Accolades, April 2022

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted April 28, 2022 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Shane Farritor, mechanical and materials engineering, is the inaugural winner of the University of Nebraska system’s Faculty Intellectual Property Innovation and Commercialization Award. The award, one of the President’s Excellence Awards, was created to honor University of Nebraska faculty who have developed and nurtured intellectual property from concept to licensing or startup business. Farritor is chief technology officer of Virtual Incision, a medical device company he co-founded in 2006 with Dmitry Oleynikov, former University of Nebraska Medical Center professor of surgery. The researchers are working to commercialize a first-of-its-kind surgical robot platform for abdominal surgeries. 

Robert Harveson, plant pathology, was named a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. Fellows are selected for significant contributions to plant pathology or the society in the areas of original research, teaching, administration, professional and public service, and/or extension and outreach. Harveson, who is stationed at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, provides regional growers with services, training and education to reduce losses to new and important diseases of specialty crops.   

Margaret Huettl, history and ethnic studies, received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. The program, which supports projects from scholars in all disciplines of the humanities and related social sciences, enables scholars to devote six to 12 continuous months to full-time research and writing. Huettl’s project is an Anishinaabe or Ojibwe history of Gichigami, which is the Ojibwe name for Lake Superior.    

Valerie Jones, journalism and mass communications, received a Fulbright Global Scholar Award to study the use of emergent technology in facilitating social connectedness for aging adults in the United States and Australia. Jones will travel to Melbourne, Australia, from February to May 2023 to collaborate with global experts in the study of social connection, digital inclusion and public interest technology at the Social Innovation Research Institute at the Swinburne University of Technology. Jones is the first professor from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications to be named a Fulbright Scholar since 1999.  

Eric Markvicka, mechanical and materials engineering, was part of a Nebraska Engineering research team that was selected as one of three winners at the DMD 5MP Competition, a five-minute pitch contest. It took place at the Design of Medical Devices Conference, held April 13-14 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team’s presentation focused on development of an “electronic nose,” a sensing device that can identify volatile organic compounds that indicate disease. The team also included Husker students Jason Finnegan, Bridget Peterkin and Hee-Chan Han; Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center; and Jennifer Yentes of Texas A&M University.  

Five Nebraska faculty received the University of Nebraska system’s most esteemed honors for research, creative activity, teaching and engagement. Announced April 6, the awards honor faculty across the system whose work has had a strong impact on students, the university and the state. The Nebraska honorees are listed below:

Professional Service

Scott Swenseth, supply chain management and analytics, was invited to serve on the Nebraska Department of Transportation Freight Advisory Committee, which is charged with updating the Nebraska State Freight Plan. The committee identifies priorities, issues, projects and funding needs to promote freight movements in Nebraska and helps the state make sound decisions on public infrastructure investments.    


“Flight Risk,” written by Joy Castro, English, is a finalist for a 2022 Thriller Award in the category for best original paperback novel. The International Thriller Writers honorary society sponsors these annual awards, which will be presented June 4 at the ThrillerFest XVII in New York City.  

Kevin Smith, political science, received a McGuffey Longevity Award from the Textbook and Academic Authors Association. The award recognizes textbooks and learning materials whose excellence has been demonstrated over time. Smith was honored for “Governing States and Localities, 8e,” which he authored with Alan Greenblatt.   

Research News Accolades Submission Form

Accolades are compiled from faculty and staff nominations, weekly Achievement columns published by University Communication, and college, center and departmental websites. To submit yours or a colleague's, complete the form below.

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