Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Feb. 18

· 6 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Feb. 18

Craig Chandler | University Communication

Recent achievements among the university community were earned by Mark Bacon, Larry Barksdale, Erin Bauer, Alisa Belflower, Caitlin Buck, Kate Carlin, Cody Creech, Angel Coleman, Sruti Das Choudhury, Ellie Granger, Abla Hasan, David Holding, David Karle, Andrea Koeber, Justine LaViolette, Elijah Luebbe, Quinlan McFadden, Kacey Nelkin Pedersen, Ethan Petrik, Chase Porter, Nick Prosek, Emma Sidel, Paul Staswick, Jerry Volesky and Marilyn Wolf.


  • Alisa Belflower, coordinator of musical theatre studies in the Glenn Korff School of Music and Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, has been elected the National Association of Teachers of Singing national vice president for auditions for 2022-2024. Belflower will take office immediately as vice president-elect and then take office as vice president this summer.

  • Kate Carlin, Andrea Koeber, Elijah Luebbe and Kacey Nelkin Pedersen of the Office of Research and Economic Development’s Sponsored Programs office were selected for the Society of Research Administrators International’s Future of the Field recognition program, which aims to shine a light on up-and-comers innovating and influencing the research administration profession. The four were selected by a committee of peers from among more than 100 nominations around the globe. Selection was based on candidates’ career history, exceptional professional growth and significant contributions to advancing research administration. They were formally recognized at SRA International’s annual meeting in October in New Orleans.

  • Angel Coleman and Quinlan McFadden, Master of Architecture students, were accepted into the 2022 American Institute of Architecture Students CRIT Scholar Program. The program aims to support student research and serves as an exclusive opportunity for students to receive further guidance from a professional adviser. Coleman’s research involves looking at reinventing the high school, integrating aspects of architecture and design to create a place where every student can find a space to learn and belong. McFadden’s research will explore how the combination of building typologies and land uses can achieve attainable housing strategies through density while optimizing visual conformity.

  • Sruti Das Choudhury, research assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources, will lead a research team that has been awarded $50,000 from the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative. The study, “Event-base Plant Phenotyping Using Deep Learning: Algorithms, Tools and Datasets,” is intended to help plant phenotyping research through imaging segmentation.

Plant Vision Initiative research group, which was founded by Sruti Das Choudhury.

  • Chase Porter and Ethan Petrik placed in the national Hearst Journalism Awards Audio Competition on Feb. 9. Porter, who gradated in May 2021 with degrees in broadcasting and philosophy, finished first for his entries, “Lincoln Broadcaster’s progression from TEDx to his own radio show” and “Battle of the Joshes: How an internet meme raised more than $13,000 for the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.” Petrik, a senior sports media and communication, and broadcasting double major, finished 15th for his entries, “Former Husker sprinter finds outlet in songwriting” and “As Lincoln grows, bird-friendly communities can protect native species.” Learn more about the awards.

  • David Karle, program director and associate professor of architecture, and Mark Bacon, lecturer, earned an honorable mention for the 2022 American Institute of Architects Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Practice and Leadership Award. Their project, “Integrated Pedagogy,” featured and industry partnership with SGH Concepts and the creation of a student scholarship competition. It was one of three projects to earn an award in the category.

  • Paul Staswick, professor of agronomy and horticulture, retired Jan. 3 after a 36-year career of research and teaching. Staswick’s career focused on the fundamental aspects of plant biology related to plant productivity, crop plant quality and disease resistance mechanisms. Early in his career, he worked on soybean protein biochemistry. In addition to research, Staswick developed and taught AGRO 810 Plant Molecular Biology course for 34 years. The course covers the molecular genetic basis of biological function in higher plants, genome organization, gene structure and function, regulation of gene expression, recombinant DNA and genetic engineering principles.

  • Marilyn Wolf, founding director of the School of Computing and Elmer E. Koch Professor of Engineering, received the 2022 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award for inspirational teaching of graduate students. Wolf, an IEEE Fellow, has helped a new generation of researchers to conceptualize, build, and validate modern embedded computing systems through influential textbooks, high-impact conferences, and mentoring graduate students.

  • The Husker Animal Welfare Judging Team placed fifth during the annual American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Assessment Contest. The team included Caitlin Buck, junior animal science major; Ellie Granger, junior animal science and pre-veterinary major; and Nick Prosek, freshman animal science major. Participants in the annual contest were provided a structured opportunity to practice their assessment skills and present their findings to an expert panel of scientists and veterinarians with special expertise in animal welfare.


  • Cody Creech, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture and Nebraska Extension dryland cropping systems specialist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center in Scottsbluff, has been named the Fenster Professor of Dryland Agriculture. The professorship is named in honor of Charlie Fenster, a dryland cropping specialist who served at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center for several decades. The Fenster Professorship is intended to perpetuate scientific progress in dryland agriculture by supporting research and Extension programs that enhance the profitability and sustainability of dryland agriculture in the Panhandle.

  • David Holding, professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, began a one-year term as an associate department head on Jan. 1. He is assisting Martha Mamo, department head, and John Lindquist, also an associate department head, in the day-to-day decisions and future planning of the department.

  • Jerry Volesky, professor of agronomy and horticulture, and a Nebraska Extension range and forage specialist at the West Central Research, Extension and Education Center has been named the interim director of the Center for Grassland Studies.


  • Abla Hasan, associate professor of practice in modern languages and literatures, published a new academic book, “On Pain and Suffering: A Qur’anic Perspective” (Lexington Books) on Jan. 31. The book is an academic response to COVID-19 and argues for a distinction between two core Qur’anic stories — the creation of Adam and Eve and the exile of the devil from paradise.

  • A one-of-a-kind forensics guidebook has been released by the departments of Entomology and Forensic Science. The publication, “Death Scene Insect Succession in Nebraska: A Guidebook,” is a manual for students studying forensics and for law enforcement personnel investigating crimes. It provides information about insect succession and patterns in Nebraska and how to collect and preserve forensically-important insects as evidence for criminal investigations. Developers of the guidebook are Justine LaViolette, Erin Bauer, Larry Barksdale and Emma Sidel.

Developers of "Death Scene Insect Succession in Nebraska: A Guidebook," are (from left) Justine LaViolette, Erin Bauer, Larry Barksdale and Emma Sidel.

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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