Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Nov. 17

· 6 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments and publications for Nov. 17

Josie Bartels, a junior from Lincoln, left, and Audrey Ellis, a sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, laugh over the various methods of murder Bartels’ criminal justice book describes as they study outside of the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Josie Bartels (left), a junior from Lincoln, and Audrey Ellis, a sophomore from Fort Worth, Texas, laugh over the various methods of murder Bartels’ criminal justice book describes as they study outside of the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons.

Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Joe Aeilts, Aron Barbey, Scott Evans, Justin Evertson, Katherine Frels, Dallas Jones, Cassandra Kostal, Emily Levine, Kala Mueller, Hans Sturm, Ryan Sullivan, Daniel Tannenbaum, Ron Yoder, and the Muslim Law Students’ Association.


  • The final round of the 2023 Grether Moot Court Competition was held Oct. 27 before the Nebraska Court of Appeals. Judges Bishop, Riedmann and Welch presided over the competition. Following oral arguments, Nebraska College of Law students Joe Aeilts took first, and Dallas Jones, runner-up. The Grether Competition saw 49 competitors in total.

  • Scott Evans, extension associate and horticulture program coordinator in Douglas-Sarpy County Extension, was named the 2023 recipient of the Educator Award from the Nebraska State Arboretum, for his work in training and managing 270 Master Gardener volunteers. Evans also shares his extensive knowledge via numerous articles and social media posts and in his frequent appearances on Nebraska Public Media’s “Backyard Farmer” series. Evans is an ISA certified arborist, a member of the Bellevue Tree Board, a Nebraska-Certified Pollinator Habitat team member, a board member for the Omaha African Violet and Gesneriad Society, and an inaugural university staff senator.

  • Justin Evertson, of Waverly, was awarded the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum’s Jim Kluck Honor Award Nov. 3 for his 33 years of work as Green Infrastructure Coordinator for NSA and Nebraska Forest Service. Evertson was recognized for his significant contributions to hundreds of NSA affiliate sites and community planting projects over the years, in addition to the more than 400 hours of work each year that he dedicates to tree planting and garden making projects at schools and parks in his hometown of Waverly. In memory of Jim Kluck, who was a longtime NSA supporter, board member and curator, this award recognizes individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to NSA or to an affiliate site of the arboretum.

  • Katherine Frels, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture and a collaborator with the Nebraska Food for Health Center, received the inaugural Heroes Award from the Foundation for Innovation in Healthy Food. She received the award on Oct. 29 at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting in St. Louis. Frels received the honor in recognition of her outstanding leadership in launching the foundation’s Coalition for Grain Fiber initiative. The coalition seeks to improve the nutrition in staple foods without impacting their taste, feel or consumer price. It is simultaneously dedicated to establishing profit incentives for farmers and other food suppliers that deliver increased nutrient foods. According to the coalition, improvements in the nutritional content of white and whole wheat flour may ultimately save thousands of lives and billions of healthcare dollars globally.

  • Emily Levine, who recently retired from the university after more than 35 years of service in landscaping and arboretum care, received the President’s Citation from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum at the organization’s annual awards reception Nov. 3. Starting her career in landscape services, Levine helped to shape the outdoor aesthetics of East Campus. From tree planting to pest management to educating students and visitors, she helped thousands of people connect with the natural world over the span of her career. In her most recent role, Levine worked with NSA and the Nebraska Forest Service staff to ensure the history of Maxwell Arboretum was well-documented for future generations.

  • Ryan Sullivan, professor, Kala Mueller, director of Public Interest Programs, and Cassandra Kostal, third year student, in the College of Law, were recently selected for the Association of American Law Schools Pro Bono Honor Roll. The AALS Pro Bono Honor Roll acknowledges and highlights the exceptional work of individuals engaging in, expanding and/or supporting their law school community in providing pro bono legal services.

  • Daniel Tannenbaum, assistant professor of economics, received the award for the best paper published in American Economic Journal: Applied Economics over the last three years from the AEJ Board of Editors. Published in 2020 in one of the leading journals across fields in empirical microeconomics, Tannenbaum’s article, “The Evolution of Work in the United States,” finds that occupational change in the United States in the 20th century has been more substantial than previously thought by building a new dataset and using a new research approach. He and his coauthors studied the transformation of the U.S. labor market and found that jobs became much more interactive and analytic over the 20th century than previously known. As part of this research, they built a new publicly available dataset of job characteristics, based on newspaper job classifieds, that other researchers and the public can use to study occupational change. Read more about the award here.

  • A new award from the Nebraska State Arboretum was established for Ron Yoder, professor emeritus in biological systems engineering, and made Yoder its inaugural recipient. The Ron Yoder Service Award) was established to honor an individual who has generously committed time, talents and effort in support of the NSA mission. Yoder, who retired in September from his role as senior associate vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, served as an ex officio member of the NSA board of directors and was a longtime champion of NSA’s work and mission.

  • The College of Law’s Muslim Law Students’ Association was recognized with the Roger Baldwin Civil Libertarian of the Year Award from ACLU of Nebraska, which goes to partners who have worked with the ACLU to advance and protect civil liberties. The association joined the ACLU of Nebraska and #FreeTheHair in co-authoring a report on school dress code and grooming policies, which built support for legislative action to protect students’ natural hair, protective hairstyles, tribal regalia and headdresses.


  • Aron Barbey, director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior and a Mildred Francis Thompson Professor of psychology, will serve as the guest editor of a special collection to be published by the Journal of Nutrition. That collection will consist of submissions — original research, reviews or perspectives — on how nutrition influences the cognition and health of the human brain.


  • Hans Sturm, Hixson-Lied Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies, published the book, “75 Years on 4 Strings; The Life and Music of François Rabbath,” which won a certificate of merit in the 2023 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in country, folk, roots or world music. The association’s awards program recognize and draw attention to the finest work now being published in the field of recorded sound research. The winners will be recognized during an awards ceremony to be held during the association’s annual conference in May 2024 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and study of sound recordings in all genres of music and speech, in all formats and from all periods.

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