Accolades, May 2024

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted May 31, 2024 by Tiffany Lee

Honors and Recognitions

Byron Chaves, food science and technology, received the James M. Jay Diversity in Food Safety Award from the International Association for Food Protection. The award recognizes an association member who has made significant contributions toward fostering diversity in food safety-related careers, activities or research. Chaves will be honored during the IAFP annual meeting in July in Long Beach, California.

Carrick Detweiler, computing, and Kristen Olson, sociology, earned President’s Excellence Awards. The awards are the University of Nebraska system’s most prestigious honors that recognize faculty for work that has a strong impact on students, the university and state.

Ayse Kilic, natural resources, received two awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Royce J. Tipton Award recognizes definitive contributions to the advancement of irrigation and drainage engineering management. The Margaret S. Petersen Award honors women who have demonstrated exemplary service to the water resources and environmental science and engineering community. Kilic is a leading expert in the remote sensing of water consumption using satellite imagery and the use of geographical information systems in water resources and natural resources.

Fred Luthans, management (emeritus), was ranked 14th in the U.S. and 27th in the world by, an academic platform for researchers, in its 2024 ranking of Best Business and Management Scientists. He also received its Business and Management Leader Award for 2024. On Google Scholar, Luthans’ research has been cited 159,299 times.   

Stefanie Pearlman, law, with co-author Melissa Serfass received the Dr. Joel Fishman Professional Publication Award from the Government Law Libraries Special Interest Section, part of the American Association of Law Libraries. Pearlman and Serfass published “Animal Welfare Laws: A Legal Research Guide,” which focuses on the growing body of animal welfare laws in the U.S. It was recognized by the selection committee as a practical and valuable resource for an area of law that is not widely addressed.

Jay Storz, biological sciences, was elected a fellow of the Explorers Club. Fellows are selected based on contributions to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration or the allied sciences. Storz was recognized for his field research on animals living at extreme elevations in the Andes of South America.   


Timothy Schaffert, English, wrote a new book, “The Titanic Survivors Book Club,” which was released in April. The novel follows the Titanic librarian as he opens a bookshop in Paris, where he meets a secret society of survivors. The book, published by Penguin Random House, became a national bestseller in its first week of publication on the lists of USA Today, American Booksellers Association and the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association.    

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln ranked No. 8 in the world and No. 5 in North America in the latest UNL Global Research Rankings of Actuarial Science and Risk Management and Insurance, released by the College of Business. Yijia Lin, finance, led development of the first-of-its-kind ranking, which debuted in 2019. It is a benchmark for universities and faculty members to measure their progress in making research contributions in actuarial science and risk management and insurance.

Professional Service

Multiple faculty from the College of Law have or will present work at professional meetings this summer.

The Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska played a key role in organizing the 10th World Water Forum, held in Bali, Indonesia, May 18-25. The institute ensured that water for food was a key focus throughout the event, which brought together stakeholders from around the globe to share their knowledge on a wide range of water-related issues. DWFI’s Executive Director Peter McCornick, Director of Research Christopher Neale and other colleagues helped plan and coordinate multiple sessions and events.

Other News

Kate Engel was named executive director of the Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corporation, effective May 1. NICDC is the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that oversees Nebraska Innovation Campus. Engel assumes the permanent role after serving one year as interim executive director. She joined NIC in 2011 to assist with operations and marketing ahead of the campus’s 2012 groundbreaking, and later became director of strategic partnerships and communications. Her efforts in recruitment and retention, marketing and public relations, space buildouts, workforce development and resources, and programs for NIC’s partners have played a key role in NIC’s growth over the past decade. Engel succeeds founding executive director Dan Duncan, who retired in April 2023.  

Silvana Martini was appointed head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, effective July 1. She brings diverse experience to the role, having served as professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences at Utah State University since 2005. Martini, a pioneer in utilizing high-intensity ultrasound to manipulate the physical properties of fats, holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from the University of La Plata, Buenos Aires. She succeeds Curtis Weller, who is returning to the faculty after eight years of leadership.

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