Accolades, July 2021

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted July 30, 2021 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Kelsy Burke, sociology, was recognized with an honorable mention for the 2021 Early Career Award from the Sociology of Religion section of the American Sociological Association. The award recognizes an early career scholar who has made an outstanding contribution to the sociological study of religion. The organization honored Burke for her balance of scholarship, service and public sociology.

Kate Carlin, Andrea Koeber, Elijah Luebbe and Kacey Nelkin Pedersen of the Office of Research and Economic Development’s Sponsored Programs office were selected for the Society of Research Administrators International’s Future of the Field recognition program, which aims to shine a light on up-and-comers innovating and influencing the research administration profession. The four were selected by a committee of peers from among more than 100 nominations around the globe. Selection was based on candidates’ career history, exceptional professional growth and significant contributions to advancing research administration. They will be formally recognized at SRA International’s annual meeting in October in New Orleans.

Katie Edwards, educational psychology, received the Community Engaged Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Women and Crime. The honor recognizes an individual who leads in teaching, outreach or scholarship initiatives defined by innovative community engagement in the discipline of criminology or a closely associated field. Edwards was selected for her work to identify strengths-based approaches to preventing and responding to sexual and related forms of violence. She also focuses on creating community-relevant and culturally grounded prevention and response efforts to help prevent sexual and related forms of violence and support survivors in the aftermath.

Dennis Ferraro, natural resources, received the 2021 Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society, an international organization addressing issues that affect the current and future status of wildlife in North America and globally. The award honors people involved in long-term efforts that support conservation education. Ferraro, who has been a Nebraska faculty member since 1990, is an advocate for the conservation of reptiles and amphibians and has dedicated his career to educating Husker students and Nebraska citizens about conservation. He has also spent more than a decade stewarding the Nebraska Master Naturalist Program, which trains volunteers who contribute to projects that restore native habitats, prevent waterway degradation, improve waste management and support conservation of at-risk species.

Carrie Heitman, anthropology and School of Global Integrative Studies, was honored with the Engaged Anthropology Award from the American Anthropological Association. The award recognizes anthropologists or projects demonstrating a commitment to social justice and community engagement by applying anthropology to address a pressing issue. Heitman was recognized for the project “The Greater Chaco Landscape: Ancestors, Scholarship and Advocacy,” which she co-developed with Ruth M. Van Dyke of Binghamton University. It exists as a published book and an open access volume online through the University Press of Colorado. The AAA cited it for “examining an ancient landscape threatened by oil and gas development in the American Southwest.”

Eric Knoll, agricultural leadership, education and communications, was recognized as the Association for Career and Technical Education Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year during the Nebraska Career Education Conference held in early July. The award honors ACTE members who have significantly contributed to the success of career and technical education through the quality of their work and their involvement in the career and technical education community. Knoll advises and coordinates the skilled and technical sciences teaching option at Nebraska, which allows students to gain credits at a community college and combine them with credits at the university.  

James Le Sueur, history, received the Best Documentary Feature prize at the Blackbird Film Festival in Cortland, New York, for his documentary film “The Art of Dissent.” The film explores the work of dissidents under the communist regime in post-World War II Czechoslovakia during the Velvet Revolution.

Ronald Lewis, animal science, received the Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Society of Animal Science. The award recognizes a dedicated individual’s teaching accomplishments in animal science courses. Recipients are genuinely invested in their students and focused on student motivation, mastery of subject matter, teaching improvement, extracurricular activities and service to agriculture. Lewis, recognized nationally and internationally for his work, teaches both undergraduate and graduate students and is program director and instructor of four courses for a national graduate-level distance-delivered program in animal quantitative genetics and genomics. Lewis was recognized at a meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 14-17.

Angela Pannier, biological systems engineering, was named the university’s inaugural Swarts Family Chair in Biological Systems Engineering. A gift from Dr. Carol Swarts, a pioneering Nebraska physician, will fund the endowed chair, as well as several other endowed faculty positions. Pannier and the students in her lab will use the cash stipend, provided by the named chair position, to pilot innovative projects and explore new areas of research. Her research program currently focuses on DNA vaccines, tissue engineering of developmental biology, and non-viral gene delivery systems for stem cell and medical device applications. Swarts, who is passionate about the environment, clean water and medicine, has been a significant supporter of Nebraska’s biological systems engineering program over the years, helping to fund graduate scholar travel awards, the creation of a hands-on teaching lab and an annual outstanding graduate student award.

Creative Activity

Jamie Reimer Seaman, Glenn Korff School of Music, received a special judges’ citation from The American Prize for “Championing the Music of Robert Owens,” her mezzo soprano performance that honors the famed composer’s life and work. The American Prize is the nation’s most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts.


Tim Borstelmann, history, received the Tonous and Warda Johns Family Book Award from the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. The annual award recognizes an outstanding monograph or edited volume in the history of U.S. foreign relations, immigration history or military history. Borstelmann was honored for “Just Like Us: The American Struggle to Understand Foreigners,” which explores what foreignness has meant across American history.

Matt Cohen, English, earned the David Greetham Prize from the Society for Textual Scholarship. The prize recognizes the author of the best article published in the Society of Textual Scholarship’s journal, Textual Cultures, during the two calendar years since the previous award. Cohen, who studies literature and its history, was honored for his essay “Time and the Bibliographer,” which explores bibliography’s past and how it can gain from engagement with the methods and motivations of Indigenous studies.

Kwame Dawes, English, was named a finalist for the 2022 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The prestigious prize, sponsored by the University of Oklahoma’s international literary publication World Literature Today, recognizes significant contributions to world literature and has a history as a lead-up to the Nobel Prize in Literature. The representative text listed for Dawes is “Prophets,” a narrative poem set in Jamaica in the late 1980s and 1990s that portrays the social and cultural resonances of Jamaican society.

Nicole Gray, University Libraries, and collaborators received the Finneran Prize from the Society of Textual Scholarship. The award is given in recognition of the best edition or book about editorial theory and/or practice published in the English language during the two calendar years since the previous award. The group was recognized for its breakthrough work on the Walt Whitman Archive’s Variorum of “Leaves of Grass” (1855). This is the first time the society has given the award to a digital edition or archive.

Kevin Ruser, law, published the 2021 edition of his book, “The Nebraska Criminal Law Practitioner’s Guide to Representing Non-Citizens in State Court Proceedings.” The guide is aimed at helping Nebraska criminal law practitioners meet their Sixth Amendment obligation to advise non-citizen clients of immigration consequences of state criminal proceedings. It’s available for download and will be updated periodically.

William G. Thomas III, history, received the Best Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. The prize is awarded to an original monograph that makes a significant contribution to the historiography of the early American republic. Thomas was honored for his book “A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War,” which traces the efforts of families in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to challenge slavery’s legitimacy through hundreds of lawsuits for their freedom.  

Professional Service

Jessica Shoemaker, law, was elected secretary of the Association of Law, Property and Society. In this role, she will be part of the executive board and will progress on a four-year track, also serving as treasurer, vice president and president in future years. ALPS is an international association that encourages dialogue across and among people in many disciplines who are interested in property law, policy and theory.

Marilyn Wolf, computer science and engineering, was named general chair of the International Conference on Information Processing in Sensor Networks. The IPSN, co-sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is the leading annual forum on research at the intersection of networked embedded sensing, control and systems design.

Frans von der Dunk, law, joined the Off-World Approach Council at the Hague Institute of Global Justice. Council members provide the institute with the expertise to guide their space justice initiatives and projects and are vital in helping the institute serve civil society on issues that could potentially lead to a stable international framework that accelerates the global space enterprise.

Other News

Loukia K. Sarroub was named chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, effective July 1. Sarroub, a professor who’s been at Nebraska since 2001, has served as TLTE graduate chair since 2018 and previously received a College Distinguished Teaching Award, a UNL Parents’ Recognition Award and a National Society for Collegiate Scholars Distinguished Membership. As department chair, she aims to foster department cohesion within and across TLTE programs, build on the strengths of department faculty and students to promote equity, access, diversity and inclusion in K-16 education, and forge collective fiscal strength and growth.

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