Mission of the 117th Class

We, the Knights of the 117th Class of The Society of Innocents, will uphold and champion the pillars of superior academic achievement, unparalleled leadership, and selfless service.

To achieve these values, we will foster an atmosphere of inclusion and integrity on campus and within our Society, strive for authenticity, and preserve the traditions of classes before us.

We are not thirteen. We are one. Our unique experiences will strengthen us as a whole. Where we lack, we will seek perspectives outside of ourselves.

We believe each student on campus should be seen and supported in every aspect of their identity. We will make an intentional effort to create a more equitable and inclusive campus environment.

We act with reverence for the history that comes before us and understand that it is our duty to preserve traditions of the Society, the University, and the state of Nebraska. We also recognize that we must honor the past by encouraging progress.

The Knights of the 117th Class recognize that this organization is uniquely Nebraskan, and we will strive to uphold its ideals.

Caroline Hilgert, President
Omaha, NE

Caroline Hilgert, daughter of John and Cara Hilgert of Omaha, is a political science and Spanish major with minors in global studies and Latin American studies. On campus, Caroline is involved in the UNL Honors Program as an Honors Ambassador, is a member of the inaugural Honors Civic Leaders track and has been an Honors Peer Mentor. Caroline is the events and programming board chairfor the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board, and she is a member of the Student Alliance Network. Outside of campus, Caroline works as a legislative page at the Nebraska Unicameral and volunteers at the Juan Diego Center. She was selected as a finalist for the Truman Scholarship, is a Regents Scholar, and is on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List. After graduation, Caroline plans to attend law school to pursue immigration law and shape U.S. immigration policy.

Madeleine Jacobitz, Vice President
Omaha, NE

Madeleine Jacobitz, daughter of Andrew and Lilian Jacobitz of Omaha, is a finance and economics major with minors in German and music. On campus, Madeleine serves as the president of the Big Red Investment Club. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, the Nebraska Business Honors Academy, the University of Nebraska Honors Program and plays violin in the UNL symphony orchestra. She also performs undergraduate research in economics, is a course TA, and serves as a CliftonStrengths Coach. Off campus, Madeleine is a troop leader for the Girl Scouts of Nebraska and also is working to reestablish the Nebraska Council of Youth. Madeleine is a Regents Scholarship recipient and on the College of Business Dean’s List. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a masters degree in economics.

Dilziba Kizghin, Secretary
Lincoln, NE

Dilziba Kizghin, daughter of Ehtibar Eziz and Dilmurat Kizghin of Lincoln, is a biological systems engineering major with an emphasis in biomedical engineering. Dilziba is involved in the recruitment committee of Engineering Ambassadors of Nebraska, Society of Women Engineers, Afghan Student Association, and OASIS. She has been an independent undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sangjin Ryu’s lab. For her research, she has received UCARE, the John Woollams scholarship, and the NASA Nebraska Space grant. She is on the College of Engineering Dean’s List. She is also the founder of the Dillar Organization which aims to teach English and provide mentorship to Uyghur refugees around the world. Upon graduation, Dilziba has plans to attend medical school.

Antonio Linhart, Treasurer
Overland Park, KS

Antonio Linhart, son of Michael Linhart and Jacqueline Slagle of Overland Park, KS, is a computer science major with minors in math, Spanish, and business. Antonio is a member of the Raikes School, a College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador, and a teaching assistant. On campus, he is currently the treasurer for Honors Ambassadors, a member of the Mexican American Student Association, and a developer for the DMSi Raikes School Design Studio team. He is also actively involved in his high school’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies Alumni Network Board, where he connects alumni with current students. He has completed internships at Cboe Global Markets, Microsoft, and Google. This summer, he will return to Google as a software engineering intern. He is on the dean’s list for the College of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Chancellor’s Scholarship. After graduation, Antonio plans to pursue a career in software engineering.

Keith Tran, Sergeant at Arms
Lincoln, NE

Keith Tran, son of Kiet Tran and Truc Trinh of Lincoln, is majoring in computer science with a minor in mathematics and political science. On campus, Keith is a student of the University Honors Program, undergraduate researcher for the Computational Decision Science Lab, and president of Initialize. Off campus, he has volunteered as a debate coach, worked for local election campaigns, and taught robotics after-school clubs at Arnold Elementary and Malone Center. Keith is currently conducting research to assess the impact of online platform integration in rural and urban schools and working on interactive story-telling web application for Broader Consideration of Technology. He is a proud First-Gen, Regent Scholar, and is on the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List. After graduation, Keith plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science education.

Patrick Baker, Keeper of Traditions
Maryville, MO

Patrick Baker, son of Matt and Jill Baker of Maryville, MO, is a political science and global studies double major with a minor in Arabic. On campus, Patrick is involved with ASUN Student Government, the Yeutter Institute for International Trade, undergraduate research, and Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. He currently serves as the external vice president for ASUN where he has completed projects focused on expanding access to mental health resources on campus. In the Lincoln community, Patrick volunteers with Lincoln Literacy and has interned with a state senator in the Nebraska Unicameral. Following graduation, Patrick plans to attend law school and eventually work at the nexus of the legislative branch and international development.

Gunther Grinde, Philanthropy
Prior Lake, MN

Gunther Grinde, son of Robert and Susan Grinde of Prior Lake, MN, is a biochemistry major with minors in mathematics, chemistry, and humanities in medicine. On campus, Gunther has served as an Honors peer mentor, a member of the UNL men’s varsity bowling team, and a chemistry laboratory and recitation teaching assistant. He is a recipient of the Sandoz Foundation Chemistry Scholarship and Milton E. Mohr Biochemistry Scholarship. In addition, he has participated in biochemical research in Dr. James Checco’s lab at UNL. In the community, he volunteers at Bryan West Medical Center as a family care host and has served as a Teammates mentor. In the beginning of May 2020, he became on of the first laboratory assistants to run the COVID-19 diagnostic tests for the Test Nebraska Initiative. Following graduation, he plans to pursue medical school.

Kennedy Johnston, Initiation
Carbon, IN

Kennedy Johnston, daughter of Jeff and Kristin Johnston of Carbon, IN, is an economics major with a mathematics minor. On campus, Kennedy is involved in the Office of Admissions, where she works in the Campus Host program. She is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy, and she served as the vice president of scholarship and awards for Delta Sigma Pi. She has also held positions as a Student Strengths Coach, a Peer Career Coach, and an economics undergraduate researcher in the College of Business. She will be working as an analyst intern for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in the summer of 2021. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate school for a doctorate in economics. She is an enthusiastic advocate for mental health and is looking forward to eventually conducting research at the intersection of economics and mental health.

Leigh Jahnke, Homecoming
West Point, NE

Leigh Jahnke, daughter of Terry and Kristy Jahnke of West Point, is studying biological sciences and Spanish with minors in biochemistry and mathematics. On campus, Leigh is vice president of the UNL Spanish Club and UNL Rock Climbing Club, a Nebraska Human Resources Institute mentor, and a resident assistant on East Campus. Within the biology department, she is an undergraduate research assistant. In the community, Leigh volunteers at Clinic with a Heart as a Spanish interpreter and vital sign technician. She serves as a Health Literacy tutor for Lincoln Literacy. Additionally, she works as a certified nursing assistant at Bickford Senior Living. Leigh is a UNL Regents Scholar and plans to attend medical school following graduation.

Riha Karney, Homecoming
Omaha, NE

Riha Karney, daughter of Anand and Sudha Karney of Omaha, is a communication sciences and disorders major with an emphasis in speech language pathology and a minor in education studies. On campus, she has been involved with ASUN and currently serves as a member of the Appointments Board. She is also a mentor for NHRI Leadership Mentoring, involved with undergraduate research, works at the UNL Children’s Center, and is in the Honors Program. Within Honors, she is an Honors Peer Mentor Leader, leads an Honors After School Club, and is the vice president of programming for Honors After School Coaches. She has served as a New Student Enrollment Orientation Leader, teaching assistant, and volunteer for Hillcrest and Madonna rehabilitation centers/hospitals. Upon graduation, Riha plans on attending graduate school for speech language pathology and hopes to work with children with language disorders.

Chloe Higgins, Selections
Nebraska City, NE

Chloe Higgins, daughter of Stacie and the late Dion Higgins of Nebraska City, is an economics major with minors in political science, business analytics, and marketing and a Public Policy Analysis Certificate. On campus, Chloe is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy, the University of Nebraska Student Advocacy Network, and a Student Strengths Coach through the Clifton Strengths Institute. She currently serves as chapter president of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and a member of Order of Omega. This coming summer, she will intern with the National Corn Growers Association. She currently volunteers as a City Impact Reading tutor. Following graduation, Chloe plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in rural community development and advocacy.

Guilherme Eymael, Selections
Porto Alegre, Brazil

Guilherme Eymael, son of Leonardo Eymael and Cristina Mainieri of Porto Alegre, Brazil, is a mechanical engineering major with a minor in mathematics, as well as a member of the Honors Program. Guilherme is currently doing research on nonlinear dynamics and vibrations in the Moore Dynamics and Analytics Laboratory as a John Woollam Scholar. He is also a teaching assistant for and a learning assistant. Guilherme is the founder and president of the Brazilian Student Association at Nebraska. Throughout his time at the University of Nebraska, he has served as an international welcome team leader, computer science teaching assistant, and volunteer at the Sheldon Museum of Art. He is on the College of Engineering Dean’s List and is a recipient of UNL’s Global Laureate Scholarship. Upon graduation, Guilherme intends to pursue a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.

Grayson Wegener, Historian
Lincoln, NE

Grayson Wegener, son of David and Valerie Wegener of Lincoln, is an international business major with a focus in economics and minor in Spanish. He is on the dean’s list for the College of Business and is a recipient of the Regents Scholarship. On campus, Grayson is a member of the Nebraska Business Honors Academy and IB Select. He currently interns at Nelnet’s international division and previously worked as an economics tutor. Grayson has worked with various community organizations including El Centro de las Américas, McPhee Elementary School, and Southwood Lutheran Church. He currently volunteers at Lincoln Literacy, teaching a weekly class for adults. Grayson served as a dental assistant and developed a curriculum to teach English and music at an elementary school in Honduras. After graduation, Grayson plans to attend law school.