Four Faculty Named AAAS Fellows

Roger Bruning, David Hage, Jim Lewis and Jay Storz were named American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows in 2017.

  • Bruning, emeritus professor of educational psychology, was recognized for contributions to educational psychology.
  • Hage, James Hewett University Professor of Chemistry, was honored for contributions to analytical and bioanalytical chemistry.
  • Lewis, Aaron Douglas Professor of Mathematics, was recognized for contributions to mathematics and mathematics education.
  • Storz, Susan J. Rosowski Professor of Biological Sciences, was honored for contributions to evolutionary biology.

A record number of Nebraska researchers are 2018-2019 Fulbright scholars, including the Distinguished Chair Award, the most prestigious appointment offered through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.

  • Cory Forbes, associate professor of natural resources, is collaborating with German researchers to analyze data from a 2015 global study of more than 28 million teenagers to gauge scientific literacy.
  • Jessica Shoemaker, associate professor of law, is a Fulbright Canada research scholar and is investigating aboriginal legal and resource rights.
  • Jay Storz, Susan J. Rosowski Professor of Biological Sciences, is working on a project in Argentina on the evolution of novel properties of crocodilian hemoglobin.
  • Yan Xia, professor of child, youth and family studies, is Nebraska’s first Distinguished Fulbright Chair. She is studying parenting during critical life transitions and comparing practices between China and Western countries.
  • Andrew Zimbroff, assistant professor of textiles, merchandising and fashion design, is promoting innovative agribusiness entrepreneurship in Brazil. 

Margaret Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History and director of women’s and gender studies, was named Nebraska’s first-ever Andrew Carnegie fellow in 2108. The program provides support for high-caliber scholarship that applies fresh perspectives from the humanities and social sciences to some of the most pressing issues of modern times. With the two-year, $200,000 award, Jacobs will research and write a book addressing how the United States can take responsibility for human rights abuses against indigenous children, their families and their nations during the resettlement of America’s West by white Europeans. Jacobs was among 31 scholars selected from 270 nominees for the honor.

Two Nebraska faculty members received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2017. Melissa Homestead, professor of English and program faculty of women’s and gender studies, is using her NEH Fellowship to work on a book illuminating the relationship between American novelist Willa Cather and her longtime friend and partner Edith Lewis. Philip Sapirstein, assistant professor of art history and digital humanities, and classics and religious studies, received an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication. He is using it to design an interactive virtual museum of the temple of Hera at Olympia, which will be the only modern, comprehensive architectural analysis of the structure. Both fellowships are among the most prestigious awards in the humanities, with a selection rate of 8 percent in 2017.

Dawn O. Braithwaite, Willa Cather Professor of Communication Studies, won the 2017 Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award from the National Communication Association. The award recognizes a lifetime of outstanding service to the association and the profession through research, teaching or service. Braithwaite has served the organization in leadership roles since 1993, notably as a founding member of the Disability Issues Caucus and as a catalyst for ensuring gender equity in NCA awards. Braithwaite’s research focuses on how individuals and families communicate, especially during challenging periods of change.

Mark van Roojen, professor of philosophy, was a Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty fellow at Princeton University. During an academic year in residence, fellows devote time to researching and writing about topics involving human values in public and private life. He was one of eight fellows in 2017-2018 and worked on a book on moral rationalism. van Roojen also served as a book review editor for the journal Ethics.

Kristen Olson, Leland J. and Dorothy H. Olson Distinguished Professor of Sociology, was elected an American Statistical Association fellow in 2018. ASA members are awarded fellowships based on their contributions to statistical science research, teaching and mentoring, published works, leadership and service to the profession. Each year, no more than one-third of 1 percent of membership receives fellow status. Olson’s research focuses on survey methods and why nonresponse, measurement and coverage errors occur.

Charles Wortmann, professor of agronomy and horticulture, received the 2018 International Agronomy Award from the American Society of Agronomy. The award recognizes outstanding contributions in research, teaching, extension or administration. The soil scientist’s research and extension efforts focus on economical, environmentally safe methods for nitrogen and phosphorus management in Nebraska and soil fertility management in sub-Saharan Africa. This is Wortmann’s second major honor from the organization, having become a fellow in 2011.


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