Achievements | UNL website named best in higher ed

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Achievements | UNL website named best in higher ed

Cambridge honors Jacobs; Bloom assumes new CMS post

The UNL website has been named the best overall among higher education institutions for 2014.

The honor was announced by eduStyle, an online community of more than 10,000 higher education Web professionals. The award is eduStyle’s highest annual honor.

UNL’s website was developed by content creators from across the university. The framework was developed by the UNL Web Developer Network and Internet and Interactive Media, a partnership of University Communications and Information Technology Services.

The new design (UNLedu 4.0) was first used with the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts website. The fine and performing arts site received awards from the American Marketing Association, Advertising Federation and Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Fine and performing arts’ site was developed through a partnership with the college, University Communications and the Internet and Interactive Media group.

Other recent awards and honors earned by the UNL community include:


Margaret Jacobs has been selected as the University of Cambridge’s Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions for 2015-16.

Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History at UNL, will spend a year teaching classes, giving lectures, mentoring graduate students and furthering her own research.

Jacobs’ research focuses on the history of women, children and families in the American West in comparison with other settler societies. She examines cross-cultural dynamics between white and Indigenous women. Her most recent book, “A Generation Removed: The Fostering and Adoption of Indigenous Children in the Postwar World,” was published last fall.

Jacobs is the first to be appointed from the University of Nebraska, said Gary Gerstle, professor of history at Cambridge, and it’s believed the first whose work focuses on indigenous peoples.

The professorship has been held by some of the most distinguished historians and social scientists in the United States, Gerstle said. The list of past Pitt Professors includes Richard Hofstadter and Eric Foner of Columbia, Gordon Wood of Brown, Bernard Bailyn and Carol Gilligan of Harvard, Daniel Rodgers of Princeton, Mary Beth Norton of Cornell and David Blight of Yale.

“A nominee must have achieved the highest standards of scholarship and have acquired an international reputation,” Gerstle said. “Professor Jacobs meets those standards. We are excited that she will be joining us next year.”

Jacobs won the Bancroft Prize, a top award in American history, in 2010 for her book “White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940.”

Ken Bloom, associate professor of physics and astronomy, has been appointed the software and computing manager for the United States Compact Muon Solenoid operations program.

The Compact Muon Solenoid is an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest proton collider. The experiment involves 4,300 particle physicists, engineers, technicians, students and support staff from 179 universities and institutes in 41 countries. The experiment, along with the complementary ATLAS experiment, gained international attention for its discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

UNL has collaborated on the experiment since 1993, under the leadership of five faculty members in the Department of Physics and Astronomy: Bloom, Dan Claes, Aaron Dominguez, Ilya Kravchenko and Greg Snow.

The U.S. CMS operations program is responsible for United States contributions to the commissioning, operation and maintenance of the CMS detector and contributions to the CMS software and computing infrastructure — all of the elements of the experiment that make the analysis of LHC data possible.

In his new role, Bloom oversees an annual budget of $18 million, which supports 60 full-time equivalent staff members and funds computing hardware at Fermilab, the Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, and seven “Tier-2” computing sites at universities nationwide. UNL has hosted one of these sites since 2005.

Bloom has served as software and computing deputy manager since 2010, and leader of the Tier-2 program since 2005. To help fulfill the new responsibilities, Bloom has accepted a guest scientist appointment at Fermilab.

This column is a regular feature of UNL 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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