January 11, 2021
Awards, Honors and Recognitions
Humberto Blanco, agronomy and horticulture, was named a fellow of the Soil Science Society of America. Fellow status is the society’s highest recognition and honors the professional achievements and meritorious service of society members. The maximum number of fellows is just 0.3% of the society’s active and emeritus membership. Blanco, an expert in soil management and applied soil physics, was one of 12 fellows honored in 2020.
Jeffrey Day, architecture, received the first-ever Architectural | Design Education Award from AIA Nebraska, the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The award recognizes a person of esteemed character who has rendered distinguished service to the profession of architecture design or to the arts science in a Nebraska institution of higher learning. Day, who has been at Nebraska for more than 20 years, teaches design studios, seminars and workshops that explore the intersection of design conceptualization and physical construction – the meeting place of theory and practice. He’s nationally and internationally recognized for his teaching and creative work.
Danni Gilbert, music education, received the 2020 Nebraska Music Educator of the Year Award from the Nebraska Music Educators Association. The award honors educators who display excellence in every facet of music teaching. Gilbert is coordinator of music field experiences at the Glenn Korff School of Music, where she oversees and supervises students in their practicum and student teaching placements. She said her philosophy of teaching is to view it as a “people profession” where priority is placed on building positive relationships with students.
Patricio Grassini, agronomy and horticulture, received the Werner L. Nelson Award for Diagnosis of Yield-Limiting Factors from the American Society of Agronomy. The award honors creativity and innovation in the development, acceptance and/or implementation of diagnostic services in higher, more profitable crop production. Grassini has performed yield-gap and resource-use efficiency analysis across a diverse range of cropping systems, and is currently involved in the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas and a research program aimed at identifying management practices that achieve high yield and efficiency without sacrificing producer profit.
Laurence Rilett, civil engineering, Mid-America Transportation Center and Nebraska Transportation Center, was named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Fellow status is a prestigious honor held by just 3% of ASCE members and reflects an engineer’s status as one of the profession’s most elite and influential contributors. Fellows are elected based on their professional accomplishments.
The Nebraska PPE Partnership Project, a collaboration between Nebraska Innovation Studio, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Food Processing Center and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, received the Excalibur Award from the Association of University Research Parks. This year, the award recognized organizations or individuals who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with unique and significant technology solutions, community outreach or leadership to assist their communities in achieving better health outcomes. The Nebraska PPE Partnership Project developed and distributed disposable protective gowns, more than 22,000 face shields and 200,000 gallons of hand sanitizer to Nebraska communities and beyond.
Jessica “Jessie” Herrmann joined the Office of Research and Economic Development as director of federal relations on Jan. 4. In this role, she will maintain and build the university’s relationship with Nebraska’s congressional delegation, congressional staff, federal funding agencies and government officials. Herrmann was formerly director of legislative outreach and research for the Platte Institute and legislative assistant for Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Most recently, she was vice president of legal and government affairs for the Nebraska Cattlemen. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a law degree from the Nebraska College of Law.
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