UNL in the national news: May 2016

UNL in the national news: May 2016

A spider with huge eyes garnered international coverage for University of Nebraska-Lincoln research during the month of May.

Jay Stafstrom, a doctoral student in biological sciences, camped for two months in a Florida state park to study the creature, finding that it uses its gigantic eyes to capture bigger prey at night.

A May 17 LiveScience report on the study, which was co-authored by Eileen Hebets, biological sciences, appeared on Mashable, CBS News, Fox News Science, Yahoo and other outlets across the United States. The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom compared the spider's eyes to night vision goggles in a May 17 article. Cosmos, an Australian literary science magazine, covered the story on May 23. Other stories appeared on Discovery News and Science Daily.

Stafstrom's research was among about 30 UNL-related stories that made the national news in May. Others include:

Sidy Ndao, engineering, was featured May 29 in a New York Times article about his quest to further science, technology, engineering and math education in West Africa. Ndao was born in Senegal. The story was picked up by a number of outlets nation wide.

After a Wisconsin city voted to fine parents whose children bullied others at school, Business Insider interviewed Eve Brank, law and psychology, for a May 5 article about whether such policy would work.

In a German-language article published May 18 in the Rheinische Post, Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, commented on a newly released trailer for Assassin's Creed, a movie based on the popular video game. Dixon offered his theory why video game-based movies have yet to score at the box office. In addition, Dixon's video discussion of pioneering African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux was included in a May 12 No Film School article.

USA Today quoted Shawn Eichorst, athletics, in May 30 coverage of UNL's post-eligibility opportunities program, which provides scholarships to help athletes pursue post-sports careers. The scholarships can be used for internships, study abroad and graduate studies after athletes have completed bachelor's degrees and exhausted their eligibility to compete. "Ninety-nine percent of the rest of the student body has those similar experiences, so we want to be able to provide those (to student-athletes) in a manner that makes sense," Eichorst said. The story also quoted Coach Mike Riley and Ashley Stone, athletics.

On May 12, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by Rhonda Garelick, English and fine and performing arts, analyzing the appeal of public figures such as Sheryl Sandburg and Donald Trump. She said both offer "can-do" stories of success without acknowledging the privileges that gave them an advantage. Garelick currently is serving as a visiting professor of comparative literature at Princeton University. Her op-ed was carried by many California papers affiliated with the Times, as well as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Sidney Morning Herald in Australia and the Athens, Georgia, Banner-Herald.

John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse penned a May 2 column for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage political science blog. Offering a reason for Donald Trump's popularity, they discussed their research that shows many Americans are dismissive about core features of democratic government like debate and compromise.

A quest by Sidy Ndao, engineering, to further science, technology engineering and math education in West Africa, was featured in the New York Times on May 29.

The Associated Press interviewed Eric Thompson, Bureau of Business Research, for a May 2 report on why the village of Nickerson, Neb., pop. 400, rejected a proposed chicken processing plant that would have employed 1,100 people. The story appeared in dozens of outlets across the U.S., including Fox New, the Houston Chronicle and CBS News/Moneywatch.

Inside Higher Ed interviewed Kevin Smith, political science for a May 11 story about criticism from U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, (R-Arizona) about social science research, including Smith's study of political belief.

Matthew Waite, journalism, was interviewed for a May 4 Buzzfeed article on new federal regulations governing drone use. The regulations allow university and high school students to fly drones, but Waite said there was a catch: the rules don't allow their teachers to fly the drones, leading him to question how students will learn.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged at http://newsroom.unl.edu/inthenews/
 If you have additions to this list or suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed at lreed5@unl.edu or 402-472-2059.