Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Dec. 20

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Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Dec. 20

Snow day on campus
Justin Mohling | University Communication

Recent achievements for the campus community were collected by Amit Jhala, Greg Kruger, Cara Pesek, Jordan Redd, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Jie Zhong, Justin Zoucha.


  • Amit Jhala, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and a weed specialist with Nebraska Extension, received Nebraska Cooperative Extension’s Association Award of Excellence: Creative Individual Program. The honor was for Jhala’s work organizing Herbicide-Resistant Weed Management Field Days at the Nebraska Extension Fall Conference and NCEA’s annual conference in Kearney. The award recognizes a NCEA member who has demonstrated leadership in development and implementation of effective extension programs with evidence of productivity, visibility and impact in Nebraska and beyond.

  • Greg Kruger, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and weed science and application technology specialist, received an Excellence in Extension Award in Engagement at the Nebraska Extension Fall Conference and NCEA’s annual conference in Kearney.

  • Jordan Redd, a doctoral horn student in the Glenn Korff School of Music, was awarded first prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition. As a first prize recipient, Redd has been selected to perform in Brussels, Belgium, on the winners concert in December. In addition, he will be considered to be featured as a soloist with a chamber orchestra, based in Italy, that is associated with the competition during their 2020-2021 season.

  • Justin Zoucha, a senior agronomy major, was awarded the largest single scholarship ever given — just over $10,000 — by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The Karl E. Peters Memorial Scholarship was created to assist University of Nebraska–Lincoln agronomy students who plan to farm after graduation. Irene Unger Peters wanted to provide a memorial to honor her late husband, a long-time farmer.



  • Xiao Cheng Zeng, Chancellor’s University Professor of chemistry, and Jie Zhong, graduate student in chemistry, recently co-authored a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that certain molecular species in the atmosphere — including those that sometimes help form aerosol particles — can also undermine the formation of those particles. Zeng, Zhong and their colleagues identified a new catalytic reaction between methanol and sulfur trioxide molecules, the latter of which can also react with water to form aerosol-favoring sulfuric acid. By competing for sulfur trioxide, methanol may reduce sulfuric acid formation in the atmosphere by as much as 87%, the researchers reported.

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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