WAYNE – As 400 undergrads and 150 graduates walked across the stage of Ramsey Theatre and outside in the Willow Bowl this past Saturday during the 2018 Spring Commencement at Wayne State College, several awards were handed out.
Professor of geography and chair of the Department of History, Politics and Geography, Dr. Randy Bertolas was honored with two teaching excellence awards. Also, 2010 graduate Lukas Rix received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Wayne State Foundation.
In a release from the college, WSC presented Bertolas the State Nebraska Bank & Trust Company Teaching Excellence Award and the Nebraska State College System (NSCS) Teaching Excellence Award. He has taught at Wayne State since 1995.
Matthew Ley, CEO of State Nebraska Bank & Trust in Wayne, presented the State Nebraska Bank & Trust Teaching Excellence Award. This prestigious honor recognizes rigorous standards that require a superior level of effective teaching.
David Ley, the banks’ chairman of the board, established the award in 1998 as a way of recognizing and strengthening outstanding teaching at Wayne State College. State Nebraska Bank & Trust has been serving the Wayne community for more than 125 years and supports the college in many ways, including numerous scholarships, capital investments, employment of students and service on the Wayne State Foundation Board of Trustees.
Rix, grew up in the small northeast Nebraska community of Lyons. According to a press release from Wayne State College, he has enjoyed the philosophies of doing business in rural communities.
Rix earned a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and management. He worked as the customer research manager for Sand Creek Post & Beam in Wayne upon graduation in 2010 until 2014. Rix has also served on the Wayne Area Economic Development (WAED) board for six years, including four years as secretary to the board. Rix has served as a trustee of the Wayne State Foundation since 2017.
As an advocate for rural communities to evolve in a positive way, Rix was selected by The Sherwood Foundation in 2014 to receive a community catalyst grant to further his knowledge and vision for Wayne. He continues to enjoy challenging rural citizens and business owners to tell their stories about the importance of rural communities.