Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for July 26

· 3 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for July 26

Justin Mohling | University Communication

Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Natalia Acosta, Mazbahul Ahamad, Paul Black, Karen Da Silva, Chelsea Hampton, Chigozie Obioma, Stefanie Pearlman and Judy Wu-Smart.


  • Natalia Acosta, graduate student in clinical psychology, has received a fellowship from the American Association of University Women. The fellowship, which helps women become leaders in their fields and innovate new community projects, will support her travels to Colombia to study Latino mental health treatment and outcomes.

  • Paul Black, chair and Charles Bessey Professor of biochemistry, is the 2020 recipient of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Award for Exemplary Contributions in Education. Each year, the award recognizes an individual who encourages effective teaching and learning of biochemistry and molecular biology through his or her own teaching, leadership, research or mentoring. As part of the honor, Black will receive $3,000 and present at next April’s annual conference.

  • Karen Da Silva, doctoral candidate in agronomy and horticulture, has been honored with the I.E. Melhus Graduate Student Symposium award from the American Phytopathological Society. As an award-winner, Da Silva will give a 30-minute presentation on her research during the annual symposium, held Aug. 3–7 in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research focuses on whether plant host resistance to a biotrophic pathogen, such as the Goss’s wilt pathogen, predisposes the plant to attack by chewing insects.

  • Chelsea Hampton, graduate student in integrated media communications, recently attended Boston’s TravelCon with support from the College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Hitchcock Fellowship. The Hitchcock Fellowship provides funds for master’s students working on a thesis or professional projects in journalism or mass communications. Hampton’s upcoming project will involve a travel podcast and blog.

  • Chigozie Obioma’s most recent novel, “An Orchestra of Minorities,” is one of 13 books longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker Prize. This is the second time Obioma, an assistant professor of literature and creative writing, has made the list. His novel, “The Fishermen” made the shortlist for the award in 2015. The Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English-speaking world.

  • Stefanie Pearlman, professor of law library, received the Connie E. Bolden Publication Award and the RIPS-SIS Publication Award for her article “Persuasive Authority and the Nebraska Supreme Court: Are certain jurisdictions or secondary resources more persuasive than others?” The awards were given during the 2019 American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting.

  • Judy Wu-Smart, assistant professor of entomology and director of the Nebraska Bee Lab, was recently presented with the Patriot Award by the Nebraska National Guard for her continued support of several guard members on her team. Wu-Smart received the award in a Lincoln ceremony July 9.


  • Mazbahul Ahamad, doctoral candidate in the School of Natural Resources, has published an article in the behavioral and social sciences section of Nature Research. Ahamad’s article, “Overcoming Researcher’s Block with Homegrown Experiences,” discusses how he recently solved a problem in his research process by referring back to proverbs from his home of Bengali.

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.

Natalia Acosta
Paul Black
Karen Da Silva
Chelsea Hampton
Chigozie Obioma
Stefanie Pearlman
Judy Wu-Smart receives the Patriot Award

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