Accolades, October 2022

Accolades News for Researchers

Posted November 7, 2022 by Tiffany Lee

Awards, Honors and Recognitions

John Bender and Tim Anderson, journalism (emeriti), were inducted into the Nebraska Journalism Hall of Fame on Oct. 22. The Hall of Fame honors distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to journalism in their communities, the state or the nation. It is sponsored by the Nebraska Press Association and the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. 

Kelsy Burke, sociology, was named a public fellow with the Public Religion Research Institute, which is part of its Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative. The diverse cohort of 16 fellows will work alongside PRRI researchers and staff to generate public scholarship focused on contemporary issues at the intersection of religion, culture and politics. PPRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. 

Aziza Cyamani, interior design, received the 2022 IDSA Young Educator Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America. She was nominated by peers for her demonstrated passion for student learning and command of design education as she champions a product design minor. She has expertise in rapid visualization, fabrication, sustainability and design for the greater good.

Kwakiutl Dreher, English, and Ash Eliza Smith, emerging media arts, were fellows at the inaugural WORLDING, a first-of-its-kind research and development workshop that explored climate futures at the intersection of documentary, land-use planning, speculative modeling and game-engine technologies. It is a partnership between Unity Software/the Unity Charitable Fund and the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab. The initiative brought together five project teams with storyworld projects in development, who had the opportunity to develop their projects with researchers and makers from MIT, Unity and other special guests.

Richard Endacott, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, is receiving accolades for his screenplay “Turn Over,” a story about two brothers who discover they share ownership of an antique tractor purchased by their father before he died. The script won Best Short Screenplay at the Snake Alley Festival of Film and Best Short Script at the Copa Shorts Film Festival, among other honors.  

Terry Hejny, director of the Nebraska LEAD Program, was selected as the 2022 Outstanding International Leadership Program Director by the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leadership. Hejny has headed the LEAD Program since 2007, playing a key role in making it one of the nation’s top agricultural leadership development programs. 

Casey Kelly, communication studies, received the National Communication Association’s Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression for his article “Whiteness, Repressive Victimhood and the Foil of the Intolerant Left,” published in First Amendment Studies in 2021. The award honors an NCA member who has authored outstanding published research on freedom of expression. 

Jody Koenig Kellas, communication studies, earned the National Communication Association’s Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication. Koenig Kellas, who chairs the Department of Communication Studies, founded and runs the Narrative Nebraska lab, which focuses on the links between storytelling, health and well-being.

Susan Olafsen-Lackey, natural resources and Conservation and Survey Division, was inducted into the NRD Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees are individuals who have made significant contributions to improving the state’s natural resources. Olafsen-Lackey, a research hydrologist, has been working to help Nebraska communities and agencies protect and manage water resources since 1991. Her primary research focus is the groundwater flow system in northeast and north-central Nebraska.

Rebecca Wachs, biological systems engineering, won the Young Innovator of Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Award at the 2022 Biomedical Engineering Society Conference. The award recognizes junior faculty across the nation who are rising stars in the fields of cellular and molecular bioengineering. The recipients’ work is featured in the October issue of the society’s journal, Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering. Wachs’ work focuses on biomaterials, orthopedics, and tissue and neural engineering.

Yiqi Yang, textiles, merchandising and fashion design, received the 2021 Olney Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Textile Science from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. The medal is the association’s highest scientific award and consists of a gold medal, scroll and honorarium. Yang received the award at the AATCC Textile Discovery Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Oct. 6, where he delivered the traditional Olney Medal Address. His talk was called “A Step Toward a More Sustainable, Responsible and Profitable Textile Industry.”

The Nebraska Center for the Book recently announced the recipients of its 2022 Nebraska Book Awards, which were presented at the NCB’s annual Celebration of Nebraska Books on Oct. 22. Jonis Agee, English, was the keynote speaker at the celebration. The following Nebraska faculty were honored: 

The film “The Bell Affair,” produced by William Thomas, history, Kwakiutl Dreher, English, and Michael Burton, textiles, merchandising and fashion design, won Best Animation at the Prince George’s County Film Festival 2022. The film tells the story of the Daniel and Mary Bell family, chronicling the legal fight for Mary’s freedom and a subsequent escape attempt, which, though unsuccessful, was the largest escape attempt ever recorded.

The Nebraska College of Law’s Civil Clinic received the Seeds of Justice Award from Nebraska Appleseed. The award honors outstanding legal contributions to public interest law and/or pro bono contributions by private lawyers and law firms advancing the public interest through public policy reform. The Civil Clinical Law Program, the college’s first formal clinical program, enables students to represent low-income clients in a wide variety of civil and administrative cases.

Publishing Awards

Kwame Dawes, English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, won Narrative Magazine’s 14th annual poetry contest for his work “The Forgettable Life and Other Poems.” The contest is part of the magazine’s ongoing efforts to encourage and support talented poets and promote the reading of poetry by larger audiences.

Crystal Garcia, educational administration, and collaborators received the Dr. Charles Eberly Oracle Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors. The award recognizes outstanding written contributions to Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. Garcia’s team was honored for the article “NPHC and MGC Sororities and Fraternities as Spaces of Activism within Predominantly White Institutions.”     

Jack Beard and Frans von der Dunk, law, contributed chapters to the book “Legal Aspects of Planetary Defence,”edited by Irmgard Marboe, which received the 2022 Social Science Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics. Beard contributed a chapter on nuclear non-proliferation as it relates to planetary defense. Von der Dunk contributed two chapters: one focused on enhancement of public awareness of planetary defense and international cooperative efforts, the other about the legal aspects of threat response for objects in near-Earth orbits. 

Chungwook Sim, civil and environmental engineering, Maher Tadros, civil and environmental engineering (emeritus), and Husker engineering alumni David Gee and Michael Assad received the American Society of Civil Engineers 2022 T.Y. Lin Award. The annual award honors the most outstanding paper published in one of three prestigious structural engineering journals. The Nebraska group was honored for “Flexural Design of Precast, Prestressed, Ultra-High Performance Concrete Members.”

Team Kinnami-University of Nebraska, co-led by Daniel Linzell, civil and environmental engineering, and Robin Gandhi of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was one of three winners in the NATO Innovation Challenge-Fall 2022 contest. Participating teams proposed creative solutions to fictitious scenarios focused on resilience and the strategies needed to secure and manage data in a contested environment. The team also includes Chungwook Sim, civil and environmental engineering, Carrick Detweiler, computing, Jinying Zhu, civil and environmental engineering, and other researchers from UNO and the University of New Hampshire.         

Professional Involvement

Matthew Schaefer, law, collaborated with Richard Steinberg of the UCLA School of Law to organize an American Branch of International Law Association International Law Weekend trade law panel in New York City on Oct. 21. The discussion, which Schaefer moderated, was called “The International Trade Regime’s Foundations in an Era of Increased Geopolitical Conflict.” Schaefer has also participated in recent roundtable discussions and speaking engagements focused on trade sanctions, supply chains and other international law topics. 

Elsbeth Magilton and Frans von der Dunk, law, presented papers at the International Astronautical Congress conference in Paris. The conference brings together global space players representing more than 80 countries to encourage the development of astronautics for peaceful purposes. Magilton presented “Science and Strength: The History of the Relationship Between Civil and Military Space Organizations in the United States,” and von der Dunk presented “What’s In A Name? – Legal aspects of ‘safety zones’ on celestial bodies and elsewhere in outer space.” 

Other News

Derek McLean has been selected as the next dean of the university’s Agricultural Research Division and will begin the position Jan. 1. McLean, who currently serves as senior science adviser in the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health, will succeed Archie Clutter, who is retiring at the end of the year. McLean will lead and oversee all programming and initiatives related to agriculture and natural resources research, as well as the three research, extension and education centers and affiliated research sites across Nebraska.

Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg was named the new dean of the College of Architecture. He will assume the position Jan. 5, pending approval by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents. He comes to Nebraska from the University of Oregon, where he is Julie Neupert Stott Chair in Design, associate dean for research at the College of Design, director for the School of Architecture and Environment and professor of architecture. In addition to nearly 20 years of experience in administration and management, Van Den Wymelenberg has a robust research program focused on issues concerning health, comfort and sustainability in the human ecosystem to support human, community and planetary health. 

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.

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