Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Aug. 7

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Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Aug. 7

UNL's City Campus is pictured from above.
Craig Chandler | University Communication

Learn more about recent honors, appointments and publications at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in this week’s achievements column.


  • Doctoral students Anthony Akpofure Amori, Christopher Anuo, Rituraj Khound, Chenyong Miao and Manny Saluja have received Widaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowships from the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The award supports graduate students with high scholastic merit and research potential in conducting basic research in agriculture.

  • Balpreet Kaur Dhatt, doctoral student specializing in plant breeding and genetics, has received the Hardin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The fellowship is awarded to outstanding graduate students and supports research in plant physiology with particular emphasis on genetic mechanisms influencing plant responses to stress conditions.

  • Matthew Douglass, assistant professor of practice in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, is part of an international research team that received a $41,000 grant focusing on museum collections and digital public outreach with indigenous Sami Reindeer herders in Norway and Finland. The project will develop online courses to teach others to use digital technologies such as photogrammetry, augmented reality and 360 video to record the herders’ heritage objects. Other participating institutions include the University of Tromso, the Sami University of Applied Sciences, the Sami Education Institute and Harvard University.

  • Terry Housh, director of Nebraska’s Exercise Physiology Laboratory and professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, is the 2020 recipient of the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Boyd Epply Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award, named after NSCA founder Boyd Epley, honors individuals who exhibit historical impact, achievements and dedication to the NSCA over the course of their career.

  • Suat Irmak, Harold W. Eberhard Distinguished Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, has been named a 2020 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Fellow. Fellows are ASABE members who have been active within the organization, as well as teaching or practicing engineering, for at least 20 years. Irmak is being honored for his global impact in advancing irrigation engineering and understanding crop engineering interactions.

  • Osler Ortex, doctoral student specializing in crop production, is the recipient of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture’s Crop Science Graduate Student Scholarship. The annual award is presented to a meritorious graduate student in crop science for outstanding contributions to agronomy through education, national and international service, and research.

  • Santosh Pitla, associate professor of advanced machinery systems, has received the 2020 John Deere Award from North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. The award recognizes one faculty member each year for his or her work in preparing students for the workforce. At Nebraska, Pitla designs hands-on experiences to assist students in learning the basic mechanics of machines.

  • Jennifer Ryan, Ryan and Carol Cope Professor of Supply Chain Management and department chair, was named in business research publication Decision Sciences as a leading author in operations management research. The publication analyzed the research productivity of authors and institutions from 2001-2015 in a set of four premier journals — Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, and Management Science.

  • Susan Swearer, Willa Cather Professor of Educational Psychology, was awarded the 2020 American Psychological Association Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in science, policy and practice that benefit the psychological functioning or well-being of children, youth and families.


  • Julie Obermeyer, career development and corporate relations director in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, has been appointed to a one-year term on the Board of Directors for the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association. Obermeyer will serve as the Awards Committee Chair and be responsible for recognizing NAADA membership and key volunteers within the organization by soliciting, reviewing and selecting nominations for the individual awards program.


  • An article by Dirk Black, assistant professor of accountancy, has been accepted for publication in Management Science. The article, “Do First Impressions Last? The Impact of Initial Assessments and Subsequent Performance on Promotion Decisions,” uses Minor League Baseball signing and performance data from 1987 to 2014 to suggest that when making promotion decisions, managers hold on to their first impressions of workers too long, even after observing on the job performance. The paper was co-authored by Marshall Vance, assistant professor in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business.

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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