National Recognition for UNO Music Education

Music Education students in the UNO School of Music can congratulate themselves on the bright future ahead of them – the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) certainly did when they honored the UNO NAfME chapter with the 2022 NAfME Collegiate Chapter of Excellence Recognition for Professional Development!

NAfME Collegiate Chapter of Excellence Recognition for Professional Development

The award is a testament to the chapter’s hard work and dedication to furthering music education through the 2021-2022 academic year.

Faculty sponsor Katrina Cox, Ph.D, says, “Our chapter—lead by an outstanding team of officers—has provided an extremely well-rounded and active schedule of professional development opportunities for members of the organization and of the UNO community. They have invited a variety of administrators, teachers, and community leaders to present and interact with our students, building relationships, community, and shared experiences. This is an incredible and well-deserved honor.”

This national award follows the chapter’s 2021 Collegiate Chapter of Distinction Award received by the Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) this past November.

2022 UNO NAfME Officers

There are currently 25 members in the UNO NAfME chapter, led by president Aida Soria, vice president Lydia Kirkland, treasurer Dakota Valle, secretary Jill Galvin, and social media/promotion manager Andie Rodriguez.

Soria was also awarded the 2022 NAfME Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Soria is a senior keyboard/instrumental music education student, was appointed at the state level to the NMEA DEIA Committee, and began service at the national level to the NAfME Equity Committee a few months ago.

NAfME Collegiate Professional Achievement Award

Soria was nominated for the award by faculty and students in the School of Music, who cited her diligence, motivation, and reliability. Chapter members elected her as president by the end of her sophomore year, and she has served in the position for the past two years. Soria and her fellow officers created weekly events to help members avoid fragmentation and facilitate social interactions during the isolation of the pandemic, which helped membership and activity actually continue to increase throughout the year. “Aida Soria has heart and tenacity,” the letter reads. “Our chapter and music education program has flourished in part due to her vision and leadership. . . Her personality, leadership skills, and continuous pursuit for progress will inspire those that read about her successes.”

In November 2021, the chapter was presented with the Collegiate Chapter of Distinction Award from the Nebraska Music Educator Association for their continued work and service. Their active schedule of events, which includes inviting professors, local teachers, administrators, and business owners to share their experience and expertise, is open to all students.

The chapter has targeted topics with high student interest, such as Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA), Vocal Health for Classroom Teachers, and How to Become a Substitute Teacher.

The awards will be presented later this year at the 2022 National Assembly.

About NAfME

The National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) is one of the world’s largest arts organizations, having been active in professional development and advocacy for over 100 years. It is often identified as the main overarching music education body for teachers in the United States, with an active membership of more that 50,000.

For more information about Music Education at UNO in the School of Music, contact Dr. Katrina Cox at

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