Martinez spoke to a packed room about his experiences growing up in Lincoln, and the turning point he experienced when a high school teacher pushed him to apply for a scholarship and attend college. His story has come full circle — Martinez now works at Lincoln High as instructional coordinator and has worked in Lincoln Public Schools since 2006. 

“I think one of my greatest takeaways from the luncheon was how important it is to provide everyone a place to share their stories,” said Dani Avalos, senior and DULSA president. “Having Adan Martinez share his narratives helps break down misconceptions and shows that if someone is given the right environment they can thrive.”

Greek Life at Doane Celebrates New Members

A group of sorority members put on a skit
A bridge crossing ceremony for new Greek life members was preluded by an evening of skits from each chapter. Photo by Crystal Hollmann.

Doane fraternities and sororities officially welcomed new members into their chapters during a bridge crossing event Friday, March 1. 

The evening began with group skits at Haddix Gym, an opportunity for each chapter to share their traditions with the larger Greek and Doane community and alumni. 

Later in the evening, the symbolic bridge crossing took place. Members of the four fraternities and four sororities walked their new members across the bridge south of New Hall, and officially welcomed them into their chapter and Greek life at Doane. 

The celebration concluded a month of rushing and a month of member education.

“There is much beauty to be found in fraternity and sorority life done right, and these students are strengthening my "why" every single day,” said Eden Diehl, assistant director of campus engagement - fraternity and sorority life at Doane.

Doane Women Empower Next Generation at Inspire Girls Expo

Shandi Walnofer leads a session at Inspire Girls
Shandi Walnofer, assistant professor and theatre costume specialist at Doane, led a session on discovering personal fashion at the Inspire Girls Expo on March 23, 2024. Photo by Liz McCue

Women from Doane’s admission team, faculty, students and staff attended the Inspire Girls Expo 2024 on Saturday, March 23 at Innovation Campus. 

The annual event is free for pre-teen and teenage girls and features booths from local businesses and groups and workshops on fun, engaging and timely topics. 

Doane cheer team members seniors Macie Sefrit and Kiersten Anderson and first-year Justice Stuart welcomed attendees as they entered the event. 

The following Doane staff, faculty and students led sessions:

  • Jennifer Torres, forensics assistant director — using speech interpretation as self-expression
  • Shandi Walnofer, assistant professor, theatre costume specialist — discovering your personal fashion
  • Rachel Jank, academic specialist — financial skills

Junior Jordan Bocock and senior Tasha Pedersen — time management and goal setting