WSC selects 49 students for Rural Health Opportunities Program’s fall 2024 semester


Wayne State College announces that 49 students have been chosen for the highly selective Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP) for the Fall 2024 semester.

This number includes students who are full participants and students who are alternates in the program.

RHOP’s benefits for full participants include a full-tuition scholarship at Wayne State, guaranteed admission to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and early course registration privileges at Wayne State.

Alternate participants also receive a tuition waiver and early course registration privileges at Wayne State.

“This incoming class of RHOP students continues a long-standing tradition of welcoming some of the most academically proficient and dedicated students from rural Nebraska,” Dr. Todd Young, coordinator of RHOP at Wayne State, said.

“Wayne State has been a partner in RHOP since 1990, with 144 RHOP health professionals from Wayne State already serving in rural Nebraska and another 38 Wayne State RHOP students currently completing their education at UNMC.”

“This new class of students faces the same rigorous curriculum at Wayne State that has proven to be the foundation of knowledge they need to be successful at UNMC and beyond,” continued Young. “These incoming students will also benefit from the advising and mentoring of a faculty that has over 120 years of combined experience with RHOP.  Wayne State will proudly challenge these incoming students to their limits, while supporting them along the way, to set them up for future successes.”

All students selected for the program must come from rural Nebraska because they know the unique needs of their community and are passionate about returning to their roots to serve its rural health care needs.

RHOP students pursue their studies at Wayne State and UNMC, with the amount of time at each institution determined by the health field in which they are enrolled.

RHOP at Wayne State currently supports the health fields of Dental Hygiene, Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Physician Assistant and Radiography.

Students selected for RHOP for the Fall 2024 semester:

Dental Hygiene

Bloomfield – Madison Abbenhaus

Decatur – Morgan Compton

Edgar – Lexi Shuck

Randolph – Ella Scott

Springview – Katelyn Painter


Hebron – Caitlyn Mitchell

Osceola – Hayden Lavaley

Phillips – Kinnley Kearns

Seward – Kameron Dyer

Yutan – Chisum Wilson

Medical Lab Sciences

Minden – Rebekah Peterson


Aurora – Sydney Thomas

David City – Emma Prochaska

Grand Island – Haylee Brandt

Norfolk – Cheyenne Rains

Verdigre – Summer Vesely

York – Savanna Loven


Beatrice – Chase Raber

Columbus – Kamren Kudron

Hartington – Ella Bowers, Annika Kuehn

Lexington – JoHanna Esquivel-Gonzalez

Louisville – Emily Zitek

Norfolk – Cadence Hoffman

Randolph – Jacey Bartels, Amber Moon

Shelby – Jakob Kavan

Tilden – Kennedy Penne

Occupational Therapy

Norfolk – Camdyn Bates


Atkinson – Miya Carey

Bennet – Callie Beeck

Blue Hill – Angel Runyan

Clarkson – Chloe Hanel

David City – Joseph Scribner

Norfolk – Mason Maas

Pleasant Dale – Sydney Hill

Syracuse – Jace Stinson

Wakefield – Hannah Armitage

Physical Therapy

Brainard – Sydney Pernicek

Columbus – Blake Barcel

Duncan – Ariel Loveless

Hampton – Brayden Dose

West Point – Isabel Hass

Physician Assistant

Hebron – Elle Sudbeck

Neligh – Mallory Belitz

Sidney – Siona Kshirsagar


Broken Bow – Emma Taylor

Columbus – Ashlyn Cremers

Humphrey – Victoria Jarosz

Wayne State constantly explores new possibilities for health care partnerships in addition to RHOP to ensure students have a wide variety of fields from which to choose.

“In the last few years, Wayne State created a new pathway to nursing with UNMC, a dual-degree nursing pathway with Creighton, an early admission program with Kansas City University for the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Doctor of Psychology programs, and many others,” said Dr. Ron Loggins, dean of the School of Science, Health and Criminal Justice at Wayne State.

“While the pandemic was raging, Wayne State stayed true to its mission and continued to serve the students of Nebraska. Together with our partners, we designed new, exciting curriculum and program pathways that will prepare students for current and future workforce challenges.”

Learn more about RHOP at and Wayne State nursing programs at