Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for April 29

· 7 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for April 29

Herbie Husker practices up to six hours each week with with the cheer squad. As the nexus of Big Red spirit, Herbie also attends a variety of sporting events and special appearances each week.
Justin Mohling | University Communication

Recent achievements among the university community were earned by Ravi Agarwal, Sam Brodersen, Joy Castro, Tori Diersen, Olivia Eno, Brooke Eschenbrenner, Iman Farid, Alex Fernando, Shreyoshi Ghosh, Mark Griep, Bailey Gunnerson, Grant Hansen, Taylor Jarvis, Jenny Johnson, Natalie Karrels, Emma Krab, Korbin Kudera, Jordan Kuhn, Nick Lauver, Summer Liu, Jayden Long, Taryn Mayfield, Reese Munson, Caitlin Murphy, Joey Ng, Sydney Pelster, Emily Rau, Riley Ruskamp, Kloee Sander, Whitney Schwisow, Janice Shu Lin Chng, Erin Siew, Marty Sikes, Garrett Smith, Anna Stuckwisch, Olivia Taylor, Collin Thieszen, Peyton Thomas, Sophie Thomas and Carlos Urrea.


  • Ravi Agarwal, doctoral candidate at the College of Business, was selected as one of three award winners of the 2021 Institute for the Study of Business Markets Doctoral Support Award Competition. He will receive a support award for his proposal, “Regulatory Focus in Key Account Management Teams, Governance Mechanisms and Solution Outcomes,” and was named an ISBM Doctoral Fellow.

  • “Flight Risk,” the new novel by Joy Castro, Willa Cather professor of English and director of the Institute for Ethnic Studies, was named a finalist for the Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel from International Thriller Writers.

  • Alex Fernando, assistant director of recruitment in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, received the University of Nebraska Board of Regents Employee Kudos Award at the Board of Regents meeting on April 8. The award recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding employees from across the four University of Nebraska campuses. Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications nominated Fernando for the award. In addition to a never-ending Husker Spirit, he was nominated for his extraordinary efforts to build a welcoming and inclusive environment for faculty, staff and students in the college.

  • Mark Griep, professor of chemistry, is the principal investigator for a new round of funding from the National Science Foundation to continue the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in the Department of Chemistry. The 10-week chemistry program offers a wide range of topics, including organic radicals, biochemical sensors, chemical biology, catalytic nanoparticles, drug-protein interactions, graphene nanoribbons, metabolomics, protein-RNA interactions and RNA structure.

  • Korbin Kudera is the first agronomy student to earn top individual overall honors in both the crops contest and the precision agriculture contest at the North North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Contest, which was held March 31 to April 2 in North Platte. The Huskers’ Crop Judging Team placed third overall in the four-year college division in both the crops contest and the precision agriculture contest. Learn more about the Nebraska’s Crop Judging Team.

2022 Crops Judging Team members include Sarina Janssen (front row, from left), Katie Steffen, Kailey Ziegler, and Maggie Walker, and Dan Frey (back row, from left), Will Stalder, Korbin Kudera and Nathan Donoghue.

  • Riley Ruskamp, a master’s degree student in civil and environmental engineering, has received a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The fellowship provides Ruskamp with a $10,000 award that helps fund his research. The program advances the transportation workforce by helping attract the nation’s brightest minds to the field of transportation, encouraging future transportation professionals to seek advanced degrees, and helping retain top talent in the U.S. transportation industry.

  • Anna Stuckwisch, senior management and marketing major, placed first in the Elevator Pitch Contest as part of the Twin Cities Collegiate Sales Team Championship. Nebraska took sixth in the national sales competition. Team members included: Jenny Johnson, senior management and marketing major; Jordan Kuhn, junior management and marketing major; Jayden Long, senior supply chain management; Stuckwisch; and Taryn Mayfield, senior marketing major.

  • Carlos Urrea, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and dry bean breeding specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, was selected to write a summary about his Journal of Plant Registrations article, “Release of Drought Tolerant Pinto SB-DT2 and Small Red SB-DT3 Common Bean Germplasm from a Shuttle Breeding Program Between Nebraska and Puerto Rico” for publication in the April issue of CSA News magazine. CSA News is the official magazine for members of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America, featuring research highlights; member news, science policy, and meetings news; and career and education information.

  • Journalism and Mass Communications students earned seven awards in the National Undergraduate Student Electronic Media Competition at the annual National Broadcasting Society Convention on March 31. Students and their awards include: Grant Hansen, grand prize in the live sports production (audio) category; Emma Krab, honorable mention in the audio feature segment category; Kloee Sander, honorable mention in the video feature segment category; Krab, Shreyoshi Ghosh, Olivia Taylor and Iman Farid, honorable mention in the podcast category; Sam Brodersen and Colin Thieszen, honorable mention in the video instructional/corporate/promotional category; Bailee Gunnerson and Thieszen, honorable mention in the video comedy segment; and Peyton Thomas, honorable mention in the audio sports segment category.

  • Nebraska Business Honors Academy students swept top awards at the annual Leadership Challenge Event at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Students who won first place included: Olivia Eno, sophomore accounting major; Natalie Karrels, freshman supply chain management major; Nick Lauver, sophomore actuarial science major; Sydney Pelster, sophomore business administration major; and Sophie Thomas, freshman marketing major. Another Honors Academy team won the Communication award, and team members included: Tori Diersen, sophomore economics major; Summer Liu, sophomore international business major from Omaha; Reese Munson, sophomore supply chain management major from Omaha; Whitney Schwisow, sophomore actuarial science major from Beatrice, Neb.; and Garrett Smith, freshman marketing major from Lee’s Summit, Mo.

  • Two teams took top honors at the university’s annual Actuarial Science Case Competition. Winning team members include: Janice Shu Lin Chng, senior actuarial science major; Caitlin Murphy, sophomore actuarial science and mathematics major; Erin Siew, sophomore actuarial science major; Brooke Eschenbrenner, junior actuarial science major; Joey Ng, junior actuarial science major; and Taylor Jarvis, senior accounting major.


  • Emily Rau, assistant professor, University Libraries, with a start date of April 1, will lead the Willa Cather Archive, a project she has contributed to for the last eight years, the last four as managing editor. She now assumes the role of editor of the archive. Rau will continue to be a leader of the Recovery Hub for American Women Writers, will participate in many departmental and Center initiatives, serve on committees and working groups and consult with faculty and staff on a range of issues. Rau completed her doctorate in American literature in 2021 and is herself a Cather scholar.

  • Marty Sikes had returned to help lead the university’s National Strategic Research Institute. As the institute’s associate executive director for chemical and biological defense programs, Sikes will lead institute scientists, engineers and former operators and engage University of Nebraska researchers to provide innovative solutions to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies working within the countering weapons of mass destruction mission space.

This column is a regular feature of Nebraska Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515.

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