Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Nov. 8

· 4 min read

Achievements | Honors, appointments, publications for Nov. 8

Campus Trees
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Nebraska's "Old Glory" sculpture is pictured among fall colors at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

Recent achievements for the campus community were collected by Angela Dietsch, Michael Hoff, Brittany Kirsch, Srikanth Kodati, Allison Movesian, Osler Ortez, Jonah Payne, Catherine Fraser Riehle, Timothy Schaffert, Jaspreet Kaur Sandhu, James Schnable, Jasprinder Singh, Karen Da Silva, Hannah Stoll and Zhenghong Tang.


  • Six graduate students in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture were honored with fellowships at the Distinguished Fellowships and Awards Luncheon on Oct. 10. The fellowships were awarded by the Agricultural Research Division and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Recipients include Srikanth Kodati, Osler Ortez, Jaspreet Kaur Sandhu, Karen Da Silva, Jasprinder Singh and Hannah Stoll.

  • Angela Dietsch, assistant professor of special education and communication disorders, won second place and $10,000 in funding during the recent Great Plains Institutional Development Award Clinical and Translational Research Superstar Competition. Dietsch was one of four finalists invited to present research during the annual event and shared her findings on swallowing disorders.

  • Michael Hoff, professor of art history, received a nearly $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to continue his archaeological research in Turkey. Hoff is excavating the remains of the ancient city of Antiochia ad Cragum, located on the southern Turkish coast. The grant will fund four Turkish conservators, along with interns, to help clean and preserve the seven whole or partial mosaics already uncovered at the site, as well as additional ones yet to be uncovered.

  • Brittany Kirsch, agronomy and horticulture graduate student specializing in soil and water sciences, was awarded a National Research Traineeship from the National Science Foundation to study the resilience of local agricultural systems. Kirsch’s research is focusing on the Platte River Basin, as well as water quality within a variety of Nebraska watersheds.

  • Allison Movesian, graduate student in the Glenn Korff School of Music, will compete as a Division Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Competition after winning the Nebraska Young Artist Woodwind Competition. Movesian will now move to the second round of the national competition.

Karen Da Silva
Karen Da Silva, doctoral student specializing in plant pathology, receives the Hardin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from Agricultural Research Division dean Archie Clutter.

  • Jonah Payne, a junior percussion performance major, recently won the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition for the 2019-2020 season. As the competition’s winner, Payne will receive private rehearsal and coaching from LSO guest conductor Lucas Waldin, solo performances at an LSO concert and a cash prize.

  • Catherine Fraser Riehle, associate professor with University Libraries, is co-project lead on a $249,179 grant awarded by the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program via the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The award will support the three-year project “Academic Librarian Curriculum Developers: Building Capacity to Integrate Information Literacy across the University,” which backs collaborative integration of information literacy into curricula.

  • Timothy Schaffert’s “The Perfume Thief” was nabbed by Doubleday in a six-figure deal. Schaffert, director of the Creative Writing Program and Susan Rosowski professor of English, said the book would be published in 2021. “The Perfume Thief” is a WWII–set tale that follows a queer American expat who heads to Paris to become a perfumer. There, while crafting scents for members of the city’s underground nightlife, she hits a crossroads when the Nazis seize the city and seek her expertise for a sinister purpose.

  • An article by Zhenghong Tang, professor of community and regional planning, was honored with the 2019 Chester Rapkin Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. “The Role of Local Leaders in Environmental Concerns in Master Plans: An Empirical Study of China’s Eighty Large Municipalities” delves into planning issues in China, where serious environmental degradation has caught the world’s attention.


  • James Schnable, associate professor of agronomy and horticulture, was recently appointed as Charles O. Gardner Professor of Agronomy. The endowed professorship honors Gardner and his contributions to the field of quantitative genetics and plant breeding of maize. Schnable is currently leading research in plant phenotyping with the aim of increasing crop resiliency.

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.

Recent News