Nebraska in the national news: August 2023

· 6 min read

Nebraska in the national news: August 2023

Volleyball Day in Nebraska set a world record for largest crowd at a women’s sporting event. It also generated many national and international headlines.
Craig Chandler | University Communication and Marketing
Volleyball Day in Nebraska set a world record for largest crowd at a women’s sporting event, with 92,003 people in attendance. It also generated a slew of national and international headlines.

There really is no place like Nebraska.

The world record-setting Volleyball Day in Nebraska showcase at Memorial Stadium drew national and international attention to Husker athletics and highlighted the power of women’s sports on Aug. 30. The national news stories were among 45-plus featuring Husker faculty, staff, students, alumni, centers, programs and events in August.

The showcase featured matches between the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Wayne State College and between the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Huskers won the evening match 25-14, 25-14, 25-13 to improve to 3-0.

The celebration also included a Nebraska National Guard flyover, drone show, fireworks and a concert by country artist Scotty McCreery. The event set a world record for largest crowd at a women’s sporting event, with 92,003 people in attendance.

“I’ve been saying it’s so huge for little girls to get to see a women’s sport and volleyball being played on this big of a stage, and having so many people invest in it,” Husker junior Lexi Rodriguez said. “When you’re little, you have big dreams and big goals. Having this to look up to is something that a lot of little girls will keep in the back of their mind when they’re pursuing the sport of volleyball.”

Stories on Volleyball Day appeared in ABC News, The Athletic, BBC, CBS News, CNN, The Daily Mail, ESPN (1, 2), Forbes, Fox News, The Guardian, NBC News, The New York Times, NPR, The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, The Washington Post and numerous other media outlets.

Additional national news coverage in August includes:

Husker food scientists collaborated on a recently published clinical study of the health benefits from kombucha, a popular fermented tea, for people with Type 2 diabetes. The research was featured in Eating Well, the New York Post, India Today, The Times of India and 50-plus other media outlets.

Jessica Sperber, a feedlot specialist with Nebraska Extension, was interviewed for an Aug. 1 segment on RFD-TV. She discussed steps cattle producers can take to mitigate livestock heat stress.

Losing long-lasting flockmates may drive a golden-crowned sparrow to stray from its favorite overwintering spot, a new Husker-led study says, suggesting that friendly, familiar faces help anchor it to familiar spaces. Stories on the research appeared in, The Wildlife Society and several other media outlets.

The university’s Kitchen Table demo space, located in the University Health Center, was highlighted in an Aug. 8 Inside Higher Ed article. Meal Kit Mondays, CookWell classes and Meal Prep 101 were also highlighted in the article. Brenna Schmader, nutrition education coordinator with Campus Recreation, was interviewed.

Inside Higher Ed published an Aug. 15 article on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln seeking to rejoin the Association of American Universities. Ted Carter, president of the University of Nebraska system, was interviewed for the story. Chancellor Rodney Bennett and former Chancellor Harvey Perlman were also mentioned.

Successful Farming published an Aug. 16 article on Husker alumna Hannah Klitz and her farm-to-table beef company, Oak Barn Beef. She started the company as a sophomore in the university’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. Tom Field, Engler director, and Klitz’s Engler mentor, Dave Lambe, agronomy and horticulture, were mentioned in the story.

Hiep Vu, animal science, and Sarah Sillman, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center, have received a $627,000 federal grant to study porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus — a significant threat to the swine industry worldwide. Stories on the project appeared in Rural Radio Network, The Fence Post and National Hog Farmer.

Single-event tickets to the Lied Center for Performing Arts’ 2023-24 season went on sale to the general public Aug. 17. Broadway World ran an Aug. 14 roundup of the season, which features more than 30 events ranging from dance, classical music, jazz, musical theater, comedy, family entertainment and illusion.

Sarah Rasby, a doctoral student in human sciences at Nebraska, was featured in an Aug. 17 People magazine article. Rasby became the caretaker for her twin sister, Erin Lewis, at age 35 after Lewis suffered a cardiac event in November 2018. Rasby found the experience so challenging and profound that she decided to devote herself to caregiving advocacy and research. Flatwater Free Press published a similar story June 23.

Silicon Prairie News published an Aug. 18 article on Drone Amplified and its IGNIS system. Carrick Detweiler, computer science and engineering, and the company’s CEO and co-founder, was interviewed for the story.

Thomas Gannon’s new book, “Birding While Indian: A Mixed-Blood Memoir,” was highlighted in an Aug. 20 Washington Post article on books that amplify the experiences of diverse birders. Gannon is an associate professor of English and ethnic studies and associate director of ethnic studies at Nebraska.

Kimberly Tyler, sociology, has received a five-year, $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a data-driven, app-based just-in-time intervention that provides youth experiencing homelessness with individualized support at critical junctures, when alcohol and drug use may be a tempting coping mechanism. Stories on the project appeared in the Norfolk Daily News, Omaha World-Herald and The Center Square.

An urban heat mapping project led by Salvador Lindquist, landscape architecture, and Keenan Gibbons, a lecturer at the University of Michigan, was featured in an Aug. 25 CNN Business story. The researchers are using drones and other specialized tools to create 3D models of urban streetscapes that allow for thermal comparison. The goal is for these models to be used by landscape architecture firms, companies and cities to implement solutions to urban heat, such as increased tree coverage, lighter pavement, and white or green rooftops.

Renowned pianist Emanuel Ax traveled to the Steinway factory in New York City to help the Lied Center for Performing Arts select a new concert grand piano, Broadway World reported Aug. 28. Ax will give the first performance on the instrument when he plays at the Lied Center on Sept. 24. Ax was joined at the Steinway factory by Bill Stephan, the Lied’s executive director; Paul Barnes, Marguerite Scribante Professor of Music; then-Chancellor Ronnie Green; and Keith Heckman, Piano Circle member.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged at If you have additions to the list, contact Sean Hagewood at or 402-472-8514. If you have suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed at or 402-472-2059.

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