Accolades, April 2024

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted May 2, 2024 by Tiffany Lee

Honors and Recognitions

Andrea Basche, agronomy and horticulture, received the Inspiring Early Career Scientist Award from the Environmental Quality Section of the American Society of Agronomy. The award recognizes professionals who have made an outstanding contribution toward sustaining agriculture through environmental quality research, teaching, extension/public service or industry activity. Basche’s research focuses on various facets of diversified cropping systems, including carbon and nitrogen cycling, water and weed dynamics and policy and human decision-making. She also teaches multiple courses at UNL and co-led development of a first-of-its-kind, multi-institutional course on crop cover management.  

Rick Bevins, psychology, and Thomas Powers, plant pathology, were selected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society. Fellows are selected by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished achievements that advance science or its application. The Husker researchers were recognized for the following achievements:

Dawn O. Braithwaite, communication studies (emerita), was inducted into the Central States Communication Association’s Hall of Fame. Membership is given to individuals who have been a CSCA member for 25 years or more and have contributed to the discipline of communication through meritorious scholarship, teaching/mentoring, participation at conventions and service to the association. Over the course of her career, Braithwaite has led the way in studying how people in personal and family relationships communicate and negotiate family change and challenges.    

Tom Elmo Clemente, agronomy and horticulture and Center for Plant Science Innovation, received the Larry Tonniges Research Achievement Award. The award honors researchers who have made significant contributions to soybean research for the Nebraska Soybean Board. Clemente has pioneered innovative research aimed at enhancing plant germplasm and incorporating genetic engineering to fortify crops against diseases and enhance value-added traits. His work spans various crops, including wheat, maize and sorghum. The award is made possible by the family of the late Larry Tonniges, a longtime Nebraska farmer who was dedicated to production research as part of the Nebraska Soybean Board.

Andrea Cupp, animal science, was named a distinguished fellow of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, one of the highest professional scientific honors in the field of reproductive biology. The honor recognizes members for outstanding contributions, including sustained high-impact research, leadership, service and mentorship. Cupp, a reproductive and beef physiologist, has advanced understanding of how ovarian environment affects follicle development and female fertility; how females attain puberty; and females’ reproductive health throughout their lifespan. She has served in multiple capacities for the society, including vice president, president and secretary of the board of directors.    

Kwame Dawes, English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner magazine, was named the next poet laureate of Jamaica. As poet laureate, Dawes is charged with stimulating a greater appreciation for Jamaican poetry and garnering more attention for poetry as an art and medium for developing and disseminating cultural heritage. Dawes, who grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, is an internationally acclaimed poet, editor, critic and musician whose work explores multiple themes, including identity, migration and the human experience. He will serve as poet laureate for three years, through 2027.

Thomas Gannon, English, received the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize from UNL’s Center for Great Plains Studies. The prize honors the previous year’s best book on the Great Plains, as selected by an independent committee. Gannon was honored for “Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir,” which weaves together a lifetime of bird sightings, history and Gannon’s personal experiences growing up half Lakota, including his experience at an Indian boarding school in South Dakota. This marks the first time the book prize has been awarded to a UNL faculty member and current Great Plains Fellow.   

Yifan Gong, Daniel Tannenbaum and Yuxi Yao, economics, were cited in the 2024 Economic Report of the President. The White House cited Tannenbaum’s research on eviction and Gong and Yao’s research on the housing market.   

Amit Jhala, agronomy and horticulture, received the Merit in Research Award from the Nebraska chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta, an honor society for students, faculty and alumni in agriculture and related fields. Jhala, an internationally recognized researcher in plant physiology, weed and production systems, has earned $8.1 million in funding for his research program; authored 155 papers in peer-reviewed journals; and mentored nearly 15 master’s and doctoral students at UNL. Jhala was honored April 1 at the chapter’s annual reception.

Sheree Moser, child, youth and family studies, received the 2024 IDEA Faculty Excellence Award from the Innovative Digital Education Alliance. The award recognizes a significant contribution of faculty to an academic program through the alliance. Moser was honored for her contributions as the assessment coordinator for IDEA’s online family and consumer sciences education graduate program. She was one of two individuals to receive the award at the IDEA annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in April.    

Brian Petrotta, sports media and communication, was named one of five inaugural ESPN Research Fellows by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute. The six-month fellowships support research that advances knowledge on responsible gambling messaging in sports media. Petrotta, in collaboration with Travis Bell of the University of South Florida, will analyze gambling broadcasts during March Madness competitions, exploring how responsible gambling messages are conveyed and shedding light into real-world practices during live sports broadcasts. Results from all of the projects will be featured in an IGI webinar in early 2025.  

Pete Pinnell, art, was recognized as a Fellow of the Council by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. The designation is for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the council and have served in a substantial way for at least five years. Pinnell served as council president from 2019-2023, navigating the organization through the turbulence of the pandemic, which included the council’s first international virtual conference in 2021 and its first hybrid conference in 2022. Pinnell also led the organization in developing practices that are more equitable and inclusive.

Students and faculty from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications received 22 Eric Sevareid Awards for exceptional broadcast journalism. The awards are highly competitive and celebrate excellence in journalism in the Midwest region. The following faculty, along with many Husker students, received awards:  

The Department of Management in the College of Business ascended into the top 20 in the U.S. in the Texas A&M/University of Georgia Rankings of Management Department Research Productivity list for 2023. This includes No. 19 for publications and No. 13 for publications/faculty.

The School of Accountancy in the College of Business and its faculty were ranked in the latest Brigham Young University Accounting Research Productivity Ranking, which measures faculty research among more than 600 international institutions.


Maria de Guzman, child, youth and family studies, Nebraska Extension and textiles, merchandising and fashion design,and Holly Hatton, child, youth and family studies and Nebraska Extension, are editors of “Extension Education and the Social Sciences: Uplifting Children, Youth, Families and Communities.” It is one of the first books to highlight the role of university extension programs in the well-being of children, families and communities through nutrition, early childhood education, youth entrepreneurship and more. The book, released April 4 by Cambridge University Press, features 26 contributors.

Professional Service

Kristen Blankley, law, was elected chair of the Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Association of American Law Schools. In this role, she will oversee the section’s Works-in-Progress Conference, two section awards and a new mentorship program. The section promotes members’ interests, activities and communication of ideas, and provides a forum for discussion of matters of interest in the teaching, research and improvement of the law and practice related to alternative dispute resolution.

Colleen Medill, law, was invited by the National Conference of Bar Examiners to serve as an expert reviewer for the property law section of the Multistate Essay Exam. In this role, she will review the question, suggested answer and scoring system, and provide her assessment of the clarity, difficulty and fairness of the question. Medill is a leading national expert on the development of lawyering skills for property law students.   

Kristen Olson, sociology and director of the Bureau of Sociological Research, was appointed to the 2030 Census Advisory Committee by the United States Census Bureau. The 2030 CAC members will assist the Census Bureau in devising strategies to increase awareness of and participation in the next decennial census, reduce barriers to response and enhance the public’s trust and willingness to respond. 

Jessica Shoemaker, law, recently presented her work at two conferences. At the Land, Climate and Justice Conference sponsored by the University of Virginia School of Law, she presented a work-in-progress, “Privatizing the Countryside.” At the Resnick Center and Academy for Food Law and Policy conference, hosted by the UCLA School of Law, Shoemaker presented her work on changing land ownership patterns across the American countryside and related issues of economic and environmental justice, which is work she pursued with support from an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.      

Matt Waite, journalism, and Bryan Wang, advertising and public relations, were panelists for Civic Nebraska’s “Democracy in the Age of AI” Community Summit in February. They discussed the public’s responsibility in the face of advancing technologies and their implications for democracy.

Other News

Bhaskar Bhattacharya was named the next head of the Department of Statistics. Bhattacharya is currently a professor of statistics at Southern Illinois University, where he served as chair of the Department of Mathematics from 2015 to 2020 and as director of the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences from 2020 to 2021. He succeeds Bertrand Clarke, who will return to the faculty.  

Kate Brooks is the new head of the Department of Agricultural Economics. Brooks, who joined UNL in 2013 as an assistant professor, has served as the interim associate department head since April 2023. In her new role, Brooks aims to grow opportunities for students, foster collaboration within the department and across campus, and strengthen ties with alumni and other potential partners.         

Jeffrey P. Gold was confirmed as the University of Nebraska’s ninth president by the Board of Regents on April 26. Gold, a heart surgeon and first-generation college student, has led the University of Nebraska Medical Center through a period of record growth for the past decade. He’s also served as the NU system’s executive vice president and provost since 2021, and from 2017 to 2021 held the role of University of Nebraska at Omaha chancellor. At UNMC, Gold has overseen a period of significant growth in enrollment, research, academic offerings, philanthropy and facilities. Enrollment has reached a record high for 23 straight years, and research grants and contracts now exceed $250 million. Gold will assume the president’s role July 1.     

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