Cochran receives MyPI National instructor award
Kearney, Neb. – Soni Cochran, Nebraska Extension Associate in Lancaster County and MyPI Nebraska instructor, received the 2018 Bruce Marxsen Excellence in Instruction award at Nebraska Extension’s annual fall conference on November 27.
Cochran has served as the lead for a MyPI Nebraska instructor cohort since March 2017, leading a team of five instructors. Her steadfast and dedicated work with her fellow instructors, members of the first responder and emergency management communities, and most importantly, with participants and their families made her the clear choice as the recipient of the award. Under Cochran’s leadership and with the support of her co-instructors, nine teens graduated from MyPI Nebraska in Lancaster County in spring 2018. Each teen worked with seven families to prepare emergency communications plans and to develop disaster kits. Cochran and her team were recognized at ServeNebraska’s 2018 Step Forward Awards for their work in this area.
In May 2018, the MyPI National and MyPI Nebraska teams lost a strong advocate for individual, family, and community preparedness and resilience and youth leadership with the unexpected passing of Bruce Marxsen, a MyPI Nebraska Instructor. Marxsen had strong passion for teaching and learning. As a member of MyPI Nebraska’s initial cohort of instructors, his passing left a large void in the lives of many.
“We wanted to honor Bruce and his family and pay tribute to his legacy by naming a national award in his memory,” said Dr. Ryan Akers, MyPI National project director. “This award, to be given annually, recognizes exemplary program instructors that truly embody the spirit of the MyPI program that is impacting lives and communities across Nebraska and beyond. With the blessing of the Marxsen family, the MyPI National Coordination Team is honored to name Soni Cochran as the first recipient of the inaugural Bruce Marxsen Memorial Excellence in Instruction Award. Soni’s steadfast and dedicated work with her fellow instructors and program manager, members of the first responder and emergency management communities, and most importantly, with her students and their families makes her the clear choice as the recipient of this award.
In attendance at the awards presentation were Bruce’s wife Carol, son Cale, and daughter Jamie. The award was presented on behalf of the MyPI National team by Ashley Mueller, MyPI Nebraska program coordinator. Over 300 program instructors were eligible to receive the award. “On behalf of the entire MyPI National family, I would personally like to thank Soni for her selfless dedication to this charge. I know that Mr. Marxsen would approve,” said Akers.