Accolades, May 2021

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted June 3, 2021 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Katie Anania, art history, was named a Tyson Scholar in American Art for the spring 2022 semester. During a 15-week residential fellowship, she will conduct research at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The work will advance her second book project, “Devour Everything: Art and Hunger in the Age of Commodity Agriculture.” This will be Anania’s first visit to Crystal Bridges, which was founded in 2005 by the Walton Family Foundation. The collection spans five centuries of American art from the 17th century to today and includes 3,000 paintings, works on paper, sculpture, photography and new media.

Suat Irmak, biological systems engineering, was elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Environmental and Water Resources Institute, which is the ASCE’s technical source for environmental and water-related issues. The honor recognizes Irmak’s significant contributions to research platforms, scientific understanding and education in water resources and irrigation engineering in national and international platforms. The fellows will be recognized during the Virtual 2021 World Environmental and Water Resources Congress on June 7. Irmak was recently named head of Penn State University’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and will assume that role July 1.   

Jeannette Jones, history and ethnic studies, was selected for the Distinguished Visiting Scholars program at the University of Buffalo’s Center for Diversity Innovation. The goal of the program is to advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Buffalo through scholarship, creative activity, teaching, mentoring and service. Jones was one of eight scholars selected for the 2021-22 academic year based on excellence in their fields, commitment to student mentoring and ability to have significant influence on the UB community and beyond.

Wei Qiao, electrical and computer engineering, received the Sustainable Energy Systems Technical Achievement Award of the Power Electronics Society, a technical society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The award honors Qiao’s contributions to condition monitoring and control of power electronics interfaced sustainable energy systems. He will receive the award at the IEEE International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems in July.

Professional Service

Kristen Blankley, law, was appointed editor-in-chief of the third edition of ADR and Employment Law by the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment, which publishes the treatise in partnership with Bloomberg. Blankley authored a chapter focused on mediation ethics in the treatise and is a former senior editor of the book.  

The Center on Children, Families and the Law’s Community Services Division has collaborated with the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln Community Foundation to distribute CARES Act funds. The partnership helped provide rent, mortgage and utilities assistance to community members impacted by the pandemic. The division has expanded the partnership, collaborating with the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation to distribute American Rescue Plan Act funding in 2021. Read more about the project here.    

Kathy Farrell, James Jr. and Susan Stuart Endowed Dean of the College of Business, served on the panel “Building a Sense of Community Online” at the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International Conference and Annual Meeting. She and other business school leaders discussed how their schools engaged students in a virtual setting, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alok Kumar, marketing, was selected as a winner of the 2020 Journal of Marketing Outstanding Reviewer Award. He was chosen by the publication’s 200-person editorial review board based on “his review workload and the constructiveness, thoroughness and timeliness of his reviews.”

Stefanie Pearlman, law, was reappointed by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican to the Nebraska Access to Justice Commission for a four-year term. The commission promotes the Nebraska Supreme Court’s goal of providing equal access to swift, fair justice for all Nebraskans regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or language. The group unites representatives from all three branches of government, as well as community members, attorneys and legal organizations, educators and organizations serving low-income Nebraskans and those with disabilities.

Janos Zempleni, nutrition and health sciences, was appointed a member of the academic volunteer interest/expert group for the Human Milk Composition Initiative. Coordinated by the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Health Canada, the initiative is charged with assessing the contents of nutrients and bioactive compounds in human milk.  


Eve Brank, psychology and director of the Center on Children, Families and the Law, received the Lawrence S. Wrightsman Book Award from the American Psychology-Law Society for her book, “The Psychology of Family Law.” The award recognizes outstanding scholarly books that cover law and psychology. Brank’s book, published by the New York University Press, bridges family law and current psychological research to shape understanding of legal doctrine and policy.  

Robert Dyer, computer science and engineering, and his graduate students Samuel Flint and Jigyasa Chauhan received the 2021 Distinguished Paper Award at the International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, held virtually this year on May 17-19. The team’s paper, called “Escaping the Time Pit: Pitfalls and Guidelines for Using Time-based Git Data,” explores how time-based data has been used over the course of the MSR conference’s 16 years. Flint presented the paper.  

Other News

Steven Barlow, associate director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, has been named chair of the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Barlow, who joined the department in 2014 and is a professor of special education and communication disorders, will assume the position on July 1.

Sue Swearer was named chair of the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Swearer, Willa Cather Professor of educational psychology, is a licensed psychologist and nationally recognized anti-bullying expert who has spent more than two decades researching the motivations behind bullying, developing ways to change the behavior and outlining effective strategies for children who are bullied. She also serves as the university’s director of faculty development, which enables her to create and promote faculty professional development and enhancement initiatives for over 1,700 faculty and instructors.

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