Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Aug. 19

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Aug. 19

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community include faculty Sam Allgood, Diane Barger, Kristen Blankley, Brian Kelly, James Schnable and William Walstad.


Sam Allgood, professor of economics, co-authored a chapter in the book “Improving Quality in American Higher Education: Learning Outcomes and Assessments for the 21st Century.” The chapter, “Measuring College Learning in Economics,” outlines a framework of essential learning outcomes and assessments for undergraduate-level education in economics. For more information on the book, click here.

Diane Barger, professor of clarinet, has been named the new pedagogy chair of the International Clarinet Association. The position was awarded to her by the ICA Board of Directors, and her appointment will be from 2016-2018. As pedagogy chair, Barger will write articles for the quarterly scholarly journal of the ICA, “The Clarinet” and will oversee and pursue teaching-related submissions to the journal each cycle, manage the new “Pondering Pedagogy” section of the online web resource of the ICA and work with the artistic directors of the ICA to create interesting panel discussions related to pedagogy for annual conferences. In addition to her work as a collegiate educator, Barger actively works with pre-college clarinetists at Cornerstone Academy of Clarinet, L.L.C., where she serves as founder and professor of clarinet. For more information, click here.

Kristen Blankley, assistant professor of law, has been appointed to serve on the Council for the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. Being appointed as a Council Member is an honor, and Blankley is looking forward to her new leadership role in the Section of Dispute Resolution. In addition to this position, she will continue to serve as co-chair of the Ethics Subcommittee.

Brian Kelly, associate professor of architecture, for being chosen as a speaker for the 2016 James E. Smith Conference on World Affairs entitled, Migration, Borders and Identity: Building Bridges or Walls scheduled for Sept. 26 and 27. Incorporating the conference theme, Kelly’s talk is entitled “Building Bridges AND Walls: The Power of Open Source Design.” For more information, click here.

James Schnable, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture, co-authored a study published in the Aug. 18 issue of the journal Science. After assembling an atlas of messenger RNAs and proteins that dictate gene expression and regulation in corn, the study found that computational networks designed to predict gene relations and functions differ substantially when accounting for only RNAs or proteins. The authors further concluded that integrating RNA- and protein-based data can greatly improve the predictive power of gene regulation networks. Schnable conducted the study with researchers from the University of California, San Diego; Iowa State University; the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For more information on the study, click here.

William Walstad, professor of economics, worked with two recent UNL graduates to develop a chapter for the “Handbook of Consumer Finance Research.” The book offers an overview of current consumer finance research. The chapter is titled “Financial Literacy and Financial Education in High School.” UNL economics alumni Ashley Tharayil and Jamie Wagner worked with Walstad on the project. For more information on the book click here.


Elsa Escalante, graduate student in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, has earned a dissertation award from the Society for Research in Child Development. She is one of four recipients of the 2016 Patrice L. Engle Dissertation Grant in Early Child Development. Escalante’s dissertation is titled “Feeding Practices of Families with Latino Preschoolers in Colombia and the U.S.: A Cross-cultural Multiple Case Study.” The purpose of the mixed-methods study is to identify the differences and similarities among Colombian and American child’s eating behaviors, child’s temperament, feeding practices and relationship inputs of parents and teachers. For more information, click here.


Members from the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies presented at the 2016 National Nature-based Preschool Conference Aug. 15 through 17 in Minnesota. Jennifer Leeper Miller, Erin Hamel, Eric Unrau and Mollie von Kampen presented on how preschool-aged children learn about nature when they engage in still-life painting. Hamel, von Kampen and graduate student Keting Chen gave a presentation entitled, “The View from Below: Examining Children’s Selection of Materials in the Outdoor Space.” Julia Torquati co-presented with Patti Bailie of the University of Maine at Farmington on how “Dramatic Representation, Movement and Music Promote Self-Regulation in Nature.” For more information on the conference, click here.

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