Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for March 26

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Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for March 26


Recent achievements for the campus community were earned by Kathy Ankerson, Robyn Benes, Jordan Black, Kara Brant, Charlie Francis, Alan Frizzell, Jeanne Keyser, Nevin Lawrence, Anh Le, Derek McConnell, Matt Nelson, Kristine Olson, Tony Rathgeber, Dawn O. Braithwaite, Casey Kelly and Maria Marron.


  • Katherine Ankerson, dean of the College of Architecture, has been named 2021 Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. Ankerson has had a long history of volunteering for the council, starting in 2010 as a site accreditation visitor and more recently named to their board of directors in 2017. The council is an independent, nonprofit, accrediting organization responsible for setting standards and evaluating degree-granting interior design programs. There are 184 CIDA-accredited programs in the U.S., Canada, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

  • Robyn Benes, a project manager with the Bureau of Sociological Research, won the annual Tarnai Scholarship. Presented by the Association of Academic Survey Research Organizations, the scholarship is reserved for especially promising early-career survey research workers. Benes is the second Bureau of Sociological Research staff member to earn the award.

  • Nevin Lawrence, assistant professor of agronomy and integrated weed management specialist at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Panhandle Research and Extension Center, has been recognized by the Western Society of Weed Science as the Outstanding Weed Scientist – Early Career. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in weed science for an individual within 10 years of their terminal degree. It recognizes innovative or unique approaches in the public or private sector that result in learning, ability to clearly communicate ideas and motivation of the intended audience.

  • Anh Le, a music education major, recently earned an honorable mention award in the 2021 American Music Talent Competition. The international contest, organized by the American Youth Musician Union, is open to any school-based performer or group. Participants submitted a video recording to enter the contest. Le earned a voice education diploma from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Conservatory of Music in 2014. At Nebraska, she is furthering her study of vocal performance through instruction with Kevin Hanrahan, associate professor of music.

  • For helping ensure the safety and health of students during the COVID-19 pandemic, nine University Housing employees were named “Heroes” by the Association of College and University Housing Officer — International. The university’s newest “Heroes” are Jordan Black, associate director of learning experiences; Kara Brant, associate director of support and advocacy; Charlie Francis, senior director of housing and dining services; Alan Frizzell, conference services manager of technology and systems; Jeanne Keyser, associate director of residential education operations; Derek McConnell, conference services manager of business operations; Matt Nelson, associate director of community experience; Kristine Olson, senior conference services manager of staff selection and development; and Tony Rathgeber, associate director of conference services and collaborations.

Students send streamers flying during the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts dedication in November 2019. The event recently earned an award.

  • The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts multi-day dedication events in November 2019 received a CASE District VI Gold Award. CASE is the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Each year their awards recognize the best practices in advancement. The Carson Center Dedication won in the Special Events-Multi-Day category. The event was organized by the University of Nebraska Foundation, Chancellor’s Office, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. Read the full story here.


  • Dawn O. Braithwaite, professor of interpersonal and family communication, had her research on voluntary kin featured in the Wall Street Journal. The article, “In the Pandemic, Close Friends Relied on Their ‘Chosen Families,’” can be viewed here.

  • Casey Kelly, professor of communication studies, discusses survivalism’s enduring allure, from pioneer days to prepper conventions, on the Norco 80 podcast, “Gods, Guns, Survivalism, and The Bank Robbery that Changed Policing Forever.” Kelly discusses his newly published book “Apocalypse Man” to inform the conversation.

  • Maria Marron’s second book in the Communicating Gender Series, “Misogyny Across Global Media,” has been published by Lexington Books, a division of Rowman and Littlefield. Marron, a professor of journalism, edited chapters from scholars worldwide and co-wrote a chapter on representations of misogyny in the Irish and English press. The book’s analysis of global events demonstrates that power inequality and misogyny stem from patriarchal institutional systems and contribute to women’s differential treatment and suffering — resulting in everything from harassment to sexual assault and even murder. Read more here.

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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