March 22, 2024

Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for March 22

Gold ceiling circles shine as visitors walk through Sheldon Museum of Art's Great Hall.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing

Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Gold ceiling circles shine as visitors walk through Sheldon Museum of Art's Great Hall.

Recent achievements awarded to the campus community were earned by Marco Barker, Rick Bevins, Murphy Cavanaugh, Crystal Garcia, Maria de Guzman, Ashly Helfrich, Cody Hollist, Emily Klesner Platt, Steve Lydick, Alexis Partridge, Rahul Purandare, Arshdeep Singh, Will Stalder, Alexandria Warneke, Yan Ruth Xia, New Student Enrollment, JUMP into STEM team, Crops Judging team and Rangeland Cup team.


  • Marco Barker, vice chancellor of diversity and inclusion, is among six national leaders elected to serve on the American Association of Colleges and Universities’ board of directors. The association includes membership from around the world and is dedicated to improving quality and equity in undergraduate education.

  • Rick Bevins, Mildred Francis Thompson Professor of psychology, associate vice chancellor for research, and director of the Rural Drug Addiction Research Center, earned a MED Associates Brady-Schuster Award from Division 28 of the Society for Psychopharmacology and Substance Use. The honor is for a sustained record of substantial contributions in the areas of scientific research, mentorship and service.

  • Crystal Garcia, assistant professor of educational administration, is one of 40 women highlighted for their leadership in higher education in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education during Women’s History Month. Diverse has provided news, commentary, interviews and special reports on diversity in higher education for four decades. Garcia’s research examines the mechanisms by which racially minoritized college students experience campus environments, specifically focusing on campus climates and the role of student affairs in student experiences.

  • Steve Lydick, a third-year law student, was named a Top 10 Mediator among more than 80 participants at the International ADR Mediation Tournament, held March 7-9 in Chicago. The competition featured more than 30 teams from 70 countries.

  • Alexis Partridge, an academic adviser in the Department of Psychology, received the Dr. Charles Riedesel Outstanding Academic Advising Award. Recipients of the award go above and beyond basic duties in their work to advise undergraduate students on campus. The honor is presented by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. .

  • Rahul Purandare, associate professor of computing, has been named an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering. The publication is a monthly, peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the IEEE Computer Society.

  • Arshdeep Singh, an agronomy and horticulture graduate student, was selected as a 2023 Agricultural & Environmental Letters Outstanding Reviewer. Agricultural & Environmental Letters is a joint publication of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. It is an open access journal that publishes articles spanning the entire range of the agricultural and environmental sciences and describes cross-disciplinary research or addressing emerging scientific, policy and economic issues.

  • Alexandria Warneke, a third-year law student, won first place in the attorney/client category on a mixed-school team at the International ADR Mediation Tournament, held March 7-9 in Chicago. Her teammate is from Loyola Chicago. The competition involved nearly 30 teams from seven countries.

  • A student-led team from the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction is one of four winners of the sixth annual JUMP into STEM competition. The contest, organized by the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, offered students the chance to pitch innovative solutions for thermal energy storage, building envelope improvement, and carbon reduction. The UNL team — which included Izzi Bryant, Maddax Frye, Ema Horner and Sophie Kudron — pitched a project titled, “Detecting, Contracting, Sealing — The Communitiy Envelope.” The students will have an opportunity to intern at one of four national laboratories and spend two days with industry partners, Johnson Controls or Clayton Home Building.

  • A Law Mediation Competition team of Murphy Cavanaugh, Ashly Helfrich and Steve Lydick placed seventh overall in the mediation category at the International ADR Mediation Tournament, held March 7-9 in Chicago. The competition involved nearly 30 teams from 70 countries.

  • The New Student Enrollment program earned two awards at the NODA Region V and VII conference, March 8-11 in Iowa City. The NSE team won the Innovative Program Award for the Life of a Husker orientation curriculum. Emily Klesner Platt, assistant director, was named the Outstanding New Professional. NODA is the national organization dedicated to orientation, transition and retention success in higher education.

  • The Crops Judging Team finished third in the Regional Crops Judging Contest at Hutchinson Community College on Feb. 24. Will Stalder, a plant and landscape systems major, placed eighth in the individual competition. Other members of the team include Ashton Boehm, Daniel Frey, Thayer Jonak, Logan Nelson, Zach Nienhueser, Clinton Turnbull and Kailey Ziegler. Team advisers are Don Lee, professor in agronomy and horticulture, and Garrett Kuss, graduate student in the plant health program.

  • For the second year, a Husker team has earned the collegiate Rangeland Cup at the Society for Range Management annual meeting. The event was Jan. 29 in Sparks, Nevada. The contest includes a research poster presentation in which students are given a range science-related prompt and asked to find potential solutions. The team included undergraduates Caitlin Coperhaver, Josie Ivy and Jacob VanDress.


  • Yan Ruth Xia, Maria de Guzman and Cody Hollist, all faculty in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, helped edit a new publication that outlines modern experiences of adolescents worldwide. The volume, “Global Perspectives on Adolescents and their Families,” was published by Springer Nature. The team hopes the book will inform researchers, faculty, students and other professionals who focus on youth.