Alumni Board

Alumni Board

If you would be interested in serving on the CFPA Alumni Board, please contact Kathe Andersen at (402) 472-9355.

Kate Brooke

Kate Brooke is a printmaker and mixed media artist who exhibits her work regionally and nationally. She founded the Opossum Track Press, a printmaking and letterpress studio in Lincoln in 1990. Kate received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1985 and her Master of Fine Arts in 1989 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 2005-2007, Kate was selected to participate in the Lincoln Arts Council's groundbreaking Stories of Home project. Her recent exhibits have included a group exhibit by five artists at Modern Arts Midwest and "Perspectives: Small works from Modern Arts Midwest" at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center Gallery in Nebraska City. Her work celebrates the significance of experience, memory and the natural world.

Amanda Christi

Amanda Christi
Amanda earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film in 2009 with an emphasis in Film and New Media. She started her professional career at Outpost12 Studios in Lincoln where she directed more than 75 commercials, corporate videos and narrative shorts.

In 2014, Amanda returned to UNL as the Video Producer & Cinematographer for the Office of Admissions. There she has continued to hone her directing skills producing a variety of videos for the undergraduate admissions website, including features on the Honors Programs and Diversity at UNL. She has also had the pleasure of directing several advertising campaigns for the University in conjunction with the amazing team of marketers from Academic Services & Enrollment Management.

Adrienne Dickson

Adrienne received her B.F.A in Music Theatre from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1994) and her M.M. in Opera Performance from The Boston Conservatory (1997). Currently, she is pursuing a D.M.A. in Vocal Performance at UNL under the direction of Donna Harler-Smith and was a 2004-2005 Fling Fellowship Scholar as well as a 2004-2005 P.E.O Scholar Award winner. As a mezzo soprano solo artist, some of her operatic roles include Madame Lidoine in "Dialogues of the Carmelites," Marcellina in "The Marriage of Figaro," Augusta and Mamma McCourt in "The Ballad of Baby Doe," the title role in "Julius Caesar," and Dame Carruethers in "Yeomen of the Guard." She won her division of both the 2003 Midwest Region NATS and the Nebraska State NATS competition and has also been the alto soloist in classic works such as Haydn's Mass in B flat, Schubert's Mass in A, and Beethoven's Mass in C. In addition, she has been a featured soloist for the Omaha Symphony/Opera Omaha Choral Collaborative, Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, Abendmusik, Omaha's Cathedral Arts Project's fall concert. Adrienne has toured with local Lincoln choirs as both soloist and choir member to the Czech Republic, Latvia, England, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark as well as touring across the Midwest. She has also performed with the Wagon Train Project as the soloist in "Wickedness" in both the Lincoln and in the New York City productions. She has given multiple recitals and benefit concerts, including a Valentine's fund-raiser for Opera Omaha, where she was the mezzo soprano soloist.

Steve Gaines

Steve was born in Lincoln 70 years ago this past July. He's still here. He has, however, been around a little. He entered the University in Sept. 1954 and eventually concluded his education with a Masters Degree in 1970. He is married, and with his wife Sharon, has five children: Jeff, Susan, Jerry, Patrick and Samantha. He and his wife have 14 grandchildren ranging from 22 to two years old and are currently expecting a 15th in late December. They spend a lot of time on the road visiting them. After his undergraduate degree (a BS majoring in Physical Education), he taught in the Hastings and Ashland school systems. After receiving his Masters in theater he went to work for the Nebraska ETV network, and for 25 years held a number of postions, including scenic design and cable access coordinator. During all these years he appeared in local theatre productions. He retired in 1998, and since retirement has continued in local theatre production. He was one of the founding members of Nebraska Rep back in the 1960s and in the past few years has continued to be active with Hay Market Theater and Flatwater Shakespeare. Over the past 50 some years he has performed in more that 60 productions, including stage, television, and radio. For the past 20 years, he has held membership in Actor's Equity.

Nancy Heiser

Nancy Nordstrom Heiser is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Having received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Education in 1976, she taught art in the Omaha Public Schools, the Kansas City Public Schools, and the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. She is a practicing artist and a community volunteer. She has served on the board of trustees of Pius X High School, and has been an active member in the Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association, the Lancaster County Medical Alliance, Friends of St.Monica's, and the Hildegard Center for the Arts. She has served as a Capital Campaign Fundraiser for the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital and the Park it at Woods Campaign. She is currently serving on the MEDICI Board at the University of Nebraska.

Eric Moyer

Eric Moyer

Eric Moyer is an actor, marketer and property developer who calls Lincoln, Nebraska, home.  After graduating from the College of Fine and Performing Arts with a bachelor’s degree in theater, Eric moved to Los Angeles where he earned a number of bit parts in both film and television. Eric returned to Nebraska in 2006 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marketing Communication and Advertising; not long after, he rekindled his love of acting appearing in a number of locally produced film projects. Eric is also an active participant in Lincoln’s thriving theater community appearing in productions produced by the Lied Center, Angel’s Theatre Company and Haymarket Theater.

Lance Nielsen

Dr. Lance D. Nielsen is the Supervisor of Music for Lincoln Public Schools where he supervises all music programs K-12. Prior to becoming an administrator, Dr. Nielsen taught for 23 years in both public schools and higher education. His teaching appointments included Associate Professor of Music at Doane University, instrumental music teacher at Lincoln East High School, Norris Public Schools, and Kimball Public Schools in Nebraska. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor for Doane University teaching online music courses.

He is currently North Central Division Immediate Past-President and Chair of NAfME Professional Development Committee and has served as President of the Nebraska Music Educators Association, NAfME National Tri-M Chair, and NMEA Chair of Band Affairs. He serves on various boards including the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hixson-Lied Performing Arts College Alumni Board.

Dr. Nielsen received his Bachelor of Science in Education, Masters of Music with emphasis in Music Education, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Music with an emphasis in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His session and workshop topics include curriculum design, standards-based lesson planning, assessments, instructional technology, and student-focused sessions for college music education majors and Tri-M chapters.

Leta Powell Drake

Leta Powell Drake

Leta has a lifetime career in broadcast television as host, producer, writer, announcer and program director. She has acted in more than 100 plays and 2 movies. She is a member Screen Actor's Guild and has served on boards of directors of CFPA, UNL Alumni Association, Lincoln Community Playhouse, Theatre Arts for Youth, YMCA and The Salvation Army. Her current position is Director of Development and Community Relations for The Salvation Army. Leta received her MA in Theatre Arts in 1967. She received her BA in Speech and English from the University of Minnesota.

Jamie Reimer

Dr. Jamie Reimer currently serves as Lecturer of Voice at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A versatile soprano, she has performed leading roles in "Così fan tutte," "Le nozze di Figaro," "Street Scene", "Dido and Aeneas," "The Gondoliers," "1776," and "Into the Woods," in addition to several oratorio engagements, including Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven's Mass in C and a performance of Christus at the 2005 conference of the American Liszt Society. Dr. Reimer's "lush and vivacious" singing has garnered several accolades, including the National Association of Teachers of Singing Nebraska Artist Award in 2000, the Hastings Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Award, and the 2006 Mary Ann Starring Graduate Performance Award. Dr. Reimer is quickly gaining recognition as an expert on the songs of Robert Owens following her collaboration with the composer in 2007, and her work has been presented at national and regional meetings of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the College Music Society. Dr. Reimer is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity, where she serves as Province Officer.

Craig Roper

Soon after receiving a B.F.A from the University of Nebraska in 1980, Craig Roper moved to Santa Barbara, California. He began to collaborate with fellow artists in the area to self-produce a number of exhibitions and to gain exposure and recognition during the 1980’s art explosion. By 1985 he started working with Los Angeles gallery owners Bennett Roberts and Richard Heller and by age 29 Roper was exhibiting regularly in Los Angeles with five solo shows and numerous group shows, which led to exhibitions in New York, Miami, Maastricht & Rotterdam, as well as Paris, Cologne, Munich and Brescia, Italy.    

Roper moved to New York City in late 1986 and then back to Nebraska in 1988 to start a family. In 1993 he and fellow artist Cameron Shaw were asked to exhibit at the Sheldon Museum of Art (“Two Guys From Nebraska”). Soon after that Roper earned his M.F.A. from UNL. Since that time, he has had around a dozen solo exhibitions in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney, as well as numerous group shows and side endeavours.    

From 2008- 2012 Roper operated ProjectRoom, a very small but highly influential art gallery in downtown Lincoln designed to exhibit work by Nebraska artists and to promote them to a national and international art audience by means of social media. Following that experience he was asked to be on the Board of MEDICI to help raise funds for the University of Nebraska Department of Art & Art History. His reputation as having an “eye for art” also landed him on the Exhibitions Committee of the Lux Center for the Arts, where he was asked to curate two surveys of Nebraska artists, “Greater Nebraska, Part One” was held in 2013, and “Greater Nebraska, About Human” ended in October 2015.    

He is the recipient of a Vreeland Award for Outstanding Achievement in Painting from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (1980), a photography grant from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, a Masters grant from the Nebraska Arts Council, a merit award from the Nebraska Arts Council, and has had art work published in The Paris Review.   

Roper continues to create and exhibit, concentrating on a large body of work that can best be described as “conceptual landscape installation art.”    

When not absorbed in his art practice, he is deeply involved in helping to manage his wife’s design studio, Sydney Lynch Jewelry, who in 2015 was named one of the top 10 art jewelry designers in the United States by Art Jewelry Magazine. Roper helps manage the day-to-day business needs of the studio in which they design, manufacture, market, wholesale and retail unique, hand-made, Nebraska-designed jewelry to 40-60 galleries and stores across the country.

Barb Schmit

Barb Schmit is Research and Development Director at Arts Incorporated, a business that manages several nonprofit arts organizations in Lincoln.

She is also a transcription editor at 3Play Media. Schmit taught music at Ewing Public Schools, Gretna Public Schools, York College, and maintained a private trumpet teaching studio before joining Arts Incorporated. She plays trumpet in the Lincoln Municipal Band, Nebraska Trumpet Ensemble, Capital Jazz Society Big Band, and other area ensembles. 

Schmit received a Bachelor of Music Education in 1993 and Master of Music in 1997 from UNL.

Valery Wachter

Valery Wachter

Valery received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1983. She is a practicing artist and is represented by the Burkholder Project Gallery. She has studied at the Scottsdale School of Art and works out of her studio. She has had many one person shows and her work is in private collections nationally. Valery served on the MEDICI Board and is a long time member of the HLCFPA Alumni Board. Valery helped to found the Bryan Health Art Committee and is the Director of the Bryan Art Gallery. Her design, “Nebraska Wildflowers” was chosen to be included in the public art project, Nebraska By Heart in celebration of Nebraska’s 150th Anniversary.