305 N 5th St Norfolk, NE 68701 info@norfolkartscenter.org (402) 371-7199

Faces of the NAC – Patti Gubbels

Patti grew up in several small towns here in Nebraska, Denver, CO, and Martin, SD. She graduated high school in the heart of Nebraska’s Sandhills and went to Parks School in Denver. She majored in fashion design and loved it but had a desire to do something more. She then went to Wayne State College where she graduated with a degree in Sociology/Psychology and later went on to earn her M.S.E. degree in Counseling. After that, she attended UNL part-time while teaching at Northeast Community College. She graduated from UNL with a Ph. D. in Educational Psychology. Patti said, “I kiddingly told my students that I planned to have my Ph.D. before the turn of the century or before I retired. I graduated in December 1999. WHEW! Just made it.”

Patti spent more than 30 years in professional education working in roles as a teacher, education/educational psychology faculty member, college administrator, and professional development director. During her career she worked for Northeast Community College, Wayne State College, and Dana College in Nebraska; Western Governors University, a national on-line competency-based university; and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Patti’s love for the arts started when she was in elementary school with a love of drawing. When she got to high school she was taking art classes as well as choreographing dances and even trampoline routines. She says that she has always enjoyed having a creative outlet, from fashion and interior design to jewelry making or creating and hooking rugs.

For Patti teaching was not just a science but also an art. She said, “I was always thinking of unique examples to share or designing learning experiences for students that would help students learn and remember teaching and psychology concepts.”

She first experienced the Norfolk Arts Center in 1990 when her son took several art classes. She and her husband started coming to events and receptions at the NAC and eventually, Patti started taking classes herself. After she retired she started volunteering at the NAC and was later asked to be on the Norfolk Arts Center Board.

Patti says she loves everything about being on the board. She said, “I wanted to serve on the Norfolk Arts Center board because I believed that I could contribute value to the organization. I also wanted to serve because I enjoy working with others to make decisions and to be engaged with an organization that provides such important opportunities to enrich the lives of others through art.”

Patti is currently retired and spends her time enjoying life with family and friends and volunteering for many different causes. She loves spending time with her grandkids, reading, gardening, and traveling. Patti loves taking the time to learn new things every day.

Patti has helped the Norfolk Arts Center effectively serve the people of Northeast Nebraska. We are blessed to have a board member like her!

Spending time with Patti, you can tell that the arts have truly made an impression on her life and sharing the arts with others is truly important to her. I will leave you with one last quote from Patti herself.

“The arts are an integral part of my life. They have impacted my thinking processes, have given me hours of creative pleasure, and in general, have enriched my life, and helped shape the person I am.”

Thank you Patti for all that you do to support the Arts!