Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Jan. 26

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Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Jan. 26

Museum guests walk under Archie the Mammoth.
Kristen Labadie | University Communication and Marketing

Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Kenneth Cassman, Joy Castro, Tom Elmo Clemente, Blaine French, Patricio Grassini , Elizabeth Lewis, Robert Powers, Mandeep Singh, Clarence Waters and Haishun Yang.


  • Tom Elmo Clemente, Eugene W. Price Distinguished Professor of Biotechnology in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, was presented with the Prem S. Paul Innovator of the Year award during the NUTech Ventures 2023 Innovator Celebration. The award recognizes an individual who exemplifies innovation and entrepreneurship by advancing novel research toward significant commercial utilization and is named for the late chancellor for research and economic development. Clemente is also the director of the state-of-the art Plant Transformation Core Research facility at the Center for Plant Science Innovation. His research includes developing tools for functional genomics and implementing genetic engineering for introduction of novel biotic and abiotic traits in the major commodity crops that benefit society.

  • Mandeep Singh, doctoral candidate in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the 78th Annual Meeting of North Central Weed Science Society in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dec. 11-14, 2023. This award recognizes one outstanding graduate student who is a NCWSS student member and is actively involved in the society, as well as a contributor to the field of weed science through extension, research and teaching.

  • “One Brilliant Flame,” a novel by Joy Castro, professor in English and chair of ethnic studies, was named the January Book of the Month by Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club.

  • Elizabeth Lewis, professor in Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, has been awarded the 2023 Catalyst Award from the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science. The Catalyst Award recognizes contributions to science education in Nebraska. The award is the highest honor that NATS bestows and is given annually at the fall conference. Lewis also serves as the secondary science education senior advisor in the Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  • Blaine French, livestock judging coach, was named the 2023 Coach of the Year by the Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Coaches Association. French has coached the Husker team since 2019.

  • Clarence Waters, Aaron Douglas Professor in the Durham School of Architecture Engineering and Construction, was named the 2024 Nebraska Engineering Champion by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska. The award recognizes outstanding individuals and teams who have collaborated with the council to contribute significantly to the engineering profession.

  • The Global Yield Gap Atlas received the Creative Work of the Year award during the NUTech Ventures 2023 Innovator Celebration Nov. 6. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln and Wageningen University in the Netherlands are the project’s coordinating partners. Nebraska team members include Patricio Grassini, Sunkist Distinguished Professor of Agronomy; Kenneth Cassman, emeritus professor of agronomy and horticulture; and Haishun Yang, professor of agronomy and horticulture. This award recognizes an individual or group who has developed a creative innovation, which is typically protected under copyright.


  • Robert Powers, Bessey Professor in the School of Biological Sciences and professor of chemistry, was elected into full membership of Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society. Membership is through nomination, invitation and voting by members.

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