Accolades, November 2020

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted December 7, 2020 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

Ozan Ciftci, food science and technology, received the LIST International Award in Bioinnovation from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. The award honors the most outstanding research in the areas of bioavailability of nutrients, nutrient transport or nutrient effectiveness on a cellular level. Ciftci was honored for his discovery of a novel, green-based approach to improve the bioaccessibility of curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric that has the potential to help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and other diseases.

Jeffrey Day, architecture, and the Fall 2019 FACT studio in the College of Architecture, were honored at this year’s American Institute of Architects Central States Region Design Excellence Awards Celebration, earning a Merit Award for their project “Sheridan County Fairgrounds 4-H Campus.” The submission, an outgrowth of FACT’s spring 2018 project with the Sandhills Institute, responded to a call from the Sheridan County 4-H Foundation for a master plan with new and repurposed buildings to replace disconnected existing structures in disrepair.

David Forsythe, political science (emeritus), received the Wisherd Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Emeriti and Retirees Association. The award recognizes contributions to university-affiliated organizations. Since his 2010 retirement, Forsythe continues to contribute to the Nebraska Chapter of the United Nations Associations, teaches Osher Lifelong Learning Institute classes and has organized the Unitarian church’s annual Winter Lecture Series.

Sherilyn Fritz, Earth and atmospheric sciences, and biological sciences, was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Fellows are selected for their exceptional contributions in the Earth and space sciences community through breakthroughs, discoveries or innovations in their disciplines. Since 1962, AGU has elected fewer than 0.1% of its membership into the fellowship. Fritz’s work focuses on the interaction of lakes with the atmosphere and the land surface, both in contemporary times and during the Quaternary.

Priscilla Grew, Earth and atmospheric sciences (emeritus), received the Wisherd Award for Outstanding Service from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Emeriti and Retirees Association. Grew is former vice chancellor for research, former director of the University of Nebraska State Museum and the university’s coordinator for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Following her 2015 retirement, Grew has continued in her NAGPRA role as a volunteer; remained active in Friends of the University of Nebraska State Museum; and continues to champion the arts, including contributions to the Lied Center for Performing Arts, where she helped start the Dance Circle, which brings major dance companies to Lincoln.

James Le Sueur, history, received the Best Feature Documentary award at the Big Apple Film Festival for his film “The Art of Dissent,” which explores the role of dissidents before and after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. This is the fifth award the film has earned, in addition to receiving the first Creative Work of the Year honor from NUtech Ventures. 

Susan Weller, entomology and director of the University of Nebraska State Museum, was elected a fellow of the Entomological Society of America. The society honored Weller for her internationally known research on the evolution of arctiine moths and other Noctuoidea, as well as her administrative leadership in promoting entomology and science education. Election as a fellow is the society’s highest honor and is granted to no more than 10 people each year. Weller is one of just a few women who have received this honor.

Four Nebraska researchers were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society. Fellows are selected by their peers for scientifically or socially distinguished achievements that advance science or its application. The new AAAS fellows are:

Professional Involvement

Robert Twomey, emerging media arts, was one of three organizers for a workshop at the International Symposium on Electronic Art 2020, one of the most significant arts conferences in the world.


Amy Burnett, history, received the Gerald Strauss Book Prize for her monograph “Debating the Sacraments: Print and Authority in the Early Reformation.” The award, sponsored by the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, recognizes the best book published in English during the preceding year in the field of German Reformation history. Burnett’s research focuses on the role of print, preaching and education in transmitting and transforming religious ideas.

Anna Henson, emerging media arts, co-authored “Exploring Hybrid Virtual-Physical Homes,” which received honorable mention at the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference. This meeting is the premier international and interdisciplinary conference focused on the design and deployment of interactive systems. Henson is an artist and researcher working in embodied and social interaction design for spatial computing and immersive experiences.

Other News

Judy Diamond joined University Libraries as a member of the faculty. Diamond, a researcher, educator and writer focused on science outreach, has been at the university for more than 30 years as a professor and curator at the University of Nebraska State Museum. She also has courtesy appointments in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education and in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication.

Lesley Esters was named permanent director of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community after serving as interim director since August. She has been with the university for more than three decades in Student Affairs, starting with a long stint in University Housing and Residence Life, then spending time as interim director for the Center for Civic Engagement and as special projects manager for the office’s strategic initiatives. Tapping into her own experiences as a first-generation college student, Esters will collaborate with faculty, staff, peer mentors, campus and community partners to support low-income, first-generation and ethnically diverse scholars who attend Nebraska with scholarships from the Buffett Foundation.

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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.

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