Research News
Information to enhance your success at UNL | UNL Office of Research | May 2013


Recent awards, recognition and accomplishments by UNL faculty for research, scholarly and creative endeavors. We highlight faculty accomplishments in each issue of Research News. Let us know about yours by emailing the information to

John Hibbing, political science, received a Guggenheim Fellowship to study the physiological differences between Americans who participate in the political process and those who do not.

Karen Kunc, art and art history, received a Fulbright Specialist Project grant to teach a contemporary woodcut printmaking workshop at Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

Research by Jinsong Huang, mechanical and materials engineering, and colleagues was featured on the April 2013 cover of Advanced Optical Materials for the article “Photodetectors: Fullerene Photodetectors with a Linear Dynamic Range of 90 dB Enabled by a Cross-Linkable Buffer Layer.”

Research by Yuris Dzenis and Alexander Goponenko, both materials and mechanical engineering, with graduate students Dimitry Papkov, Yan Zou and Mohammad Nahid Andalib, was featured on the April 23 cover of ACS Nano in the article “Simultaneously Strong and Tough Ultrafine Continuous Nanofibers.”

The ICARE machine, developed by Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital with assistance from Carl Nelson, mechanical and materials engineering, won the da Vinci Innovation Award for innovative rehabilitation devices.

Steve Goddard has been named interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Wendy Katz, art and art history, won a 2013 Smithsonian Senior Fellowship. She will conduct research in Washington, D.C., in early 2014 for her upcoming book, The Politics of Art Criticism in the Penny Press, 1833-1861.

Alison Stewart, art and art history, received a Fulbright Senior Lecturing/Research Award to teach and conduct research at the University of Trier, Germany.

Kenneth Price, English and co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, won an Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, one of the University of Nebraska’s most prestigious awards for teaching, research and engagement. Price developed the Walt Whitman Archive digital repository and has written several books on Whitman and American literature.

William Seiler, communication studies, was inducted into the Central States Communication Association’s Hall of Fame in recognition of the highest level of service to the organization.

Gregg Rothermel, computer science and engineering, won an Award of Excellence in Science and Technology from the State University of New York at Albany, in recognition of outstanding alumni for their achievements and service.

The Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics received the annual Programs that Make a Difference Award from the American Mathematical Society. UNL’s Department of Mathematics has hosted the event since 1999.

Al Kamil, School of Biological Sciences, received the Comparative Cognition Society’s Research Award. For more than 40 years, Kamil has studied how animals use cognitive abilities in the context of their natural history.

Brian Larkins, agronomy and horticulture and associate vice chancellor for life sciences, won the Stephen Hales Prize from the American Society of Plant Biologists. The award recognizes service to the science of plant biology. Sally Mackenzie, agronomy and horticulture, and Ray Chollet, biochemistry, emeritus, were named ASPB Fellows.

The University of Nebraska Press acquired Potomac Books, whose specialties include military history, world and national affairs, foreign policy, and defense and national security.

Dana Fritz, art and art history, received the Society for Photographic Education’s Imagemaker Award for her project “Terraria Gigantica: The World Under Glass,” a representation of three major landscapes that she presented at the SPE national conference.

Judith Burnfield will become director of the new Nebraska Athletics Performance Lab in July. Burnfield also will continue to head the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.

John Richmond, director of the School of Music, was selected to join the Arts Education Policy Review editorial board.

Brian Moore, School of Music, was accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educators Program, a global community for educators who incorporate technology into teaching and projects outside the classroom.

A paper co-authored by Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools researchers won School Psychology Review’s 2012 Article of the Year honors. The article examined results from the Conjoint Behavioral Consultation partnership between families and schools. The authors were center director Sue Sheridan, James Bovaird, Todd Glover and Amanda Witte, and former postdoctoral fellows Andrew Garbacz and Kyongboon Kwon.

Jean Detlefsen, teaching, learning and teacher education, is the 2013 Western Region Higher Education Art Educator of the Year.

Rich Leiter, director of the Schmid Law Library, was selected to join the Collection Management editorial advisory board.

Anthony Starace, physics and astronomy, and Ken Cassman, agronomy and horticulture, gave presentations at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Boston. Starace discussed attosecond science, and Cassman presented on the Global Yield Gap Atlas.

Amy Struthers, advertising and public relations, received the 2013 Silver Medal Award from the Advertising Federation of Lincoln for outstanding contributions to the advertising community.

Dennis Molfese, psychology and director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, is serving on the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth. The committee, made up of 14 experts from across the U.S., is producing a comprehensive report for Congress and President Obama.

Daniel G. Linzell will join UNL this summer as head of the Department of Civil Engineering. He comes from Penn State.

Eight faculty and staff members received 2013 Holling Family Teaching Awards for Teaching Excellence in Agriculture and Natural Resources. This year’s recipients were:

  • Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence: Joseph Barycki, biochemistry; Patricia Freeman, School of Natural Resources; Tim Lemmons, Northeast Research and Extension Center; and Sheila Purdum, animal science.
  • Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence: Jennifer Green, statistics; and Tom Weissling, entomology.
  • Teaching Assistant Teaching Excellence: Helen Abdali Soosan Fagan, agricultural leadership, education and communication; and Shannon Moncure, School of Natural Resources.

A team including Wei Qiao, electrical engineering, earned first prize Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Industrial Applications Society Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conversion Systems Committee.

The Office of Graduate Studies honored 12 faculty and graduate students for contributions to outstanding graduate education at its annual awards reception. Awards, recipients and advisers were:

  • Dean’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Education: Kimberly Tyler, sociology; and Yan Xia, child, youth and family studies.
  • Lowe R. and Mavis M. Folsom Distinguished Dissertation Award: Juan Colón (Peter Dowben, chemistry and physics and astronomy, and Jerry Hudgins, electrical engineering); Christopher Goodrich (Allan Peterson, mathematics); Amy Colgrove (Soo-Young Hong and Helen Raikes, child, youth and family studies); Kaci Nash (William Thomas, history); Elizabeth Straley (Julia McQuillan, sociology); and Tyler Wortman (Shane Farritor, mechanical and materials engineering).
  • Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award: Jill Allen (Sarah Gervais, psychology); Bobbi Jo Olson (Frances Condon, English); and Ted Patterson (Peter Harms, management).

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