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Alumna/Alumnus of the Year

Recognized as the 19th annual Alumnus of the Year at commencement was Aaron Dowd ’99. In his announcement of the award, Scotus president Jeff Ohnoutka said, “We want to recognize the extraordinary efforts Aaron has put forth to make our Secretary Chuck Hagel STEAM Lab project a tremendous success. Aaron guided Scotus with the initiation and development of the concept for the Hagel STEAM Lab established in honor of our esteemed alumnus, Chuck Hagel ‘64, former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator. Aaron served as the liaison with Secretary Hagel, personally reached out to a majority of the donors, and facilitated introductions for collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s STEM program, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Girls Who Code, and others. He continues to selflessly volunteer his time to advocate for the project that inspires integrative learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). Aaron has spearheaded a welcome strategic outlook toward the future needs and direction of Scotus in a changing world to help ensure future generations continue to experience and receive a first-class education.” Aaron worked for more than ten years for Secretary Hagel. He currently works with an international diversified holding company in Washington, DC. Aaron is married to Anna Dowd who serves at NATO; and has one daughter.

Criteria for Selection:
• Support of Catholic Education (volunteer, financial, sending children to, etc)
• Excellence in their vocation as a parent, professional or clergy member
• Civic involvement (leadership and voluntary involvement, club memberships, etc.)
• Parish involvement

Alumnus/na of Year Inductees/ Induction Year/ Graduation Year
Fr. Damien Zuerlein/ 2000 /1973
Carroll Melliger/ 2001/ 1941
Sr. Christine Hayes/ 2002/ 1951
Joe Tooley/ 2003/ 1955
Mike Moser/ 2004/ 1969
Karen Gdowski Mroczek/ 2005/ 1973
Fr. Jeff Loseke/ 2006/ 1992
Gregg Melliger/ 2007/ 1975
Al Niedbalski/ 2008/ 1971
Linda Schrad Levos/ 2009/ 1975
Tony & Phyl (Foltz) Zabawa/ 2010/ 1942 & 1942
Mike & Agne (Placzek) Pickhinke/ 2011/ 1950
Bill and Linda Vobril Kosch/ 2012/ 1968, 1968
Tim and Amy (Maguire) Harrington/ 2013/ 1977, 1978
Jeanne Kopetzky DeRuyscher/ 2014/ 1971
Gerry and Kathy (Kurtenbach) Engelbert/ 2015/ Honorary, 1958
Rick Zoucha/ 2016/ 1986
Todd and Lisa (Cielocha) Duren/ 2017/1985
Aaron Dowd/2018/1999

If you would like to nominate a Shamrock graduate for the Alumna/Alumnus of the Year Award, please send your nomination to the: Scotus Development Office, 1554 18 Ave, Columbus NE 68601 or by E-mail at (Alumna is for women and Alumnus is for men)

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