Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Dec. 8

· 4 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Dec. 8

Autumn foliage on East Campus. [Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing]

Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Taylor Brown, Marcos DeSouza, Cheryl Dunn, Thomas Gannon, Michelle Paxton, Bonita Sharif, Laura Thompson, Shari Veil and University of Nebraska High School.


  • Marcos DeSouza and Laura Thompson, graduate students in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, were selected for the Bayer Mentoring Program. Bayer Crop Sciences University Mentoring Program is a global competitive one-year mentoring program for students and postdoctoral researchers early in their career in fields related to plant breeding, plant biology, gene editing, crop physiology, environmental science, engineering, computer science, and data science and engineering. DeSouza is master’s student in plant breeding and genetics. He is advised by Katherine Frels, assistant professor for agronomy and horticulture. Thompson is doctoral student in soil and water science, specializing in digital technologies for site-specific nitrogen management. She is advised by Laila Puntel, former agronomy and horticulture assistant professor.

  • Cheryl Dunn, research manager and herbarium curator in agronomy and horticulture, was honored with the department’s Special Contributions Award by the Staff Advisory Committee. The semiannual award recognizes department staff who go above and beyond in their job duties in a way that greatly benefits the department and/or the university. Dunn has worked at Nebraska for more than 13 years and is a member of the range, pasture and forages group. She spends her time teaching, conducting research, collecting and curating plants, and managing the department’s herbarium.

  • “Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir,” written by Thomas C. Gannon, associate professor of English and ethnic studies, was chosen as book of the day by New York Public Library.

  • The National Communication Association Public Relations Division selected Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, for the 2023 Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education Award. The association recognizes achievements in public relations research. Nominations for the award are solicited from all members of the division. An awards committee comprised of two elected division members and the immediate past chair of the division determines the winner.

  • The University of Nebraska High School marketing team won Gold MarCom Awards in three categories for the recently redesigned 2023-24 Course Catalog. Gold MarCom Awards were awarded to UNHS in the creativity category and publications category for the design of the course catalog. The UNHS Course Catalog is an annual print publication that was significantly redesigned in 2023. The redesign included a larger overall size, which allowed UNHS to include fewer pages while maintaining the same core information. The new design is also full color, with more design elements to improve the readability of the content, and a new stitching design for the binding, which produced a lay-flat design when opened. The Marcom Awards are a well-known and respected international competition celebrating excellence and creativity in marketing and communication across various mediums.


  • Taylor Brown, a third-year law student, has been selected to serve as a board member for the Federal Bar Association’s Law Student Division, where he will represent the 8th Circuit after establishing an FBA Chapter at Nebraska Law. Brown will serve as the liaison to the Federal Career Service Division, which monitors legislation and regulations that would impact federal attorneys. He is also on the publications and publicity committee, which sends out invitations for events at local chapters, and he will assist in gathering submissions for the FBA publication “The Federal Lawyer.”


  • Michelle Paxton recently published Preventing Legal Deserts in Our Rural Communities with the American Bar Association Litigation Section. The article discusses the unique challenges faced by rural attorneys, including isolation and the lack of support, while also discussing the challenge rural communities face in addressing a severe lack of attorneys.

  • Tobii, a global leader in eye tracking and pioneer of attention computing, published an interview with Bonita Sharif, associate professor in the School of Computing. In the conversation, Sharif shared how she uses eye tracking to understand developers’ attention and cognitive processes when writing or evaluating code.

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