Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Nov. 17

· 4 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Nov. 17

Love Library cupola glows red over downtown Lincoln as the sun sets to the west on Nov. 15.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Love Library cupola glows red over downtown Lincoln as the sun sets to the west on Nov. 15.

Recent accomplishments by the campus community were earned by Madhav Bhatta , Thomas Butts, Nicolas Cafaro la Menza, Parminder Chahal, William Cooney, Elnazsadat Hosseiniaghdam, Manbir Kaur Rakkar, Nathan Mueller, Salvador Ramirez and Leah Sandall. Awards were also collected by Nebraska’s iGEM team and Weatherfest event.


Nathan Meuller

  • Nathan Mueller, an assistant extension educator in Nebraska Extension’s Metro District, was recently named one of 10 exceptional extension specialists nationwide by Successful Farming. In the online publication, Mueller said helping growers interpret research is the most satisfying thing he does. Mueller works primarily in Dodge and Washington counties. His areas of focus include precision ag data management, on-farm research, soil fertility, plant nutrition and eastern Nebraska cropping systems. Learn more about this honor.

  • Leah Sandall, distance education coordinator for agronomy and horticulture, has been honored with the 2017 Extension Educational Materials Program Certificate of Excellence from the American Society of Agronomy. The award was announced at the agriculture societies International Annual Meeting, “Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future,” Oct. 22–25 in Tampa. Sandall’s poster was one of four receiving this certificate in recognition of the development of outstanding agronomic educational material. The poster provides an overview of the Online Professional Certificate in Plant Breeding and Genetics. This certificate is a non-academic, professional certificate program for agriculture professionals looking to expand their knowledge and application of plant breeding and genetics topics. Learn more about this award.

Leah Sandall


William Cooney

  • William Cooney, communication studies doctoral candidate, had a Top Four paper award for his paper, “The Haecceity of Things: Toward a Coming Community of Immanent Obligations.” The award was presented by the Philosophy of Communication Division, National Communication Association’s annual meeting in Dallas, Texas.

  • Madhav Bhatta, Manbir Kaur Rakkar, Thomas Butts, Nicolas Cafaro la Menza, Elnazsadat Hosseiniaghdam, Parminder Chahal and Salvador Ramirez, all graduate students in Agronomy and Horticulture, received fellowships and awards from the Agricultural Research Division and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. The awards were presented at the Distinguished Fellowships and Awards Luncheon on Nov. 6. Bhatta was awarded the Hardin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. Rakkar and Butts were awarded the Shear-Miles Fellowship. Cafaro la Menza and Hosseiniaghdam received the Widaman Distinguished Graduate Assistant Award. Chahal was awarded the Farmers National Company Fellowship in Agriculture. Ramirez was awarded the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Graduate Student Teaching Award of Merit Certificate. Learn more about these honors.


  • Nebraska’s International Genetically Engineered Machine team earned a gold medal and a safety award at an international iGEM competition, which was held the weekend of Nov. 10-12 in Boston. The team’s winning project involved reducing Nebraska methane emissions by genetically engineering E. coli and testing it in ruminal fluid. This is the second time the Department of Computer Science and Engineering has sent a team to compete in the iGEM Giant Jamboree. The 2016 team earned a silver medal. Team members included students Tyler Barker, Danny Dooling, Nicholas Flaxbeard, Erome Hankore, Jessica Harms, Colton Harper, Nic Kite, Alexis Krepps, Jaroslaw Pankowski, Logan Uhlir and Crystal Xu. Faculty advisers are Myra Cohen, Jiantao Guo, Cheryl Immenthun, Wei Niu and Massimiliano Pierobon.

Members of Nebraska's iGEM team celebrate after winning top honors at an international competition in Boston.
Courtesy photo
Members of Nebraska's iGEM team celebrate after winning top honors at an international competition in Boston.

  • Weatherfest, an annual weather information event designed to help keep families and communities safe, has been named a Weather-Read Ambassador by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The event, organized by Ken Dewey with support from the School of Natural Resources, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Arts and Sciences, has been offered alongside the Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium for 17 years. Weather-Ready National Ambassadors was created to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness, responsiveness and overall resilience to extreme weather, water and climate events. As an ambassadors, partner programs commit to working with NOAA and other programs to further strengthen national resilience to extreme weather. The initiative helps unify the severe weather programming offered by government organizations, non-profits, academia and private industry. Learn more about Weatherfest.

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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