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Accolades, August 2020

Accolades News for Researchers

September 4, 2020

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Rajib Saha, chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received the 2020 Penn State Early Career Alumni Recognition Award, which is given by the Department of Chemical Engineering and is designed to honor an outstanding Penn State chemical engineering graduate who received his or her degree within the past 10 years. The award seeks to recognize individuals who have proven themselves as exemplary role models for current chemical engineering students and are successful contributors in industry.

Dawn O. Braithwaite, communication studies, was named a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association for a lifetime of scholarly achievement in the study of human communication. Braithwaite is a past president of the NCA and earlier received the association’s Samuel L. Becker Distinguished Service Award in research, teaching and discipline service and the Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication.

Suat Irmak, biological systems engineering, has been named a 2020 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Fellow. Fellows are ASABE members who have been active within the organization, as well as teaching or practicing engineering, for at least 20 years. Irmak is being honored for his global impact in advancing irrigation engineering and understanding crop engineering interactions.

Susan Swearer, educational psychology, was awarded the 2020 American Psychological Association Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth and Families. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in science, policy and practice that benefit the psychological functioning or well-being of children, youth and families. Swearer, a licensed psychologist and nationally recognized anti-bullying expert, has spent more than two decades researching the motivations behind bullying, developing ways to change the behavior and outlining effective strategies for children who are bullied.

The APA is the leading scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States, with more than 121,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students as its members.

Professional Involvement

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor has announced its annual selection of faculty who will participate in the Big Ten Academic Leadership Program this year: Eve Brank, psychology and director of the Center on Children, Families and the Law; Deirdre Cooper Owens, history, Charles and Linda Wilson Professor in the History of Medicine and director of the Humanities in Medicine Program; Eileen Hebets, biological sciences; Nick Pace, professor and chair of the Department of Educational Administration; Susan Sheridan, George Holmes University Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, founding director of the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools, and associate dean for research and creative activity, College of Education and Human Sciences; and Leen-Kiat Soh, computer science and engineering

Fellows will attend a series of virtual conferences and on-campus events throughout the academic year learning about leadership and a broad range of topics, including community engagement, diversity and inclusion, freedom of expression, challenging conversations, mental health, student success and the social value of higher education.

Laurie Bellows has been selected to serve as vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Bellows has led the Office of Student Affairs in an interim status since July 1, 2017. Before serving in this position, she spent 15 years in the Office of Graduate Studies as acting dean, associate dean and assistant dean, where she provided administrative oversight of the office, including graduate recruitment, admissions and retention, and provided leadership for graduate policies and initiatives. She also served eight years as a faculty instructional consultant for the university’s Teaching and Learning Center and was interim director of international affairs for two years. She has been the director of the McNair Scholars Program since 2005. The appointment began Aug. 1 and is pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

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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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