April 1, 2019
Awards, Honors and Recognitions
Marco Abel, professor and chair of the Department of English, was awarded a Berlin Prize from The American Academy in Berlin. The annual award is presented to scholars, writers, composers and artists from the U.S. who represent the highest standards of excellence in their fields.
Clark Archer, geography, received a 2019 E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller Award from the American Association of Geographers. He was honored for his significant contributions to political geography, cartography, population geography and demographics. The annual award recognizes association members who have made outstanding contributions to the geographic field through special competence in teaching or research.
Steven Barlow, special education and communication disorders and associate director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, received the biennial Callier Prize in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Communication Disorders. The award recognizes individuals from around the world for their leadership in fostering scientific advances and significant developments in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. Barlow was selected for his research aimed at better understanding the role of neuroscience in babies’ abilities to feed and communicate. Barlow will receive the award, which includes a $10,000 prize, at the April 15 Callier Cares Luncheon sponsored by the Foundation for the Callier Center, and will present the keynote address at the Callier Prize Conference on April 16.
Kwame Dawes, English, received the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the world’s most lucrative literary honors. The prizes, worth $165,000 to each winner, are administered by Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and recognize exceptional English language writers in the areas of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. Dawes, Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, is the author of 20 books of poetry and numerous other works of fiction and nonfiction. Other accomplishments include a 2004 Musgrave Medal, a 2009 Emmy Award for a multimedia documentary project on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica and a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Kiyomi Deards, University Libraries, was named a visiting program officer for diversity and leadership by the Association of Research Libraries. In this role, she will conduct research and create resources on increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in ARL member libraries and archives.
Richard Leiter, director of the Nebraska College of Law’s Schmid Law Library and professor of law, received the 2019 Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award. The award recognizes individual law librarians engaged in significant acts of charitable work, community involvement or social service. Leiter, the award’s co-founder and co-creator, was honored for his behind-the-scenes efforts to support the award and ensure that winners receive visibility for work that otherwise may go unnoticed. Leiter will receive the award at the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, July 13-16 in Washington, D.C.
Brenda Wristen, piano and piano pedagogy, was recently named a 2019 Outstanding Music Alumna by Lubbock Christian University, where she earned a bachelor of arts in music degree. At Nebraska, Wristen conducts research focused on musicians’ occupational health issues, the biomechanics of piano technique and the challenges of small-handed pianists.
Xiao Cheng Zeng, chemistry, was named a 2019 Materials Research Society Fellow. Fellows are selected for their distinguished research accomplishments and outstanding contributions to advancing materials research worldwide. Zeng was honored for his work on low-dimensional ice and clathrate gas hydrates, structures of ligand-covered gold clusters, catalysis with surface-supported gold and metal clusters, and computational design of low-dimensional materials.
The Department of Biochemistry at Nebraska received the Universitywide Departmental Teaching Award, one of the University of Nebraska President’s Faculty Excellence Awards and NU’s top honor for excellence in teaching. The award recognizes unique and significant contributions to NU’s teaching efforts and outstanding commitment to student education. The biochemistry department, chaired by Paul Black, Charles Bessey Professor of biological chemistry, was recognized for its revitalized curriculum that has enhanced the student experience, and for its faculty’s outstanding research record. The department will receive $25,000 to be used in a manner that the department sees fit.
Dipra Jha, nutrition and health sciences, traveled to India to deliver a keynote address at an international seminar on food, hospitality and tourism. At the event, organized by the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management at Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak, Haryana, Jha delivered a presentation on experience optimization in luxury services. The seminar was attended by scholars, industry leaders and students from across India, and was widely covered by local electronic and print media.
Martha Mamo, department head and professor of agronomy and horticulture, and David Varner, associate director for Nebraska Extension, were among 79 graduates of the nationwide LEAD21 program in February. The yearlong program provides leaders from land-grant institutions with enhanced leadership skills and diversity of perspective through collaboration with peers across the country.
Kristen Olson, sociology, was appointed to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine panel for the Contingent Worker Supplement of the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of approximately 60,000 U.S. households conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Ashley Garcia, doctoral candidate in communications, authored “(De)Humanizing the Black Male Athlete: Han’s Achievement Doping Society in the Realm of Football.” The paper will be named the top student paper of the Sports Communication Interest Group of the Central States Communication Association at its meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, April 4-6.
Mehmet Can Vuran, computer science and engineering, Suat Irmak, biological systems engineering, and Rigoberto Wong, graduate student in engineering, along with Abdul Salam of Purdue University, co-authored a research paper, “Internet of Underground Things in Precision Agriculture: Architecture and Technology Aspect.” Ad Hoc Networks Journal has cited the paper as one of the Top 10 Most Downloaded Articles.
Nathan Meier will be assistant vice chancellor for research, effective May 6. Meier has held multiple leadership roles within the university’s Office of Research and Economic Development and is currently director of research development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. At Nebraska, he will focus on advancing institutional research goals and fostering faculty success in implementing high-priority partnerships, projects and programs.