Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Feb. 7

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Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Feb. 7

Glow Big Red
Craig Chandler | University Communication

Recent achievements for the campus community were collected by Ryan Bickhaus, Ken Bloom, Joy Castro, Elizabeth Christianson, Jacob DeLone, Kenneth Ferriera, Dillon Fogarty, Deepak Ghimire, Tara Harms, Kelly Heath, Elnazsdat Hosseiniaghdam, Ricardo Jacome, Rebecca Lai, Michael Meier, Saravanan Raju, Kellon Ronspies, Philip Schwadel, Isaiah Somanas, Jay Storz, Michael Sweigard, Adrian Wisnicki, Jati Zunaibi and the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.


  • Six agronomy and horticulture graduate students — Elizabeth Christianson, Dillon Fogarty, Deepak Ghimire, Tara Harms, Elnazsdat Hosseiniaghdam and Michael Meier — received awards and fellowships in January. Christianson, Fogarty, Harms and Hosseiniaghdam were awarded Nebraska’s Arthur William Sampson Fellowship for conducting research in range or pasture ecology and management. Meier received the university’s Henry M. Beachell Fellowship. Ghimire was the recipient of the Graduate Student Award at the North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Five graduate research assistants in Nebraska’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility were awarded Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowships on Jan. 13 at the Transportation Research Board meeting in Washington, D.C. The fellowships provide funding for students to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in transportation-related disciplines. Recipients include Ryan Bickhaus, Jacob DeLone, Ricardo Jacome, Kellon Ronspies and Michael Sweigard.

  • Two undergraduate students in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kenneth Ferriera and Isaiah Somanas, recently placed in the top 20 of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program multimedia and narrative video storytelling competition. Ferriera, a senior journalism major, received eighth place; Somanas, a senior broadcasting major, tied for 12th place.

  • Six faculty and staff members in the College of Arts and Sciences have received awards for advancing the mission of the university through teaching, research, and service. Saravanan Raju, research scientist in computer science and engineering, won the CAS Engagement Award. Joy Castro, Willa Cather Professor of English and professor of ethnic studies, received the Hazel R. McClymont Distinguished Teaching Fellow Award. Rebecca Lai, associate professor of chemistry; Philip Schwadel, professor of sociology; Jay Storz, Willa Cather Professor of Biological Sciences; and Adrian Wisnicki, associate professor of English, received the College Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award.

  • Kelly Heath, attending veterinarian in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of the Institutional Animal Care Program, has received the 2019 Veterinarian of the Year award from the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association. Heath received the honor Jan. 24 at NVMA’s annual convention and banquet in Lincoln. The honor recognizes Heath’s service to the profession and his efforts to mentor students and educate them about opportunities in the field.

  • Jati Zunaibi, graduate student in architecture, has been accepted into the 2019-2020 American Institute of Architecture Students CRIT Scholar Program. As a member of the CRIT Scholar Program, Zunaibi will receive a $1,000 grant for a research project and will be personally matched with a mentor involved in conducting research at an architectural firm.

  • The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter received nine honors of highest distinction at the annual Paper Anvil Awards Jan. 22. The awards ceremony, hosted in Omaha by the Nebraska Public Relations Society of America chapter, recognizes the public relations work of universities and agencies across the state. Nebraska’s student chapter was honored for its branding work, fundraising, mentoring program, flood reporting and more.


  • Ken Bloom, professor of physics and astronomy, has been named faculty associate to the chancellor for budget model implementation. In his role, Bloom will advise on development leading up to and following implementation of the new incentive-based budget model and advise on effective planning, operations and related governance. Bloom will also help ensure that the budget model achieves the university’s goals of increased transparence into budget decisions, enhanced stewardship of funds, incentives for academic entrepreneurship and a data-based foundation for resource allocation.

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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