Nebraska in the national news: July 2017

Nebraska in the national news: July 2017

National news stories featuring the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in July 2017 included analysis of how the world’s nuclear arsenal could trigger climate change and research calling for 5-inch-higher highway guardrails.

Popular Mechanics reported July 27 on research by Mojdeh Asadollahi Pajouh at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility that compared the 31-inch standard highway guardrails to those 36 inches high. The research found the 36-inch guard rail reduced the likelihood of tall vehicles mounting or rolling over the guardrail while still preventing smaller cars from wedging beneath the rail. The story also appeared on Road and Track and The Drive automotive news sites.

The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom and Gizmodo were among outlets that reported on a study by Adam Liska, biological systems engineering, Tyler White, political science, Robert Oglesby, Earth and atmospheric sciences and Eric Holley, natural resources. The researchers found that even a limited nuclear strike involving only a handful of the weapons now in the world’s arsenal, could result in devastating climate change.

They were among about 40 national stories that mentioned the university during July. Other coverage included:

Justin Chase Brown, scholarships and financial aid, authored “7 options to consider if you didn’t receive enough financial aid,” and co-authored “8 things you should know about federal work-study, which appeared July 24 and July 27 on HomeRoom at the U.S. Department of Education.

Broadway World reported that Wesley Broulik, Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, was directing the Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s production of "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" in New York.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, offered commentary on why American movie trailers have gotten so long -- and spoiler-prone -- for Switzerland's Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Dixon also was quoted in a July 15 Investor’s Business Daily feature on “King Kong” producer Merian Cooper. On July 14, the Florida Times-Union, reporting on a profusion of vintage rock bands touring the area, asked him to answer a philosophical question: Is a rock band with only one original member still the same rock band?

NPR stations carried a July 3 Harvest Public Media report on a Nebraska study that showed Great Plains wildfires have tripled during the past three decade. The research was conducted by Victoria Donovan, Carissa Wonkka and Dirac Twidwell, agronomy and horticulture. The Associated Press quoted Twidwell in a July 30 report on how eastern red cedar trees are spreading like a “green glacier” across the Great Plains. The story appeared in outlets across the region. The Ohio Farmer also cited the study July 14 as a not-to-be-missed agriculture story.

Dozens of outlets nationwide carried an Associated Press report about young African leaders visiting the university during July for a fellowship named in honor of South African leader Nelson Mandela. Sonia Feigenbaum, associate vice chancellor for international engagement and global studies, discussed the program’s blend of academics and community involvement.

The #GreekVitality partnership between fraternities, sororities and the university received widespread coverage after the Associated Press distributed a report about it by the Lincoln Journal Star.

In a July 12 story analyzing political amateurs and their threat to U.S. democracy, cited research by John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse, as detailed in their book “Stealth Democracy.”

Robert Hutkins, food science and technology, was quoted in the July/August issue of Women’s Health magazine on the benefits and uncertainties of probiotics. Hutkins and Andrew Benson, food science and technology, were interviewed for a July 9 Lincoln Journal Star story about the Nebraska Food for Health Center that was carried by numerous publications across the country via the Associated Press.

Nathanial Jenkins, exercise physiology, was quoted in a July 11 Yahoo! Beauty story about his findings that lifting heavier weights trains the nervous system, as well as muscles, to build strength.

Erica Ryherd, architectural engineering, was quoted in a July 10 CNN story about devices to reduce hospital room noise. The story was carried by scores of outlets across the country.

Education Week quoted Mario Scalora, Nebraska Public Policy Center, in a July 17 report on a new grant researching how law enforcement works with Nebraska’s rural schools on safety and emergency preparedness. Scalora said rural schools face the same safety challenges as urban and suburban schools, but with fewer resources.

Mark Svoboda, National Drought Mitigation Center, and Brian Wardlow, Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, were interviewed for a July 13 Feedstuffs report about a new early warning system for drought. The drought center also was cited in a July 27 Associated Press report on worsening drought conditions in a number of states. That story appeared on CBS News, ABC News, FOX News, Voice of America, Washington Post and a number of other outlets.

CNN talked to bullying expert Susan Swearer, educational psychology, about whether President Trump’s tweeted insult about newscaster Mika Brzezinski would get him suspended for cyberbullying if he were a middle school student. She said that if Trump were in school, he would be held accountable and, at minimum, be asked to apologize. The story appeared in numerous outlets across the country, including the Boston Globe.

Donald Umstadter, physics, and Extreme Light Laboratory research that produced the brightest light on Earth were featured by LiveScience, in a July 18 story that ran on Fox News and other outlets; The Naked Scientists podcast July 4 ; and video produced by Hearst TV’s VUZ on WMUR TV in Manchester, N.H. July 6.

In a widely carried story, The Associated Press reported July 9 that Darci Vetter, former top U.S. agricultural trade negotiator, was named the university's diplomat in residence and will help establish the Clayton Yeutter Institute of Trade and Finance.

Matt Waite, journalism, was interviewed for a July 12 report on San Francisco CBS Station KPIX about a company’s effort to build “Airdog,” a fully hands-free drone that can follow its user or a pre-set flight path.

The New York Times cited digital literary research led by Laura White, English, in a column about how writers Kathleen Flynn and Josh Katz took a data-driven perspective to assess the work of Jane Austen. The July 15 article was part of a special Book Review issue timed to the 200th anniversary of Austen’s death.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged here. If you have additions to this list or suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed, the university's national news editor, at or 402-472-2059.