Tenhulzen Olson announced as 2023 Alumni Master

Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 4:45pm

The Nebraska Alumni Association has announced its 2023 class of Alumni Masters and alumni award winners. The Alumni Masters and award winners will be recognized on campus March 22-24, ending with the Nebraska Medallion Dinner on March 24.

The College of Journalism and Mass Communications 2023 Alumni Master is Jane Tenhulzen Olson (’64). Tenhulzen Olson has spent a long and distinguished career promoting international peace and justice and performing humanitarian work.

From 2004 to 2011, she chaired the international board of trustees of Human Rights Watch, the largest U.S.-based international human rights organization. She also was board chair of Survivor Corps, which was part of a coalition that received a Nobel Peace Prize for working to develop the International Landmine Ban Treaty.

After earning a bachelor’s from Nebraska in 1964, Olson traveled extensively with humanitarian organizations to areas of international conflict, including Central America, South America, eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East. She and her husband, attorney Ronald L. Olson, live in Pasadena, California.

While on campus, Tenhulzen Olson will be a guest lecturer in several CoJMC and human rights courses. She’ll also meet and converse with CoJMC’s student ambassadors and Experience Lab student leads, as well as students in Nebraska’s law program, the student alumni association and members of UNL’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter, of which she is an alumna.

Associate professor and 90.3 KRNU general manager Rick Alloway will interview Tenhulzen Olson about the future of human rights activism for Campus Voices. The episode will air on 90.3 KRNU on Sunday, April 2 at 11 a.m. CT.

Tenhulzen Olson will also be interviewed by students in Nebraska News Service, a statewide newswire service and be featured on the Nebraska Nightly, the college’s weekly broadcast that airs on LNK TV and YouTube. Both programs are student-led.

Jeannine Akamba, an advertising and public relations major with a human rights minor, will meet with Tenhulzen Olson to chat about humanitarian causes. Akamba, who hopes to one day work for a human rights organization, is an intern at the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights, where she works closely with refugee communities and other immigrants.

Tenhulzen Olson will also get to interact with the Lincoln community by speaking at a Lincoln Rotary Club 14 meeting, meeting with Matt Wynn, executive director of the Nebraska Journalism Trust which launched and funds the Flatwater Free Press.

Since 1964, more than 400 alumni have participated in Alumni Masters. Its primary goal is to link the university’s outstanding alumni with students who can benefit from their experiences and knowledge, as well as honor alumni for their success and leadership. All students are encouraged to take part in lectures, presentations and events with the Alumni Masters, who will speak about ways to apply formal education to working situations and career goals.

Jane Tenhulzen Olson