Meet The Experts in Public Policy and Nonprofit

Nonprofits have been created to offer services that the government and private business sector can’t effectively provide. Many of these organizations build social capital, advocate for vulnerable populations, and/or work to shape public policy around important social, political, and economic issues.

The panelists below will share more about how they got interested in their field and provide advice and insight to UNL students looking to break into these fields.

Bryan Seck (he/him/his)
Workforce Development, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development Driver, Prosper Lincoln (nonprofit); and own small business

What sparked your interest in this field?
Previously, I served as Homeless Outreach for LPS. In this role, I focused on creating stability for the parents, especially finding quality jobs. That work led me to Prosper Lincoln and LPED.

How did you gain experience when you were a student completing your undergraduate degree?
I wish I would have done more. In undergrad, I triple majored and worked two jobs. I wish I would have worked (and studied!) less and spent more time applying the skills that I was learning.

Who is someone that influenced your career and professional development?
Kim Russel is the recently retired CEO of Bryan Health. She served as my Prosper Lincoln board chair from 2016-2020. Whenever I had an intractable problem, I would ask for a 30-minute meeting with her. It would take me 10 minutes to explain my issue and 5 minutes for her to say, “Well Bryan, have you thought about…” The answer was always “no,” but I would start at that moment. Her advice, calm and cool demeanor, and attitude of collaboration first are something that I always carry with me.

What is one important skill you’ve had to acquire and hone as you’ve grown in your career?
It’s a small world and all you have is your reputation. Help everyone that you see doing good work in the community. You will run across them in the future and that personal capital will help both of you to achieve your goals. Never stop meeting people/networking.

Valeria Rodriguez (she/her/hers/ella)
Engagement Coordinator, Define American & President/CEO of Empowering Families

What sparked your interest in this field?
My own story and experience as an immigrant in rural Nebraska sparked my interest to work for Define American, but also in starting my own non-profit in Scottsbluff, NE.

How did you gain experience when you were a student completing your undergraduate degree?
I gained my experience of community organizing by interning with Nebraska Appleseed and then was hired on to be a part-time staff member.

Who is someone that influenced your career and professional development?
Dr. Jake Kirkland (Former Director for the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center at UNL)

What is one important skill you’ve had to acquire and hone as you’ve grown in your career?
How to run a non-profit board.

Public Policy, Public Administration, Public Health and Foreign Service/NGO Meet Up

Wednesday, March 10th, 2021, 5:30 PM

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To access the program go to this link

*Check out the outstanding panel of professionals below who will share about how they got started

Foreign Service/NGO 

Public Administration

Public Policy/Legislation

Public Health

Public Policy/Nonprofit