Balancing the time it takes to stay on top of an academic program along with competing in athletics is not an easy task. Nevertheless, student athletes at the UNL College of Business Administration have proven again this year that they can accomplish both at a high level. Julie Brechtel and Casey Hauptman are two examples of the 90 student athletes at CBA who were honored as Medallion recipients recognizing student athletes who achieve a grade point average between 3.000 and 4.000.
Brechtel is a senior member of the Husker softball team that has been nationally ranked for most of the season. Originally from Fullerton, California, she visited the Lincoln campus in high school and knew this is where she wanted to attend college.
“I came here in 2006 and it was minus three degrees,” said Brechtel. “But I toured the facilities and I absolutely loved the environment around here. The thing that really drew me here was the education aspect and from a sports standpoint the Academic All-Americans from UNL. That’s something I’ve been striving for since I’ve been here."
Brechtel was recognized with the Highest Honors Medallion representing students with a GPA between 3.750 and 4.000. Although currently a senior, Brechtel will not graduate until 2012 because she is pursuing a double major in business administration and marketing along with minors in economics and art. After completing her undergraduate degree Brechtel says she will likely pursue an MBA.
“I’ve always had the feeling that I might want to run my own business and I knew that this is where I’d get the best education for that. Owning a business would be great. I would love to do something that incorporates everything that I’m passionate for. If I could do a business with softball that would be great or anything with art would be amazing."
Competing in softball for the Huskers has been amazing for Brechtel as well. Nebraska has steadily improved each year that she has been on the team. Brechtel has batted well over .300 for the season and is a four year starter at second base.
“I can’t ask for a better team. I love every single one of them and we’re doing really well. I couldn’t ask for better facilities, better coaches, better academic support -- every aspect of it has been great."
Casey Hauptman was also drawn to compete in athletics at UNL although his interest in the Huskers happened earlier in life. Hauptman grew up in Omaha and competed at Millard South in baseball, basketball, and football. Although earning many honors as a quarterback for Millard South, Hauptman received his best offer to play baseball at UNL.
“I’ve played sports since I was seven years old,” said Hauptman. “I always wanted to be a Husker and I got an opportunity to get a Division I offer to play baseball here so it was really a no brainer because of the facilities and coaches that are here."
Hauptman was drawn to the College of Business Administration in part because of his family ties.
“My dad and grandpa owned and ran a John Deere dealership in Plattsmouth. I’ve always been around that business side of the world. I knew I didn’t want to be in an agricultural business but I thought with my dad’s background in business he could help me out so I chose the College of Business Administration and ran with that."
Hauptman, who will graduate in May with a degree in business administration, received the High Honors Medallion for student athletes with a GPA between 3.500 and 3.749.
“Our academic counselor in athletics Katie Jewell has really helped out a lot. She’s always on top of everything. She makes us fill out our calendars for everything that we need to do. She really has everything figured out for us so there’s not very much for us to do except just do the work. You meet with professors before the season starts to let them know when we’re going to be gone and if we’re going to miss a class you should do your work beforehand.
“It’s been a rough road with baseball and academics at the same time but I’ve been able to get my time management down. My favorite classes have been here in my senior year like Business Policies and Leadership. Those really opened my eyes to what I might like to do. For the immediate future I’m thinking about trying to get my MBA."
Hauptman also hopes to get an opportunity to play professional baseball. Statistically, he is one of the top pitchers in the country this year and has been a key component in helping the team improve upon last year’s season.
“It’s been great. My time here has gone by really fast and it’s such a cliché but it’s so true. You come in and think you’re never going to graduate and before you know it you’re done."
Although there will always be new success stories of business student athletes like Brechtel and Hauptman -- the foundation for that success will continue to be built upon as future Husker athletes and the College of Business Administration move to the Big Ten conference this year.