Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 31

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for March 31

University of Nebraska City Campus entrance gate
File photo | University Communication

Recent accomplishments by the campus community were earned by faculty/staff Katherine Ankerson, Edgar Cahoon, Oleh Khalimonchuck, Daniel Schachtman, James Schnable, Dirac Twidwell, Brian Wardlow and Amber Williams. Student honors went to Waseem Hussain, David Pontier, Morgan Kristensen, Brian Lisonbee and Ashley Stengel.


Katherine Ankerson, dean of architecture, was inducted as a fellow of the Interior Design Educators Council at the 2017 annual conference. She joins more than 40 fellows who have been nominated by the membership and approved by the council’s board of directors. Ankerson’s contributions to IDEC during the last 15 years have included 13 leadership positions, including 2015 national president, director at large, teaching academy administrator, record editor and foundation board member. She also holds the positions of board of director member for the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and board of director member for the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education. Click here for more information.

Edgar Cahoon, professor of biochemistry and director of the Center for Plant Science Innovation, and Daniel Schachtman, professor of agronomy and horticulture and director of the Center for Biotechnology, have been named 2017 fellows of the American Society of Plant Biologists. Cahoon and Schachtman will be presented a certificate of distinction and label pin at Plant Biology 2017, which will be held June 24 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fellow of ASPB award may be granted in recognition of distinguished and long-term contributions to plant biology and service to the society. Fellows must be current members that have contributed to the society for at least 10 years in areas that include research, education, mentoring, outreach, and professional and public service.

Oleh Khalimonchuck, Dirac Twidwell and James Schnable, all assistant professors, received recognition on March 22 for excellence in research from the Agricultural Research Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The award is given annually to tenure-track assistant professors with an ARD appointment who have a maximum of five years of professional service at the university. The award is based on publication record, evidence of external funding activity and peer recognition. For more information, click here.

Brian Wardlow, director of the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies in the School of Natural Resources, was selected to be the global chair for the United Nations World Meteorological Organization’s task team on the use of remote sensing data for climate monitoring. The team of six international experts is tasked with better understanding how new types of satellite information can be best applied for climate and hydrologic applications. For more information, click here.

Amber Williams, director of admissions, received the Urban League of Nebraska African-American Leadership Award in the education leader category. The award recognizes and African Americans in the community who make significant contributions to Omaha in the following categories: business, community, education, faith, government, health, young professional and youth. Williams, who helped the university achieve record-breaking enrollment in recent years, created the Nebraska College Preparatory Academy. For more information, click here.


Waseem Hussain, doctoral student in agronomy, is an invited speaker for the Kansas State Plant Breeding and Genetics 2017 Symposium in Manhattan, Kansas on April 5. The top of his presentation is “Genotyping-by-Sequencing Derived High-Density Linkage Map and its Application to QTL Mapping of Flag Leaf Traits in Bread Wheat.” For more information, click here.

The Nebraska Law team placed first in the category of attorney/client representation and second place as mediators in the International Academy of Dispute Resolution law school mediation tournament during spring break. Team members include David Pontier, Morgan Kristensen and Brian Lisonbee. In addition to the team awards, Nebraska law students also received several individual awards: Pontier finished third, Kristensen fourth and Lisonbee sixth in individual performance as mediator. Also, Kristensen/Pontier was second and Kristensen/Lisonbee took seventh in individual performance as attorney/client.

Ashley Stengel, graduate student in complex biosystems, received an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation for a Life Science proposal. Her predoctoral application title, “Ecological Network Dynamics of Soil Microbes in Maize Agroecosystems” earned her the distinction. The proposed project aimed to investigate the ecological interactions within the rhizosphere of maize.

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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