June 5, 2015

UNL in the national news: May 2015

UNL’s national headlines during May 2015 included an in-depth report by The Chronicle of Higher Education on the College of Arts and Science’s efforts to equalize workloads for joint-appointed faculty in the Institute for Ethnic Studies. The National Drought Mitigation Center became an oft-quoted resource for media coverage of floods in the southern United States and drought in California. Eric Berger, law, was interviewed by national outlets in the run-up to the Nebraska Legislature’s historic vote to repeal the death penalty, in spite of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ veto.

Highlights of May’s coverage:

Eric Berger, law, was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor May 15 after Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts announced he had purchased drugs used to carry out lethal injection. Berger said more information was needed about the drugs before they could be used. The story also was carried by Yahoo! News. NBC News interviewed Berger about efforts to repeal Nebraska’s death penalty in a May 16 story that also quoted Joann Brandon, mother of a transgender murder victim whose killer is on death row in Nebraska. The crime was the subject of a 2000 movie, “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Several outlets reported on a study about emotions and food co-authored by Carolyn Brown-Kramer, psychology. Based on a survey of college students, the study found emotions can interfere with decisions to diet. It was covered May 11 by BigThink.com, May 15 by The Buffalo News and May 17 by Egypt Independent.

UNL digital humanities students’ work to develop an interactive map detailing the 1877 forced march of the Ponca Tribe from Nebraska to Oklahoma were covered by Indian Country Today Media Network on May 20. The map is part of an effort to designate the route as a National Historic Trail, to be named in honor of Standing Bear, the Ponca Chief who won his legal battle to be recognized as a person in the eyes of the law.

In a May 12 Gannett News Service article, Wheeler Winston Dixon, English and film studies, discussed why Hollywood is resurrecting so many ‘80s hit movies this summer. The story originated with the Arizona Republic and was carried by numerous Gannett papers across the country, including the Chicago Sun-Times.

The National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL and its director, Michael Hayes, natural resources, were cited in a May 12 Los Angeles Times op-ed noting that the “California Drought” affects the entire country. CNBC quoted drought monitor data in a May 22 story about how to reduce water usage and water bills. The Berkshire Eagle cited the drought monitor May 22 on developing drought in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette mentioned the center May 23 for a story about how quickly Arkansas had turned from drought to floods this year. A May 29 WCYB (Bristol, Va.) Weather Blog post explained how the center evaluates drought conditions. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette used center data May 30 to confirm that recent rains and flooding had alleviated most of the drought conditions in Texas. The St. Cloud (Minn.) Times cited climatologist Brian Fuchs, climatologist with the center, in a May 1 story about insects’ threat to drought-stricken trees.

Galen Erickson, animal science, discussed why so few livestock producers use an e. coli vaccine in a May 4 Harvest Public Media story carried by NPR stations in the region.

UNL efforts to equalize the workloads of professors jointly appointed to the Institute for Ethnic Studies and other academic departments was featured May 2 by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The story quoted Arts & Sciences Dean Joseph Francisco, Ethnic Studies chair Joy Castro, Associate Dean Dan Hoyt and faculty members Jeannette Jones, history, Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, psychology, and Bridget Goosby, sociology.

Tim Gay, physics, was quoted by the New York Times in a May 6 follow-up article after an investigation found that science did not explain the low inflation levels of footballs used in a playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.

Recent work by Peter Harms, management, that examines the leadership qualities depicted in Transformers’ action figures was covered by New Indian Express in a May 11 article.

A past study involving John Hibbing and Kevin Smith, political science, showed up in a May 11 Huffington Post article. In discussion of why the polls failed to correctly predict the UK general election results, consultant psychiatrist Raj Persaud cited a study showing individuals with high stress hormone levels are less likely to vote.

UNL’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility was cited in a May 23 Raleigh News & Observer column calling for more safety measures at NASCAR tracks.

The Forward, a national daily site for the Jewish community, carried Judith Slater’s remembrance of her late husband, Gerald Shapiro, who was Cather Professor of English at UNL when he died in 2011. The May 3 story accompanied the magazine’s publication of Shapiro’s final, previously unpublished short story.

Politico.com quoted Susan Swearer, educational psychology, for a May 15 report on federal report indicating school bullying has begun to decline. Swearer, is co-director of the Bullying Research Network. Swearer also received coverage after she co-edited a special issue of American Psychologist journal that focused on the past 40 years of bullying prevention research.

The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan quoted Dirac Twidwell, agronomy and horticulture, in a May 8 story about oil development’s threat to the Sandhills. Twidwell was among the co-authors of an April Science article about vegetation damage caused by oil and gas development.

Matt Waite, journalism, made international news when he appeared at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai in May to discuss the growing use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in reporting. Yahoo! News picked up Gulf News reports in advance of and after the speech. HuffPost Media reported on the event May 16. Al-Arabiya News interviewed Waite for a May 14 report on the “swarm” of drones used to cover the aftermath of earthquakes in Nepal.

The Greeley (Colo.) Tribune quoted Stephen Wegulo, extension plant pathologist, for a May 21 story about an outbreak of wheat rust on Colorado farms.

*This is a monthly column featuring UNL faculty, administrators and staff in the national news. National media often work with University Communications to identify and connect with UNL sources for the purpose of including the university’s research, expertise and programming in published or broadcasted work. 

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.*