Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 24

· 5 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 24


Recent accomplishments by the campus community were earned by Braymond Adams, John Baker, Sean Bourke, Daniel Ciobanu, Jenna Cope, Jenny Dauer, Dennis Ferraro, Lorie Garnett, James Hajek, Michael Hoff, Roger Hoy, Sharon Kuska, Jordan Linder, John McCaig, Larkin Powell, Leah Sandall, Kari Schmitz, Joe Starita, Alex Wach, Betty Walter-Shea and the Nebraska Crops Team.


  • Braymond Adams, Jenny Dauer, Dennis Ferraro, Roger Hoy, Larkin Powell and Leah Sandall earned Holling Family Awards for Teaching Excellence during a March 14 ceremony in the East Union. The annual awards honor outstanding teaching within the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Ferraro, Hoy and Powell earned Senior Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards; Dauer and Sandall received Junior Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards; and Adams collected a Teaching Assistant Teaching Excellence Award. For more information, click here.

  • Daniel Ciobanu, associate professor of animal sciences, is a featured researcher in a new report calling for stronger federal support of the food and agricultural sciences. The report, “Retaking the Field — Strengthening the Science of Farm and Food Production,” explores U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded projects at 11 universities. The report highlights work in which Ciobanu and his team showed that sows expressing age at puberty early in life produce more litters during their lifetime. They assume the same genes influence both traits. However, collecting age at puberty is tedious and time consuming and not embraced by the industry. Ciobanu’s laboratory analyzed the problem through the lens of molecular and statistical genetics and developed a practical solution. For more information on “Retaking the Field,” click here.

  • Michael Hoff, professor of art history, received a $30,000 grant from the Mereops Foundation to support summer research at the Antiochia at Cragum excavation site in Turkey. Since 2005, Hoff has led research at the site, which is an ancient city founded in the middle of the 1st century A.D. by Antiochus of Commagene, a client-king of Rome. Key finds include a massive Roman mosaic in a great bath/gymnasium complex. Hoff said the goal is to raise about $60,000 to fund the entire summer dig season. For more information on the project, click here.

  • Sharon Kuska, professor of architecture, has been named the interim director of the architecture program in the College of Architecture. She will begin her new role May 15. She replaces Jeffrey Day, who will return to being a full-time faculty member.

  • Joe Starita, professor of news-editorial, has been named winner of the 2017 Chief Standing Bear Humanitarian Award by the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs. The award recognizes a lifetime of telling stories of Natives. Starita has written multiple books on American Indians, including “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge — A Lakota Odyssey,” “I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice,” and “A Warrior of the People.” He has also worked on depth reporting projects focused on Native women. Starita will receive the award during the 2017 Chief Standing Bear Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. May 12 at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1040 P St. For more information, click here.

  • Betty Walter-Shea, an environmental biophysicist and professor of natural resources, received the College Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The award was created in 1976 and recognizes consistent excellence in teaching. For more information on the honor, click here.


  • John Baker, Sean Bourke, Lorie Garnett, James Hajek, Jordan Linder, John McCaig and Alex Wach, all graduate students pursuing a Master of Arts in Business with specialization in intercollegiate athletic administration, were selected to attend an NCAA emerging leaders seminar. The annual seminar is designed to educate, develop and connect participants during the three-day program and can increase the likelihood of rapid career progression within college sports. Only 200 students were selected to attend the 2017 seminar, which was held in January in Indianapolis. For more information, click here.

  • Jenna Cope and Kari Schmitz, Nebraska law students, are the 2017 ABA Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition National Champions. The two competed at the American Bar Association Law Student Division’s National Client Counseling Competition at the University of Oklahoma School of Law March 17-18. It is Nebraska Law’s sixth national championship in the ABA National Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition. Cope and Schmitz will represent the United States in the International Client Consultation Competition at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. For more information, click here.

  • The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Crops Team placed second in the four-year university division at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture collegiate crops judging contest on March 11 in Curtis, Nebraska. The team included seniors Cody Kuester, Cody McClellan and Jon Jahnke; sophomores Samantha Teten, Rodger Farr, Kolby Grint and Collin Thompson. For more information, click here.

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

Daniel Ciobanu
Sharon Kuska
Michael Hoff (third from left), Hixson-Lied professor of art history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with Turkish students who found a Medusa's head at the Antiochia ad Cragum archaeological site in Turkey.
Joe Starita
Betty Walter-Shea
Jenna Cope and Kari Schmitz
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Crops Team
Nebraska students invited to attend the 2017 NCAA emerging leaders seminar are (from left) James Hajek, Sean Bourke, John Baker, Lorie Garnett, Jordan Linder and Alex Wach. Not pictured is John McCaig.

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