Citation for Alumni Achievement Award

The Citation, inaugurated in 1949, is presented at each UNO commencement. The UNO Alumni Association’s highest honor encompasses career achievement, community service, involvement in business and professional associations, and fidelity to the university.



Debra K. Anderson, Ph.D. 

Debra K. Anderson, Ph.D., MSW, has more than 35 years of experience in child welfare, mental health, and education. She is currently the district mental health liaison for Papillion La Vista Community Schools where she works to ensure that students have access to quality mental health support. She is an adjunct professor and program manager at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work.  
Anderson served as deputy director at Project Harmony Child Advocacy Center and was the founding director of a school-based mental health program and a national child abuse and neglect training institute. She has worked as a consultant and professional associate for Action for Child Protection in Charlotte, North Carolina; technical assistant for the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board; and child protective service supervisor with the Nebraska Department of Social Services.   

Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Mary, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri. She earned a doctorate in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2000.   
She has shared her expertise at national and international conferences including the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference, the National Conference on School Mental Health and the International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment. She has contributed to several books, journals, and other publications on child welfare and social work. 
Anderson currently serves on the Board of Directors for the NExT Foundation and Lift-Up Sarpy County, Community Collaborative; is a member of BRIDGE Advisory Board; a community representative for the Nebraska Methodist College, Institutional Review Board Committee; a member of the Nebraska School Mental Health Conference Steering Committee; and a co-founder and member of the Nebraska School Mental Health Collaborative. She is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service. 

Rolland Thompson 

Rolland “RC” Thompson is the founder and CEO of Tactical Air Support (Tactical Air). Founded as a commercial TOPGUN, Tactical Air is redefining government contracting as a non-traditional defense company focused on value-based, innovative, and technology-driven products and services for the U.S. Armed Forces. Tactical Air’s hallmark is their highly upgraded F-5 Advanced Tiger fighter aircraft, where a digital infusion of proprietary capabilities allows a 60s vintage design to replicate today’s most sophisticated threats.   

Prior to founding Tactical Air, Thompson served five years in the U.S. Army and 26 years in the Navy. Some of his many assignments and positions included: “Exec” to the Commander, U.S. Strategic Command; commander of an Operational Carrier Air Wing and Strike Warfare Commander during Operation Enduring Freedom where he led the combat flight operations of three carrier Air Wings; Commanding Officer of TOPGUN; and Director of Training at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC). His aviation experience includes two instructor tours at TOPGUN, over 1,200 carrier landings and 7,600 hours in tactical aircraft. He was designated an Army Aviator at 19 and has completed three combat deployments.   

Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a master’s in national security strategy from the National War College. He earned an Executive MBA from UNO in 2005.   

Thompson is passionate about veteran suicide prevention and has sponsored events supporting the Wounded Warrior Foundation, the Step-Up Foundation, and the Navy SEAL Foundation.   

He enjoys sailing, soaring, motorcycling, and outdoor adventuring of any type. He has three daughters and lives in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida with his wingman/wife Angela.