Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Sept. 15

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Sept. 15

Huskers compete in the university's Stroll Off competition in the Nebraska Union on Sept. 8.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
Huskers compete in the university's Stroll Off competition in the Nebraska Union on Sept. 8.

Recent accomplishments by the campus community were earned by Katie Bieber, Heng Chen, Elizabeth Lewis, Jia Lu, Samuel J. Meisels, Justin Olmanson, Amanda Ramer-Tait and Lily Wang.


  • Heng Chen, assistant professor of supply chain management and analytics, has been selected to receive the best dissertation award from the Aviation Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science for his dissertation “Service Improvement and Cost Reduction for Airlines: Optimal Policies for Managing Arrival and Departure Operations under Uncertainty.” The award is given annually to the best dissertation in any area related to aviation operations research.

  • Elizabeth Lewis, associate professor of teaching, learning and teacher education, and Jia Lu, graduate student, recently published an article in the Journal of Geoscience Education. The article, “A Case of Fragmented High School Earth and Space Science Education in the Great Plains: Tracing Teacher Certification Policy to Students’ Access,” examines the importance of earth and space science education and how to improve it in Nebraska. Learn more about the project.

  • Samuel J. Meisels, who has an academic appointment with the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, is the Buffett Early Childhood Institute’s first Richard D. Holland Presidential Chair in Early Childhood Development. The presidential chair, which represents the highest academic award and recognition the university can bestow on a faculty member, was created through a $2 million gift from the Holland Foundation to the University of Nebraska. Meisels is one of the nation’s most accomplished and respected early childhood leaders and founding executive director of the Buffett Institute. Learn more about the honor.

  • Justin Olmanson, assistant professor of teaching, learning and teacher education, and Katie Bieber, graduate student, are part of a team that received a $20,000 Microsoft Research Award to further research into using artificial intelligence to support students’ intellectual development. The Multimodal Informational and Conceptual Assistant project, which began in the College of Education and Human Sciences’ Scholarly Enhancement Program, aims to change teaching and learning in group settings while contributing to the research on teaching and learning and supporting the design of next-generation learning interfaces, applications, and an Internet of Educational Things. The team will use the award to develop a prototype to support learners’ development of the mathematical constructs of variable, function, and rate of change. Other members of the research team include Steve Greenstein and Teo Paoletti of Monteclair State University, and visiting scholar Asha Srivastava.

  • Amanda Ramer-Tait, assistant professor of food science and technology, is one of three to earn 2017 Young Investigator Grant for Probiotics Research from the Global Probiotics Council. The program provides young scientists with funding to support promising new careers in the field of microbiota and probiotics research. This is the 10th year of the grant awards. Ramer-Tait’s project, “Microbial Interactions for Control of Metabolic Health,” will work to determine how bacteria in the intestines interact with dietary fibers in the diet to improve metabolic health. Initial studies will be completed in animal models, which may lead to clinical trials. Learn more about the awards.

  • Katherine Walter, co-director of the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, was invited to represent the CDRH at the United States Capitol Historical Society’s 2017 Freedom Award presentation in Washington D.C. Tuesday, where Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda was honored. Walter was asked to present on the projects under way at the center for a special showcase of the humanities. The CDRH was one of five nationally renowned programs invited.

  • Lily Wang, professor of architectural engineering and construction, has been named president-elect of the Acoustical Society of American for the 2017-18 term. She will also serve as the society’s president in 2018-19 and as past president in 2019-20. The society, formed in 1929, comprises about 7,000 members from the United States and elsewhere. Those members conduct studies of noise, its measurement, its effects and ways of reducing it to improve the human environment. Learn more about this honor.


  • Delta Sigma Theta sorority and Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity earned top honors at Nebraska’s Stroll Off competition on Sept. 8 in the Nebraska Union. The event, hosted by the Office of Academic Success and Intercultural Services in conjunction with the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Councils, featured three fraternities and three sororities competing. Strolling and stepping began in historically African American Greek organizations in the early 1900s. Learn more about this event. See photos from the 2017 Stroll Off competition.

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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