The Nebraska Board of Regents is proud to present a KUDOS Award to Dr. Aaron Estes, Director of the Academic Success Offices at UNK.
Student achievement and the overall student experience are the personal and professional focus on Dr. Aaron Estes, Director of the Academic Success Offices at UNK. His commitment, work ethic, and ability to inspire and motivate have earned him today’s KUDOS recognition.
As Director, Aaron leads Disability Services for Students, the Kearney Bound Scholars program, TRIO-Student Support Services, and the coordination of efforts to support first-generation students. Responsibility for the success of these programs lies with him, but he is quick to give credit to “an amazing staff.” They provide individualized, holistic, and proactive support to students as they work to achieve their educational goals. Focusing on students who are first generation, low-income, or have a documented disability—they help students “navigate to graduate.”
Aaron is UNK’s primary contact for the First Scholars program through the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He co-leads the UNK Professional Learning Community, “Promoting At-Promise Student Success,” or PASS. This is a collaborative program with USC’s “Pullias Center for Higher Education,” where expanding research related to the Thompson Scholar Learning Community, will enhance UNK’s culture of student support and positively impact student success outcomes.
Aaron has a family history at Kearney State and UNK. “I was basically raised on campus,” he says. His father, Dr. Kent was a KSC/UNK Professor; his mother, Barb, is a member of UNK’s Human Resources team; Aaron earned his bachelor’s and master’s from UNK; and his wife, Kara, also holds two degrees from UNK. While his Doctorate in Educational Leadership is from UNL, it is safe to say that their three children—James, Jack, and Avery—are Lopers! Aaron is joined today by his wife Kara and mother Barb.