Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Oct. 28

· 6 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Oct. 28

The Love Library cupola peeks out between fall color on Nebraska's City Campus.
Craig Chandler | University Communication

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the campus community include faculty/staff Peter Dowben, Axel Enders, Amit Jhala, Katie Krause, Ian Newman, Angela Palmer-Wackerly and Ryan Sullivan. Other recent honors went to 37 music students, the Bathtub Dogs, Nebraska Intelligent Mobile Unmanned Systems Lab and Conference Services.


A detector developed by a team led by Peter Dowben and Axel Enders was carried to the International Space Station on Oct. 17. Nebraska’s contribution to the ISS cargo resupply mission is UNL DANSON — University of Nebraska–Lincoln Detector for the Analysis of Solar Neutrons — is a multi-element neutron detector system that can track solar neutron production in a specific range of energies. The detector complements the existing solar neutron telescope, which was designed and launched in 2009. For more information on the project, click here.

Amit Jhala, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture, received the Distinguished Achievement Young Weed Scientist award from the North Central Weed Science Society of America. The award recognizes outstanding contributions made by an emerging weed scientist in research and/or extension in the region. Amit’s research program is focused on the biology, gene flow and management of herbicide-resistant weeds. He is specifically interested in pollen-mediated gene flow from herbicide-resistant crops and weeds. For more information on Jhala, click here.

Katie Krause, Nebraska Extension educator in Douglas-Sarpy counties, received the National and Central Region Past Presidents’ New Professional Award at the annual meeting of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of association members within their first three years of employment. Krause received the award for developing and implementing educational and engaging programs to help early childhood professionals create quality experiences for children up to 8 years of age. Read more about the honor here.

Ian Newman, professor of educational psychology, presented an invited lecture to the faculty and graduate students at Chongqing Medical University, College of Public Health, Oct 14 in Chongqing, China. Newman was the first invited speaker under Chongqing Medical University’s new “Talent Introduction Program” designed to bring international experts to the campus. Newman’s lecture was titled “Future Public Health Progress Will Depend on Our Understanding Behavior and Culture” and was focused on emerging health issues in China. He noted that public health experts have conquered many infectious diseases, but now the disease challenges are more complex, often with aspects of human behavior and human culture being crucial factors in preventing disease. In addition to his public address, Newman spent several days working with graduate students on their research projects.

Angela Palmer-Wackerly, assistant professor of communication studies, has earned the Dissertation Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association for her study, “Illness Identity, Social Support, and Cancer Clinical Trials Decision-Making.” The award will be presented at the association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia in November. For more information on Palmer-Wackerly, click here.

Ryan Sullivan, assistant professor of law, had an article published by the Nebraska Law Review. He co-authored the article with recent law graduates Daniel Gutman and Chris Schmidt. The article is titled “Stolen Profits: Civil Shoplifting Demands and the Misuse of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-21, 194.” For more information, click here.


The Bathtub Dogs recorded and released their sixth studio album Oct. 21. The album, titled “Recess,” features both current and former group members performing some of their songs live audiences have enjoyed in the past. “Recess” is available for streaming and downloading on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and Deezer; CDs can be purchased on the Bathtub Dog website. For more information, click here.

The Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing 2016 Student Auditions were held on campus in October. Audition awards from the Glenn Korff School of Music include: Brittany Albin, Brittany Bell, Krista Benesch, Braxton Carr, Matthew Carter, Michael Clinch, Arica Coleman, Tyler Cox, Cooper Creal, Cameron Dobson, Skyler Dykes, Jeannie Hageman, Victoria Handford, Jared Hiscock, Connor Husa, Sarah Koch, Abby Kurth, Krista Lawrence, Dakota Mathew, Trey Meyer, Sam Mitchell, Skyler Nickles, Liza Piccoli, Nicholas Prior, Courtney Riedmann, Kyle Rojewski, Justin Ronne, Ryan Savage, Brianna Smith, Sebastian Sorensen, Garreth Soto, Maddie Stuart, Samantha Sweeney, Jacob Thomas, Susan Twiehaus, Alyssa Vrable and Leana Wolt. For more details on the audition results, click here.

Three members of the campus chapter of the National Broadcasting Society earned grand prize awards during the South Central Broadcasting conference, Oct. 14 in Fort Worth, Texas. The grand prize winners and categories were: Bee Dubose, Video – Open Category, Black Lives Matter Poetry; Erica Nett, Video – News Feature Package, Alzheimer’s Disease; and Joy Carey, Video – Sports Package, The Rodeo. For more information, including projects that qualified as finalists, click here.


The Nebraska Intelligent Mobile Unmanned Systems Lab received a new grant to continue work on its fire-starting drone project. The project aims to develop drones with the capabilities to start and monitor controlled fires in order to better manage wildfires and protect firefighters. The new grant received in September will allow the group to move into the next phase of work on the project, which will focus on improving the existing technology, making it safer and more powerful, and helping users become more comfortable with it. This includes enhancing the communication between the drones and firefighters with additions like responsive gestures, such as the drone shaking to signal that it has become too hot. For more information on the project, click here.

Conference Services, a division of University Housing, received the Best Marketing Collateral and Best Print Ad awards from Unique Venues magazine. The awards were voted on by readers of the magazine, which is for meeting planners and venues. Tony Rathgeber, assistant director of housing conference services, leads Nebraska’s conference services team and is a member of Unique Venues. The awards will be included in the magazine’s “Best of” isssue, which will be distributed in November.

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.

Peter Dowben
Axel Enders, associate professor of physics and astronomy, works with a graduate student in a campus research lab.
File photo | University Communications
Axel Enders (left) works with students in a campus lab.
Amit Jhala
Katie Krause
Ian Newman
Angela Palmer-Wackerly
Ryan Sullivan
National Broadcasting Society members had the opportunity to tour the CBS radio studios during the South Central Broadcasting Society conference. Pictured (from left) is Nate Muhlbach, Lauren Hubka, Kellan Heavican and Jeremy Davis.
Courtesy photo
National Broadcasting Society members had the opportunity to tour the CBS radio studios during the South Central Broadcasting Society conference. Pictured (from left) is Nate Muhlbach, Lauren Hubka, Kellan Heavican and Jeremy Davis.
Sebastian Elbaum (from left), Dirac Twidwell and Carrick Detweiler have developed a patent for setting range fires with small drones. The drone injects a liquid into plastic spheres to start a delayed fiery process that allows the balls to fall to the ground before igniting. Elbaum and Detweiler are holding flaming tennis balls similar to those carried by the drones.
Craig Chandler | University Communications
Sebastian Elbaum (from left), Dirac Twidwell and Carrick Detweiler developed a patent for setting range fires with small drones. The project recently received a grant to continue development of the drone.
Tony Rathgeber

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