Accolades, December 2019

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted January 10, 2020 by Dan Moser

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Mark Walker, professor of mathematics, was elected a fellow of the American Mathematical Society, an international honor that recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the field. Fifty-two mathematicians were selected for the 2020 fellows class. Walker is recognized for developing novel applications of K-theory and using them to prove longstanding conjectures.

Colleen Syron, assistant professor of art and owner of Syron Design, has received a Judges’ Choice Award from the AIGA Nebraska SHOW. Titled “A Threat to Justice” and submitted to the Nebraska Appleseed Center, Syron’s piece centers on the theme of how anti-drug laws disfavor African Americans and low-income communities and quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Samodha Fernando, associate professor of animal science, received the Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Omtvedt Innovation Award for Research. The honor goes to faculty who have demonstrated exceptional abilities and innovation.


Xiao Cheng Zeng, Chancellor’s University Professor of chemistry, and Jie Zhong, graduate student in chemistry, recently co-authored a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that certain molecular species in the atmosphere — including those that sometimes help form aerosol particles — can also undermine the formation of those particles. Zeng, Zhong and their colleagues identified a new catalytic reaction between methanol and sulfur trioxide molecules, the latter of which can also react with water to form aerosol-favoring sulfuric acid. By competing for sulfur trioxide, methanol may reduce sulfuric acid formation in the atmosphere by as much as 87%, the researchers reported.

Other News

Elizabeth Spiller has been named the next executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. Spiller led the successful reorganization and financial restructuring of the University of California, Davis’ College of Letters and Science. Her appointment is subject to approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.

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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