Accolades, June 2024

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted June 27, 2024 by Tiffany Lee

Honors and Recognitions

Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, civil and environmental engineering, was named a fellow of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. Fellows are selected based on their accomplishments in environmental engineering and science research, teaching and professional service. Bartelt-Hunt’s research on the fate of emerging contaminants in agricultural systems has advanced understanding of how trace organic contaminants, like microplastics and pharmaceuticals, impact environmental and human health. She has mentored a diverse group of around 40 graduate students at Nebraska and guides undergraduate students in gaining research experience.

William Belcher, School of Global Integrative Studies, received a U.S. Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Scholar Award, one of the most prestigious Fulbright faculty awards. He will use the award to advance his work to find aircraft and service members who went missing in action during World War II. Many downed aircraft are in geographical areas inaccessible to American excavation teams because they border China and Myanmar. Belcher will partner with the National Forensic Sciences University in Gandhinagar, India, to train students to complete forensic excavations, with the idea that they can help excavate U.S. crash sites on behalf of the U.S. government.

Kelli Boling, advertising and public relations, received the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Outstanding Early-Career Woman Scholar Award. The award honors early career women researchers and encourages them as they pursue their research agendas. Boling studies the lived reality of media audiences, especially women, women of color and victims of domestic violence; how these people are depicted; and how they interpret the media they consume. The award is sponsored by the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at Florida International University and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Commission on the Status of Women. Boling will be honored at the AEJMC Public Relations Division’s conference in Philadelphia in August.   

Jennifer Davidson, economics, was named an admiral in the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska for her commitment to expanding the understanding of economics by establishing the statewide In-School Savings Program. The program is aimed at teaching students the benefits of saving with a bank or credit union. To this point, it has impacted more than 111,343 students and around 400 schools over nearly 10 years. Gov. James Pillen presented Davidson with the award, which is considered one of the highest civic honors and honorary titles given to Nebraskans.

Eileen Hebets, biological sciences, was named a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. Hebets is a leading researcher in arachnid and animal-behavior research, with a focus on spiders’ communication, sensory abilities and mating strategies. She is also a pioneer of informal science education, capitalizing on spiders’ natural charisma to help learners of all ages engage in science. ABS is dedicated to promoting and advancing the scientific study of animal behavior, and creating an inclusive scientific environment that supports a diverse membership.

Renee McFee, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, received the Guyton Distinguished Educator Award from the American Physiological Society’s Teaching of Physiology Section. The award recognizes an APS member who has excelled in classroom teaching; improved physiology teaching at his or her home institution; and contributed to physiology education at the community, national or international level. McFee coordinates the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine, a cooperative educational program between UNL and Iowa State University, and serves as course coordinator for a systemic physiology course for graduate and veterinary medicine students.  

Jamie Reimer, music (voice), won the Gold Prize in the 2024 Virtuoso Awards for Professional Classical Voice. She was one of six who received a Gold Prize in the category, part of the Virtuoso International Music Awards. The online competition showcases musicians’ talent and interpretive skills worldwide. Reimer submitted her recording of Shawn Okpebholo’s song cycle that he composed for her, “Words Like Freedom,” which Reimer performs with pianist Stacie Haneline.

Seema Sahay, biochemistry and Center for Plant Science Innovation, was named one of 25 inspiring women scientists in plant biology by the American Society of Plant Biologists. Honorees were selected for their achievements, leadership and impact in plant biology. Sahay was recognized for her pioneering work on the mechanisms underlying plant resilience and her ability to overcome multiple barriers, including language and culture, to teach effectively and advance her research.

Steve Schmidt, law, was named 2024 Nebraska Prosecutor of the Year by the Nebraska County Attorneys Association. Each year, the association recognizes a prosecutor who demonstrates exceptional skill, dedication and performance in their role protecting the safety and rights of Nebraskans. Schmidt was recognized for his career-long effort to train Husker students in the Criminal Clinic at the Nebraska College of Law and for his work in the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office, both positions that he recently retired from. He will continue to teach Trial Advocacy on a part-time basis and coach Nebraska Law’s national trial team.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln jumped 42 spots to be ranked No. 19 among business schools in the U.S. in overall management research productivity, according to the most recent annual index compiled by Texas A&M University and the University of Georgia. Nebraska also ranked No. 13 in publications per faculty, improving on last year’s ranking of No. 67. The ranking tracks faculty research contributions to eight influential scholarly journals in the discipline of management.


Peter Dowben, physics, was selected as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by IOP Publishing. He will lead an editorial board of international members who work across the journal’s ten sections. Dowben’s research focuses on condensed matter and materials physics. 

Ken Kiewra, educational psychology, recently published a book, “Be a More Productive Scholar,” which details productivity stories and methods based on interviews he conducted with dozens of productive scholars over the past 25 years. The book, published by Cambridge University Press, highlights how some scholars manage to publish hundreds of powerful works over their careers.  

Professional Service  

Jessica Shoemaker, law, was elected president of the Association for Law, Property, and Society during the organization’s 2024 annual meeting. She also presented an in-progress paper co-authored with former Nebraska Law professor James Tierney, tentatively titled “Financialized Farmland,” at the meeting. ALPS is an international organization of scholars and teachers engaged in a wide range of interdisciplinary research covering all aspects of property law, policy and theory.

Brett Stohs, law, presented “Legal Fundamentals for Starting and Operating a Nonprofit” during the Nebraska State Bar Association’s 2024 Nonprofit Seminar. The presentation provided a broad overview of the legal regimes that govern the formation and operation of nonprofit entities, as well as relevant state and federal laws.   

Other News

Deb Bathke has been named the Nebraska state climatologist, a role she’s held in an interim capacity since November 2023. Bathke will play an integral role in guiding climate research and outreach for Nebraska in this position, housed in the Nebraska State Climate Office within the School of Natural Resources. Her first priority is to complete a report on the impacts of climate change, which was requested by the Nebraska Legislature through LB1255. She will also assess needs for climate education, information and data in Nebraska.  

Tony Bushard, music history, has been named associate dean of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, effective July 1. He previously served as the interim associate dean in the spring. His work will focus on curriculum, promotion/tenure process facilitation, faculty research, Hixson-Lied faculty grant administration, college governance and administrative processes.

Ryan Sullivan, law, was named the first faculty fellow in the Center on Children, Families and the Law. The fellowship program launched in the spring to facilitate creative activity and collaboration between center projects and campus faculty. For the next 15 months, Sullivan will collaborate with the center’s Community Services Division to develop and advance research that informs practice to prevent and end homelessness.    

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