Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 17

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 17


Recent accomplishments by the university community include honors earned by Allison Bonander, Rebecca Lai, Marilyne Stains, Sally Mackenzie, Colleen Medill, Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Brad Lubben, Reshell Ray, Jessica Shoemaker, Eric Thompson, Kim Wilson and Amanda Witte.


Allison Bonander, lecturer in communication studies and assistant director of the speech and debate program, earned the American Forensic Association’s Outstanding New Coach Award. She will formally receive the award at the national tournament April 1-3 at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. The award recognizes an outstanding young coach within their first seven years for their contributions as an educator.

Rebecca Lai received the Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award from the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Community Activities. The committee wrote: “Prof. Lai presents wonderful outreach activities related to the Harry Potter series. Her presentations are included in the SciPop series, which promotes science in fictional literature. Rebecca’s innovative outreach allows students hands-on activities exposing the general public to electrochemical cells, pH changes to hide written codes and the use of common foods to do chemistry.” For more information, click here.

Colleen Medill, professor of law, will receive the 2017 John E. Weaver Award for Teaching Excellence. This award was established in 2008 to recognize full professors who demonstrate sustained and extraordinary levels of teaching excellence and national visibility for instructional activities and/or practice. Medill is being recognized for her teaching contributions both at the University of Nebraska and in the community and federal judiciary arena. She will be recognized at the annual awards reception for faculty April 18.

Marilyne Stains, associate professor of chemistry, was elected to a three-year term as alternate councilor on the executive committee of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Chemical Education. For more information, click here.

Seven faculty and staff from the university have been selected to participate in an inaugural fellows program through the Rural Futures Institute. They are Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Brad Lubben, Reshell Ray, Jessica Shoemaker, Eric Thompson, Kim Wilson and Amanda Witte. Through their work, RFI Fellows connect with partners from across the university system, scholars from other academic institutions and experts in the public and private sectors to strengthen their capacity for research and application. They foster student experiences in concert with communities, strengthening the community-by-community presence of RFI throughout Nebraska, the Great Plains and the world.

Epicrop Technologies Inc., a company co-founded by Nebraska professor Sally Mackenzie, announced it has closed a $3.2 million Series A-2 financing round. The funding will be used to further develop its epigenetic technology that creates large increases in yield and stress tolerance in crops. Epicrop is a Nebraska Innovation Campus partner and is based in Lincoln. For more information, click here.


The University of Nebraska Curling Club team, skipped by Ali Creeger, won a silver medal in the U.S. College Curling Championships in Utica, New York, March 10, 11 and 12. In a round-robin format, Nebraska played Harvard, St. Norbert, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and SUNY Polytechnic University before losing to the University of Minnesota in the finals. In addition to Creeger, team members were Harrison Hruby, Austin Rose and Adam Schlichtmann.

Communication Studies doctoral candidates received three Top Paper awards at the recent Western States Communication Association meeting in Salt Lake City. They are Jordan Allen, Nicole Allen and recent graduate Julia Moore for “The Communication Construction of Twintimacy,” which received a Top Four Paper in Interpersonal Communication; Nicole Allen, “Towards Ambience: Argentina’s Plaza del Bicentenario and a Reconsideration of Empty Homogenous Time,” a Top Four Paper in Public Address; and Kristen Everhart, “Communication and Coping with Chronic Pain: Exploring Dyadic, Familial and Network Support in Association with Relational Satisfaction and Well-Being,” a Top Student Paper in Health Communication.

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

Allison Bonander
Rebecca Lai
Sally Mackenzie
Colleen Medill
Marilyne Stains
Alison Creeger, Senior, Environmental Studies and Environmental Science Restoration,  (Woodbury, MN), Adam Schlictmann, Freshman, Electrical Engineering (Fargo, ND), Harrison Hruby, Sophomore, Computer Science, (Bismarck, ND), and Austin Rose, Junior, Actuarial Sciences, (Broken Bow, NE).
Courtesy photo
The silver-medal-winning Nebraska Curling Club team is, from left, Alison Creeger, Adam Schlictmann, Harrison Hruby and Austin Rose

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