Accolades, August 2023

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted August 31, 2023 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Mark Clinton, Glenn Korff School of Music, is a Steinway and Sons Teacher Hall of Fame inductee. This prestigious designation recognizes the work of North America’s most committed and passionate piano educators. Clinton has taught at UNL since 1995 and is a frequent adjudicator for national and international competitions. He will be recognized at the historic Steinway factory in New York in October.  

Beth Dotan, Harris Center for Judaic Studies, received the 2023 Sower Award in the Humanities from Humanities Nebraska. Dotan was recognized for her efforts to increase understanding of the Holocaust, particularly her creation of Nebraska Stories of Humanity, a digital web portal highlighting stories of Holocaust survivors and servicemen who liberated Nazi camps and settled in Nebraska after World War II.

John Erixson, Nebraska Forest Service and state forester for UNL, was selected as the 2023 National Educational Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Educational Office Professionals. Erixson, who directs NFS, was recognized for his situational and ethical leadership.

Tony Falcone, Glenn Korff School of Music, received the Distinguished Service to Music Medal from Kappa Kappa Psi, a national honorary band fraternity. The medal – the highest award presented by the organization – honors outstanding individual contributions to bands. Falcone is UNL’s associate director of bands and director of the Cornhusker Marching Band. In addition, he conducts the Symphonic Band, teaches instrumental arranging, helps administer all university bands and is active in the percussion studio. Falcone received the medal at the Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma National Convention in Orlando in July.  

Jessica Groskopf and Glennis McClure, agricultural economics and Nebraska Extension, received the Search for Excellence in Farm and Ranch Business Management Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. The award honors NACAA members who have developed and carried out an outstanding extension educational program in farm and ranch financial management. Groskopf and McClure were recognized for the Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options program, which helps farmers and ranchers improve their financial decision-making skills.

Jack Hilgert, Nebraska Forest Service, was selected for the North American Association for Environmental Education’s EE 30 Under 30 Award. The award recognizes individuals who are making a difference through environmental education. Hilgert, conservation education coordinator for the NFS, led programs that trained 1,500 educators to utilize conservation education curriculum with more than 50,000 students. Through these efforts, more than one in 10 Nebraska youth were educated about their local trees and environment.      

Larry Howard, Nebraska Extension, received the North Central Region Hall of Fame Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. Howard was recognized for his significant impact on beef, swine and dairy production in Nebraska and the surrounding states. His efforts have contributed to Cuming County becoming the first and only Nebraska county to reach a market value of more than $1 billion in agricultural products.   

Mary Ann Johnson, nutrition and health sciences, was named a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition. This is the organization’s highest accolade and recognizes individuals for significant discoveries and distinguished careers in the field of nutrition. Johnson has served ASN in various capacities, including president and national spokesperson for the inaugural class. Other accomplishments include co-authoring more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and mentoring more than 40 graduate students. Johnson was honored during ASN’s flagship meeting in July in Boston.     

Barney McCoy, broadcasting journalism, won a Best of Show award at the 2023 Broadcast Education Association’s On-Location Creative Works Competition. McCoy was honored for his documentary “Seven Years a Correspondent,” which first premiered in May 2023 as part of Nebraska Public Media’s “Nebraska Stories” series. Multiple Husker journalism students also received awards at the competition. Winners will be recognized at the BEA On-Location conference at the University of South Carolina in October.

Shari Veil, journalism and mass communications, received the Friend to Broadcasters Award from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association. The award honors a person or organization who is not a broadcaster who demonstrates long-term support for the NBA’s mission, needs and interests. Veil, dean of UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications since 2020, has partnered with the NBA since beginning her tenure, including ensuring that representatives from NBA member stations work with Husker students in and out of the classroom to keep pace with advances in the broadcasting industry. Veil was honored at the NBA Hall of Fame Banquet on Aug. 8.                

Tyler White, Glenn Korff School of Music, is one of 17 finalists for The American Prize in the division of Composers for his opera “The Gambler’s Son.” The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation’s most comprehensive series of performing arts contests. The prizes are designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, directors, ensembles and composers in the U.S. at the professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings. Winners will be announced later this year.

Brenda Wristen, Glenn Korff School of Music, received an Outstanding Service Recognition Award from the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy. The award recognizes leadership, expertise and support for the advancement of piano teaching, learning and performing. Wristen was honored for her extensive service to the organization, including 22 years of service on its Wellness Committee, membership on the initial editorial board for the group’s new research-based journal, authorship of articles for “The Piano Magazine” and conference presentations. She received the award in Illinois in July at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.


Laura Poppo, management, is co-author of a paper, “How Should Strangers Initiate a Cooperative Exchange? A Grounded Theory of Relational Bands,” which was named one of the best papers in the program during the 83rd annual meeting of the Academy of Management in August in Boston. The paper explored how strangers work together by focusing on how artists and art dealers decide whether to initiate a cooperative exchange. It will be published in the Proceedings of the 2023 Academy of Management Meeting.   

Professional Service

Jeffrey Day, architecture, was appointed president-elect for the National Architectural Accrediting Board. He will begin this role in November and in 2025 will serve as president. The board provides accreditation services and oversight to ensure architecture programs meet key quality assurance responsibilities. Day has served on the NAAB board since 2022.                      

Christal Sheppard, law, accepted a position on the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s board of directors. She will serve a three-year term beginning in October. Sheppard has more than two decades of experience in science and intellectual property law and policy, including as a practicing attorney at Foley and Lardner, the United States International Trade Commission, the United States Patent and Trademark Office and more. She was also chief counsel on patents and trademarks for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, where she helped develop the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, the most comprehensive change to the nation’s intellectual property laws in more than 60 years.     

William Thomas, history, was elected vice president of the Research Division of the American Historical Association. The Research Division works to promote historical scholarship, preserve historical documents and artifacts, facilitate equal and open access to information, and promote the dissemination of information about historical records and research.    

Other News

Dee Dee Anderson was named vice chancellor for student affairs. Her tenure will begin Sept. 5, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. Anderson was special adviser to the president and vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Southern Mississippi. As vice president, she oversaw and supervised more than 300 professional staff, 500 student employees, 15 functional departments and a budget of $36 million. She was also professor of practice for the School of Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in elementary education, a Master of Arts in industrial and organizational psychology, and a doctorate in education leadership from Louisiana Tech University.    

George Gogos, the Wilmer J. and Sally Hergenrader Chair of Mechanical Engineering, was named director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research. Gogos, a Husker faculty member since 1993, focuses his research on flow and heat transfer using surfaces functionalized with femtosecond lasers and flame weeding. He’s received funding from the Office of Naval Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation, Boeing, Honeywell and more. Gogos, who started as director Aug. 14, succeeds interim director Jerry Hudgins, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering.

Wenjie Wang was appointed as geospatial data and programs librarian in the University Libraries’ Research Partnerships department. In this role, he will connect Nebraska researchers with geospatial resources, including data stored on campus and data resources available online. He will also serve as the Libraries’ liaison to the Big Ten Academic Alliance Geoportal project. Wang has a doctorate degree in geography from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University, and a bachelor of science degree in remote sensing and information engineering from Wuhan University in China.

David Wedin was named director of UNL’s Center for Grassland Studies, which is home to interdisciplinary research, education and outreach activities related to grasslands ecosystems. Wedin, professor of natural resources, started his new role July 1. Since joining Nebraska in 1998, Wedin has studied grassland and savanna ecology, carbon and nitrogen cycling, and how changes in the Nebraska Sandhills can advance understanding of how ecological interactions, landscape structure, climate and other factors interact to shape a landscape.  

Marilyn Wolf was named director for engineering and technology initiatives in the Office of Research and Economic Development, effective Aug. 14. In her new role, Wolf will help Husker faculty pursue federal funding opportunities in engineering and technology; support team and proposal development for large-scale research opportunities; lead the university’s efforts targeting U.S. CHIPS and Science Act funding; and identify regional opportunities for research and outreach in engineering and technology. She will continue her work as Elmer E. Koch Professor of engineering in the School of Computing.  

The University of Nebraska System is tied for No. 78 in the world for earning U.S. patents, having received 45 patents in 2022. This marks the sixth straight year Nebraska has been included in the top 100. Five of NU’s patents were issued to Virtual Incision, a faculty-led startup that is developing surgical robots. Patents awarded to other Husker researchers include a visual monitoring system for tracking animal behavior and health, and an energy-efficient computing system that uses tiny mechanical parts to make sense of and act on real-time data provided by linked microprocessors.     

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.

* Category of Accolade

The email address provided has already been used to submit a response to this form. If you continue, you may submit conflicting information.

If you would like to update the form responses submitted with this email address, we will send a link to the address provided.

* indicates required field

Back to News for Researchers