Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Jan. 29

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Jan. 29

Recent honors collected by the UNL community include recognition for faculty/staff Jack Beard, Bruce Brodersen, Gus Hurwit, Chigozie Obioma and Eli Sutter; Eli Sutter, Chigozie Obioma, Christopher Aumueller, Chris Bowling, Lauren Brown-Hulme, Jake Crandall, John-David Richardson, Reece Ristau, Benjamin Schoenkin and Rana Young.

Faculty and staff

Chigozie Obioma, English, has been longlisted for the Dylan Thomas literary prize. Obioma’s novel, “The Fishermen,” is among 12 works for the prestigious award. Now in its 10th year, the £30,000 Prize is awarded to the best eligible published literary work in English, written by an author 39 or under. It is the largest literary prize in the world for young writers. “The Fishermen” also was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in late 2015.

Eli Sutter, mechanical and materials engineering, has been chosen as co-chair of the Materials Research Society’s 2017 Spring Meeting. MRS is one of the world’s largest materials societies and its Spring Meeting is one of the premier conferences in the field, with more than 60 symposia. Sutter joined the faculty in June after nearly 12 years as a scientist in the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. Her research focuses on in-situ transmission electron microscopy of nanomaterials at variable temperatures and in different environments.

Bruce Brodersen, associate professor and diagnostic pathologist at the Veterinary Diagnostic Center, has been named veterinarian of the year by the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association. The award is presented annually to an NVMA member who has contributed to the advancement of veterinary medicine in Nebraska and shown service to the state association, profession, community, family and other responsibilities. Working in the Veterinary Diagnostic Center since 1992, Brodersen assists veterinarians, their clients and others responsible for animal and public health in the detection, prevention and understanding of disease. He also teaches second-year veterinary students in systemic pathology and public health.

Jack Beard and Gus Hurwit, professors of law, were named Cyber Security and Data Privacy Trailblazers by the National Law Journal. The honor recognizes individuals who have helped make a difference in data security and the fight against criminal cyber activity. Learn more about the award by clicking here.


A UNL doctoral student was among those receiving top honors at the 2016 Pipeline Innovator of the Year event, a gala that drew 600 of the Midwest’s top entrepreneurial leaders to Kansas City in mid-January. Christopher Aumueller, a student in the management department in the College of Business Administration, represented the university in the first-ever “university spotlight” portion of the Pipeline event. Aumueller, whose startup company, Fanlete, aims to be a one-stop shop for college sports news, joined student entrepreneurs from the University of Kansas, University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Washington in St. Louis in pitching their business ideas to the Innovator of the Year audience.

Chris Bowling, Lauren Brown-Hulme, Jake Crandall and Reece Ristau, four College of Journalism and Mass Communications students, were chosen to work as fellows for the Omaha World-Herald this spring. Bowling, Brown-Hulme and Ristau will work as reporting fellows and Crandall will be a photography fellow. As fellows, the students will work alongside journalists and photographers to contribute stories and photos to the paper. They will also continue to take classes at the university during the semester.

The work of UNL interior design and architecture students this past semester has set the groundwork for a new facility at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Students spent most of the semester researching and developing design proposals for the Munroe-Meyer Institute, a healthcare facility that focuses on the developmentally disabled. Students analyzed the UNMC campus and presented site proposals to MMI administrators; in early December, the 12 teams presented their final proposals to administrators and directors. “In five or six years, some of the ideas our students presented might end up in the real new Munroe-Meyer Institute,” instructor Stacy Spale said. “That’s really exciting and inspiring. It gave them a since of purpose and direction. It’s not just an academic exercise, it has the potential to really change things.”

John-David Richardson and Rana Young, two graduate students in the Department of Art and Art History, won Society for Photographic Education Student Awards for Innovations in Imaging. SPE is a nonprofit membership organization that provides and fosters an understanding of photography as a means of diverse creative expression, cultural insight and experimental practice. Richardson and Young were two of 10 winners nationally, from among 107 applications this year. The awards include a travel stipend to attend the SPE National Conference in Las Vegas in March, a conference fee waiver and a complimentary year of SPE membership. In addition, to highlight the work of the award recipients, there will be a special section at the Curator Portfolio Walkthrough during the national conference, where the winners will be provided their own table to showcase their portfolios and interact with conference attendees and guest curators.

Benjamin Schoenkin, a broadcasting student in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted to serve a one-semester term as student governor by the National Broadcasting Society Board of Governors. He is serving as one of two student governors. As student governor, Schoenkin is a part of weekly conference calls with the Board of Governors and helps organize the annual national conference, speakers and events. The student governors will also have leadership roles at the conference in Burbank, CA.

Matt Pedersen, an agronomy major, and Fernando Napier, a computer programming major, have been named winners in the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge. They won best student-made app, best open source application and an honorable mention for their farm profit calculator submission. They entered the competition with encouragement from Roch Gaussoin, head of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.

This column is a regular feature of UNL 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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