Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for May 26

· 7 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for May 26


Recent accomplishments by the university community were earned by faculty/staff Simanti Banerjee, Linda Boeckner, Richard Endacott, Steve Kolbe, Phyllis Larsen, Nicholas Pace, Stefanie Pearlman, Mark Riley, Kevin Ruser, Sheri Sallee and Sharon Teo-Gooding.


  • Simanti Banerjee, assistant professor of agricultural economics, has been elected as a chair of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association’s Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics. Banerjee’s research deals with analyzing coordination within groups, inter-personal bargaining and the impact of information and social networks on human decision making in a variety of contexts. For more information on Banerjee’s selection, click here.

  • Linda Boeckner has been named interim chair of nutrition and health sciences in the College of Education and Human Sciences. Boeckner is a long-standing professor who started her career as an extension nutrition specialist for Nebraska Extension at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center. While in Scottsbluff, Boeckner developed an extension and research program focused on developing effective nutrition education and health programs, particularly for limited resource and rural audiences. She also served as the director of the Research and Extension Center for five years. Since coming to Lincoln, Boeckner has been the program leader for human sciences extension. She has a Bachelor of Science and doctorate degrees from Nebraska and a master’s in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University. For more information, click here.

  • Nicholas Pace has been selected after a national search to serve as chair of the College of Education and Human Sciences’ educational administration department. He will begin his duties July 17. Pace is currently professor and chair of educational leadership in the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa. His areas of expertise include school culture and climate, secondary education, rural education, and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students. He is a former middle school principal and teacher in Iowa and began his career as a social worker in Kansas City, Missouri, after earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northern Iowa. His master’s in educational leadership is from Drake University, and he earned a doctorate in educational leadership at Northern Iowa, where he joined the faculty in 2000. For more information, click here.

  • Stefanie Pearlman, professor of law, and Kevin Ruser, director of clinical programs in the College of Law, have been appointed members of the newly created Nebraska Access to Justice Commission. The purpose of the Commission is to “promote the Nebraska Supreme Court’s goal of providing equal access to swift, fair justice for all Nebraskans regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, age or language.” The 24-member commission will bring together representatives from all three branches of government, as well as community members, attorneys, legal organizations, educators and representatives from organizations serving low-income Nebraskans and those with disabilities. Pearlman and Ruser were appointed to the commission by Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican.

  • Mark Riley, department head of biological systems engineering, has been named associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. He will begin July 1. Riley has been inducted as a Fellow into the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers. He came to Nebraska in 2012 and has led the Department of Biological Systems Engineering after serving in a similar role at the University of Arizona. For more information, click here.


  • Aidan Connolly and Lynn Yen, senior journalism students, were selected to participate in the Dow Jones News Fund internship program this summer. The program selected 85 students from across the country to work as data and digital journalists, business reporters and multiplatform editors in paid internships at 55 of the nation’s leading news organizations. Connolly is working at the Buffalo News in the data journalism program. He will work on combining data, numbers and technology with the standard journalism techniques and will complete his training at the University of Missouri. Once he has completed training he will spend 10 weeks in Buffalo, New York. Yen is working in the Dow Jones business reporting program at BusinessDen where she will be doing business reporting in Denver, Colorado. She will complete her training at New York University. For more information, click here.


  • The feature film “Laurence,” a supernatural mystery-thriller created by faculty in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, is available on iTunes. Richard Endacott, associate professor of film, co-wrote and co-directed the film with his long-time collaborator Steven Kellam. Endacott, Kellam and Sharon Teo-Gooding, associate professor of film, produced “Laurence.” Steve Kolbe, associate professor of film, is the visual effects director. The independent motion picture was honored with the Audience Choice Award at the 2016 NewFilmmakers NY Alt/Fest in New York City. It was also screened as part of the 2016 MiFo Film Festival programming in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as the 2016 YoFi Fest in Yonkers, New York. For more information, click here.

  • The College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ Public Relations Student Society of America won third place in the 2017 Bateman Case Study Competition in Chicago. The team received $1,500 and a plaque. The team presented its campaign “Redirect the Conversation” to its client The Campaign to Change Direction. The project aimed to raise awareness on campus about how students think and talk about mental health. Team members were Erin Lenz, Cassie McCormick, Bari Pearlman, Karley Powell and Elizabeth Snyder. Project advisers were Phyllis Larsen and Sheri Sallee. For more information, click here.

  • The National Agri-Marketing Association chapter concluded a successful year by earning three awards at the annual conference. The honors include a chapter performance award for chapter communications, fourth place outstanding student chapter and fifth place in the John Deere Signature Award competition. Chapter performance award judges praised Nebraska’s collaboration with the University of São Paulo. The students from Brazil joined Nebraska students each week to work on developing the marketing plan for the competition. The John Deere award is given to student chapters based on business knowledge, academic excellence, leadership development and community citizenship. For more information about student chapter, click here.

  • Nebraska’s Post-Eligibility Opportunities Program will be recognized at the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2017 Conference and Expo in June in Las Vegas and in upcoming publications. The campus program provides eligible student-athletes the opportunity to participate in high-impact experiences they were unable to pursue due to the demands of college athletics. Eligible student-athletes receive a one-semester scholarship to support an internship, study abroad experience or graduate coursework. Nebraska Athletics is presently the only athletic department in the nation to offer and invest in a such a program. For more information, click here.

  • The Wind River Reservation Drought Preparedness Team recently earned an honorable mention Climate Adaptation Leadership award for its work in reducing climate-related threats and promoting adaptation of natural resources. The Climate Award Leadership ceremony was part of a National Adaptation Forum May 9-11 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The project combines the expertise of researchers, scientists and other professionals at 15 university, tribal, regional and federal-level organizations, including the National Drought Mitigation Center and the High Plains Regional Climate Center, both in the university’s School of Natural Resources. They have conducted a tribal-driven social-ecological vulnerability assessment; co-produced drought and climate change-related information and decision-support tools; and engaged the community, including youth, on drought and climate science. The ultimate goal is that information produced by the project will be used to inform the creation of a drought management plan for the reservation. For more information about the project, 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.

Recent News