May 12, 2017

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for May 12


Recent accomplishments by the university community were earned by faculty Arthur (Trey) Andrews III, Christos Argyropoulos, Kathy Chiou, Etsuko Moriyama, Xioa Cheng Zeng and Luwen Zhang. Student honors include a first prize-finish by mezzo-soprano Emily Triebold in an international competition.


Arthur (Trey) Andrews III, Kathy Chiou, Etsuko Moriyama and Luwen Zhang received Layman Awards from the Office of Research and Economic Development. The awards further work that enhances a researcher’s ability to obtain external funding. Andrews, assistant professor of ethnic studies and psychology, will use the award to examine a novel post-traumatic stress disorder treatment that reduces service barriers for Latino immigrants. Chiou, assistant professor of psychology, is investigating neural mechanisms of metacognition in traumatic brain injury. Moriyama, professor of biological sciences, is exploring imporved genome assembly methods for third-generation sequencing technology; and Zhang, professor of biological sciences, is researching how the Zika virus infects brain cells. For more information, click here.

Christos Argyropoulos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the International Union of Radio Science’s Young Scientist Award. This award is based on merit and given to scientists around the world who are younger than 35. Argyropoulos has also been chosen as an Office of Naval Research Fellow and will spend 10 weeks this summer at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. With this fellowship, Argyropoulos will be working with researchers and other fellows in developing new materials, especially metamaterials, which are one of Argyropoulos’ research focus areas. For more information, click here.

Xiao Cheng Zeng, Chancellor’s University Professor of chemistry, was named the 2017 recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry Surfaces and Interfaces Award. The annual award honors outstanding and innovative research on the behavior of chemical systems at surfaces or interfaces. Zeng is the first winner from a university outside of Europe. He will receive a medal, certificate and a $2,600 award stipend. Zeng’s research interests are computational chemistry, materials chemistry and nanoscience. He uses supercomputers to carry out virtual experiments that predict the behavior of materials under extreme conditions. For more information, click here.


Taylor Bolam, Tristan Hilderbrand and Miranda Kuzela were selected for the Critical Language Scholarship program. The awards allow the students to study abroad during the summer 2017 term. Bolam, a May graduate who majored in economics, will study Russian in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Hilderbrand, a senior majoring in global studies, will study Japanese in Hikone, Japan. Kuzela, a sophomore majoring in global studies, Russian and Spanish, will study Russian in Vladimir, Russia. For more information on the award, click here.

Lauren Brown-Hulme, junior political science and journalism major, won the Hearst Personality/Profile Writing Competition with her story Shepherd of the Streets. Brown-Hulme received a $2,600 award and qualified for the national championship held May 29 – June 2, in San Francisco. She was one of 10 students selected from 114 entries submitted from 62 schools nationwide. Brown-Hulme’s story featured Abram Neumann, a 22-year-old missionary from Minnesota who cares for many of the Lakota littering the streets of Whiteclay, Nebraska. Over the past two years, Neumann had witnessed the deaths of eight friends, seven from liver failure and one from seizures triggered by alcohol. Natasha Rausch, senior journalism student, placed eighth in the competition and received a certificate of merit. Nebraska placed second in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition based on accumulated student points. For more information, click here.

Emily Triebold, a mezzo-soprano who graduated in May with a Master of Music degree, received first prize in the Brahms performance at the Great Composers Competition. She performed “Von ewiger Liebe, No. 1” of Brahms’ Op. 43. The international competition is reserved for young instrumentalists, singers and ensembles. For more information, click here.

Jorge Venegas, a plant breeding and genetics doctoral candidate, has been nominated and selected to speak at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America 2017 International Annual Meetings in Tampa on Oct. 22-25. Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future is the theme. Venegas will speak to the Biomedical, Health-Beneficial and Nutritionally Enhanced Plants division of the Crop Science Society of America. This is his second year to be nominated and selected to speak. Venegas, who is advised by P. Stephen Baenziger and Robert Graybosch, will present “Mineral Bioavailability in Low Phytic Acid Wheat,” which focuses on the techniques used to analyze the bioavailability of nutrients in the wheat kernel and the results from this analysis. Venegas’ research focuses on attempting to biofortify winter wheat germplasm for protein, iron, and zinc.


The School of Art, Art History and Design announced its major undergraduate scholarship and award winners on April 7. Those honored include Jessica Tommeraasen, Wendy Jane Bantam Outlook Undergraduate Award and Solo Exhibition at The Outlook Project Gallery at Turbine Flats; Megan Rhoades, F. Pace Woods Scholarship in Art; Luis Martinez and Faraz Mohd, Elgas Promise Awards; Carlie Jo Jeffrey, Undergraduate Francis William Vreeland Award; and Skyler Simpson, Undergraduate Dan and Barbara Howard Creative Achievement Award.

Glenn Korff School of Music faculty and student compositions have been selected for the International Society of Jazz Composers Symposium at the University of South Florida May 18-20. About 200 composition applications were judged by some of the most noted jazz composers and educators. Twenty pieces were accepted for non-students and 10 student works were accepted. Paul Haar, director of jazz studies, said assistant professors Tom Larson and Greg Simon were selected in the non-student/professional category and Andrew Janak and Derek Molacek were selected for the student composition category. Simon was selected for his piece “Marble and Glass,” and Larson for his piece “Persistence.” Janak was selected for his piece “Expect the Unexpected” and Molacek for his piece “Omnipotent Q.” Janak was invited to show at the poster session along with jazz studies graduate Masa Ishikawa. For more information, click here.

This column is a regular Friday feature of Nebraska Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit their achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515.

Christos Argyropoulos
Xiao Cheng Zeng
Lauren Brown-Hulme
Lauren Brown-Hulme
Emily Tran (left) and Taylor Mead receive their awards from Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts Endowed Dean Charles O'Connor.
Emily J. Triebold
Emily Triebold
Jorge Venegas
Jorge Venegas