LUKAS RIX, a 2010 graduate of Wayne State College, describes his vision as he receives the Alumni Achievement Award from the Wayne State Foundation. Rix grew up in Lyons.

WAYNE — During commencement and leading up to it, several awards were given by Wayne State College to recognize outstanding alumni and professors.

Lukas Rix, a 2010 graduate of Wayne State College, received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Wayne State Foundation.

From an early age growing up in Lyons, Rix said he has enjoyed the philosophies of doing business in rural communities. He earned a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing and management.

Rix worked as the customer research manager for Sand Creek Post & Beam in Wayne upon graduation in 2010 until 2014.

Rix served on the Wayne Area Economic Development 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.

Another pair of awards were announced during commencement and given to the same professor.

Dr. Randy Bertolas of Wayne State College earned the Rebensdorf Teaching Excellence Award and the State National Bank Teaching Excellence Award.

Both were announced last Saturday at Wayne State College commencement.

PREVIOUSLY, KAREN GRANBERG and Henry Miller were honored in late April in the Kanter Student Center as recipients of the 2018 Ron Holt Civic Engagement Award.

Granberg accepted the inaugural Professional Staff Civic Engagement Award and Miller was selected as the student leader.

Ronald Holt, a 1989 Wayne State College Alumnus, has recognized a graduating Wayne State College senior for the last five years with a "You Make a Difference'' plaque, medallion and a $500 award for their outstanding merit as a civic engagement leader.

Finalists Rachel Colwell of Bellevue and Jayme Krejci of Saint Paul were also awarded with a "You Make a Difference'' plaque, medallion and a $250 award at the luncheon.

KAREN GRANBERG began her career at Wayne State College in 1989 after completing of an 18-month grant-funded Rural Farm Crisis Response project in which she worked with farm families and rural schools to assist transitioning families from life and work on the farm to town or city life and employment.

Granberg accepted a position as a licensed mental health practitioner in the Wayne State College Counseling Center. She also has served as adviser to student groups and organizations.

HENRY MILLER of Crofton is a sociology and speech communication major with minors in international studies and public and global health. He participated in three service-learning projects.

He spent a summer interning at the Center for Rural Affairs as a program policy assistant and organizing intern advocating for Nebraska’s rural communities. In order to continue his civic engagement work, Miller applied for, and was appointed for one term, as Wayne State College’s student trustee at the Nebraska State College System.

Miller’s last semester of his senior year was spent co-organizing various campus-community conversations for a project called The Art of Civil Discourse.

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