Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for April 5

· 4 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for April 5

Love Library is framed in the iconic curves of "Greenpoint," a campus sculpture by Richard Serra. The artist died at the age of 85 on March 26. Learn more about Serra at
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Love Library is framed in the iconic curves of "Greenpoint," a campus sculpture by Richard Serra. The artist died at the age of 85 on March 26. Learn more about Serra at

Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Zaira Alonso, Dawn Braithwaite, Mary Ann Holmes, Emma Oquendo, Pete Pinnell, Alexandra Seceleanu, Sanket Shinde, Kristin Olson and University Dining Service.


  • Zaira Alonso, a senior merchandising major, won a Bright Futures Scholarship from the National Retail Federation Foundation. With the scholarship, Alonso was able to attend NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show and the NRF Foundation Student Program in New York City in January. As part of the NRF Foundation Student Program, Alonso and other undergraduate and graduate students from around the country heard from and engaged with retail executives from a variety of settings and backgrounds as they shared their stories, insights and what they learned in their careers. Read more about her experience.

  • Dawn Braithwaite, Willa Cather professor emerita of Communication Studies, was inducted into the Central States Communication Association’s Hall of Fame. CSCA Hall of Fame membership is given to those who have been a member of CSCA for 25 years or more and who have contributed to the discipline of communication through meritorious scholarship, teaching/mentoring, participation at conventions, and service to the association.

  • Mary Anne Holmes received a 2024 Champion for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award from the European Geosciences Union for efforts in advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion in geosciences. She is internationally recognised for her research and advocacy in increasing diversity in the geosciences through transforming the processes of faculty recruitment, retention, and promotion.

  • Emma Oquendo, an undergraduate majoring in psychology with a political science minor, was named a Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Scholar. RBSI is a competitive program that offers scholarships for students interested in graduate training with a focus on traditionally underrepresented scholars and topics. Scholars participate in a five-week summer session at Duke University, where they gain research experience and participate in networking and professional development activities. Read more here.

  • Pete Pinnell, professor of art in the School of Art, Art History and Design, received the 2024 Fellow of the Council Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. The NCECA Fellow of the Council Award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution through service to the organization. Pinnell served as president of NCECA from 2019-2023. The four-year commitment included one year as president-elect, two years as president and one year as past president.

  • Alexandra Seceleanu, associate professor of mathematics, earned the 2024–25 Ruth I. Michler Memorial Prize from the Association for Women in Mathematics and Cornell University. The prize is awarded annually to a woman recently promoted to associate professor or an equivalent position in the mathematical sciences. Part of the prize is a fellowship that supports the awardee spending a semester in the mathematics department at Cornell without teaching obligations.

  • Sanket Shinde, a doctoral student in entomology, earned the 2024 Gamma Sigma Delta Graduate Student Award. Gamma Sigma Delta is a faculty governed honor society that selects its members from junior and senior students, graduate students, faculty, and alumni for the promotion and recognition of high achievement.

  • University Dining Service won Honorable Mention for Best Campus Dining Award from Food Allergy Research and Education, a leading nonprofit organization in research and advocacy for those with food allergies. Nebraska was recognized for the continuing efforts ensuring students feel safe and comfortable while utilizing campus dining centers.


  • Kristin Olson, Olson Professor of Sociology and director of the Bureau of Sociological Research, was appointed to the 2030 Census Advisory Committee by the United States Census Bureau. The 2030 CAC members will assist the Census Bureau in devising strategies to increase awareness of and participation in the next decennial census, reduce barriers to response and enhance the public’s trust and willingness to respond.

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