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New Game & Parks Commission public information officers include area native

Friday, January 25, 2013

Justin Haag
LINCOLN, Nebraska -- Southwest Nebraska native Justin Haag is among three new public information officers for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Haag will join the agency in the Panhandle beginning Jan. 28.

His duties include community and media relations, public information, and photography and writing for NEBRASKAland Magazine and all agency media.

Haag, a lifetime resident of western Nebraska, comes to Game and Parks after 12 years at Chadron State College, where he was a communications coordinator for seven years and then media and public relations coordinator the past five. He served a leading role in advertising as well as communications.

Before joining the Chadron State staff, Haag was associate editor at the McCook Daily Gazette from 1998-2000 and a news and sports reporter at the Chadron Record from 1996-98. He also was active on the Chadron State student newspaper staff before graduating with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1996.

Haag was attracted to northwest Nebraska as a college student largely because of its outdoor recreational opportunities. When not on campus, he often journeyed the northern Panhandle countryside to capture photos of the region's wildlife. In addition to photography, his passions include fishing by ice and kayak, hunting upland birds and waterfowl, and mountain biking.

"Justin brings solid writing, photography and media experience to our staff, and he will be a great addition to our communications team," said Christy Rasmussen, administrator for Game and Parks' Information and Education Division.

Haag grew up in Southwest Nebraska, graduating from Beaver Valley High School in Lebanon. He lives in Chadron with his wife, Cricket, and two children.

Contact Haag at justin.haag@nebraska.gov.

North Platte native Julie Geiser has taken a similar position in North Platte as of Jan. 14.

Geiser, an avid outdoor enthusiast, has coordinated the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for Game and Parks. The program introduces women of all ages to a variety of outdoor activities in a casual, noncompetitive environment.

She enjoys hunting upland and small game, waterfowl, turkey, deer, antelope and elk. She also enjoys fishing, ice fishing, camping, kayaking and many other outdoor activities. She also is a volunteer instructor for hunter and bow hunter education. Being outdoors also inspires Geiser to express her love of wildlife on canvas with acrylic paintings and color pencil drawings.

Geiser spent the past 10 years in marketing at the North Platte Telegraph. She had written an outdoor column for the Telegraph the past eight years. She had worked as a staff assistant at Game and Parks in North Platte from 1993-2003, where she taught outdoor education to many school-aged youth in west-central Nebraska.

"Julie brings valuable skills and experience to our communications team," said Christy Rasmussen, administrator for Game and Parks' Information and Education Division. "Her passion is giving knowledge to others about the outdoors and showing others all the exciting experiences and fun the outdoors has to offer."

Geiser and her husband, Tom, have two children and three grandchildren.

Contact Geiser at julie.geiser@nebraska.gov.

Jenny Nguyen is the new public information officer in Northeast Nebraska.

She began her duties, working out of the agency's Norfolk office, on Jan. 14.

Nguyen was 2 years old when her family emigrated from Vietnam to Southern California, where she grew up in Garden Grove. She graduated from UCLA in June 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Literature and Culture.

Nguyen grew up exploring the mountains, deserts and other wild places of California. She earned her Silver and Ranger Awards as a Venture Scout, summited Mount Whitney and other California peaks and embarked on a weeklong kayaking expedition in Alaska.

She also enjoys horseback riding and cooking. In college, she helped the founding of FoodForHunters.com in 2011, a blog about preparing and cooking wild game. That same year, she shot her first deer in Nebraska.

Before arriving at Game and Parks, Nguyen was a freelance writer for the Tiger Woods Foundation and Webyshops.com. She also worked part time as social media director for the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Her photography won many awards and was featured in college publications, such as Westwind: UCLA's Journal of the Arts and Bennington College's plain china.

"Jenny loves a great adventure, but coming home to express her experiences with pen and paper is just as equally enjoyable," said Christy Rasmussen, administrator for Game and Parks' Information and Education Division.

Contact Nguyen at jenny.nguyen@nebraska.gov.

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