Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 28

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 28

Recent accomplishments by the campus community were earned by faculty Diane Nolan, Lisa Pennisi and Susan Thomas. Other honors include the Nebraska Business Development Center naming Goldfinch Solution, a campus faculty startup company, Innovation Business of the Year.


Chris Calkins, professor of animal science, and Jeyam Subbiah, professor of biological systems engineering, received the Innovation Business of the Year award from the Nebraska Business Development Center for their faculty startup company Goldfinch Solutions. The company is pioneering multispectral imaging technology to identify tender beef at the packing stage of production. For more information, click here.

  • Diane Nolan, information technology associate, was awarded the President’s Citation at the agronomy and horticulture awards banquet on April 4. The Horticulture Club and Pi Alpha Xi, the National Honor Society for horticulture, awarded her in recognition of outstanding service in the field of horticulture.

  • Lisa Pennisi, associate professor of practice of natural resources, earned the Spirit of Service Award. Presented by the Center for Civic Engagement during an April 19 celebration, the award recognizes individuals that exemplify what it means to serve the community. Nominees must be faculty members who have engaged in the area of academic service-learning or community-based research.

  • Susan Thomas, accounting associate with the HAPPI Business Center, received the Rose Frolik Award during the University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association luncheon on April 12. The annual award was established in 1988 to recognize a member who demonstrates the attributes of UNOPA’s founder and first president, Rose Frolik. UNOPA members who have been active for at least the past five years are eligible for nomination. For more information, click here.


  • Kristen Albrecht, an agronomy major, earned a spot in the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America’s National Student Recognition Program. This program recognizes outstanding undergraduate seniors enrolled in agronomic, crop, soil or environmental science departments within four-year and two-year institutions that have chapters affiliated with the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences. Recipients are selected based on scholarship, leadership activities and personal traits.

  • Hannah Birge, doctoral student, and Lyndsie Wszola, graduate student, received the School of Natural Resources’ Meritorious Graduate Student Award. The award honors outstanding students, recognizing academic achievements, research, teaching contributions, leadership accomplishments, service and personal qualifications. Birge and Wszola will each receive a $500 stipend.

  • Autumn Dunn, a triple major in environmental restoration science, wildlife and fisheries, and grassland ecology, earned a Milton E. Mohr Scholarship. Created in 1989, the Mohr awards program honors outstanding students in biotechnology and engineering. The honor is based on academic performance and potential for accomplishments in a specific field.

  • Kelsey Foster, a horticulture major, was awarded the Martin Massengale Outstanding Senior Award during the agronomy and horticulture awards banquet on April 4. Foster will graduate this May and plans to return to the family farm in Broken Bow, Nebraska, to expand the operation which currently specializes in seed production of native grasses. The award honors Massengale, the president and chancellor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Grassland Studies and Foundation Distinguished Professor. Massengale recently transitioned into retirement after more than four decades at the university.

  • Sunil Kumar Kenchanmane Raju, an agronomy doctoral candidate specializing in plant breeding and genetics, was honored with the Agronomy and Horticulture Graduate Student Association Outstanding Member Award at the agronomy and horticulture awards banquet on April 4. His current research involves utilizing induced epigenetic variation in plant breeding. His work on soybeans is providing valuable insights into understanding the potential of using MSH1-derived epigenome changes in developing lines with enhanced yield and yield stability.

  • Manbir Rakkar, an agronomy graduate student specializing in soil and water science, was chosen by the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture Graduate Committee as the recipient of the 2017 Daniel T. Walters Graduate Student Travel Fund award. The honor provides up to $500 for expenses to present research at a professional meeting. Rakkar will present at the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America 2017 International Annual Meeting, Oct. 22–25 in Tampa, Florida. She will give two oral presentations, one on greenhouse gas emissions and a second on temporal changes in soil physical properties due to cattle grazing and baling of corn residues. Her poster presentation will be on the development of wind erosion and soil compaction models based on data collected from six sites across Nebraska. For more information, click here.

  • Adolfo (Danny) Reynaga, a third-year law student, received the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Spirit of Service Student Award presented by the Center for Civic Engagement. The award recognizes selfless service for the good of others and for the betterment of the community. Reynaga has coordinated the College of Law’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic for the last two years. He dedicated 18 hours to working with clients, in addition to attending training courses and meeting with law students to encourage participation. Additionally, Reynaga served as the VITA chair for the 8th Circuit of the law students division of the American Bar Association.

  • Linda Schott, doctoral student in biological systems engineering, was awarded a 2017-18 Milton Mohr Graduate Fellowship from the College of Engineering. She will be recognized at the annual Engineering Graduate Student Recognition Event April 28.

  • Erin M. Bertram, Grace Brown, Linda Garcia Merchant and Alexis Swendener have been named 2017 Digital Scholarship Incubator Fellows. The program, sponsored by the University Libraries and directed by Elizabeth Lorang, associate professor of university libraries, is a competitive fellowship program that promotes student-led digital research and scholarship over 12 weeks each summer. Fellows receive a stipend to support their research, as well as consultations with a range of faculty and staff and professional development opportunities. For more information, including summaries of the students’ work, click here.

  • The Crops Judging Team earned top honors at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Conference national collegiate competition April 6 at Kansas State University. The Nebraska team competed in three of the 13 contests offered — precision agriculture; crops judging; and the knowledge bowl. In the precision agriculture contest, the team of Cody McClellan, Blake Anderson, Jonathon Jahnke and Bryant Biskup, finished second. Jahnke, a senior mechanized systems management major, took top individual honors among 52 students in the math exam component of the crops judging competition. The team of McClellan, Anderson, Jahnke and Cody Kuester placed third in crops judging. In the knowledge bowl team of McClellan, Anderson, Jahnke, Biskup and Thompson placed third.

This column is a regular Friday feature of Nebraska Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit their achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515

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