Nebraska in the national news: June 2023

· 7 min read

Nebraska in the national news: June 2023

Husker faculty provided expertise on media’s impact and corporate income taxes in June. The stories were among 30-plus featuring Husker faculty, administrators, staff, students, centers and programs during the month.

  • Ciera Kirkpatrick, assistant professor of advertising and public relations, was interviewed for a June 8 Motherly article on the comparison trap in motherhood. Kirkpatrick said that comparisons are a normal part of the human experience and not always a bad thing, but that social media — with its often-idealized portrayals of motherhood — can make these comparisons unhealthy. She suggested that mothers check in with their feelings as a good first step in alleviating the problem.
  • Adam Thimmesch, associate professor of law, was featured in a June 20 Bloomberg Tax article on the risks of states cutting or repealing corporate income taxes. Such tax systems are complicated to administer, difficult to enforce and yield modest revenue, he said. Despite these flaws, taxes serve important purposes, including tax fairness across different classes of taxpayers, he said. The solution, he said, is for states to simplify and modernize their programs.

Additional national news coverage in June includes:

Kate Brooks, agricultural economics, was interviewed for a June 6 segment on RFD-TV. She discussed the growing number of opportunities for agricultural economics graduates from Nebraska.

A successful long-term experiment with live hogs indicates Husker scientists may be another step closer to achieving a safe, long-lasting and potentially universal vaccine against swine flu. Stories on the research appeared in High Plains Journal, National Hog Farmer,, Scienmag and Study Finds.

Eric Berger, law, was a featured guest on the June 8 episode of the Supreme Myths podcast. He discussed constitutional conceits in statutory interpretation, judicial rhetoric and the use of lethal injections.

James Schnable, agronomy, and Guangchao Sun, a doctoral alumnus and former postdoctoral researcher at Nebraska, were interviewed for the June 8 episode of the Joint Genome Institute’s Genome Insider podcast. They discussed their research on Paspalum vaginatum, a resilient species of grass that may help crops such as corn and sorghum yield more from less.

Schnable was also interviewed for a June 20 segment on RFD-TV. He discussed his involvement in a recent research project that identified the complete set of genetic components for corn.

Jody Green, an urban entomologist with Nebraska Extension, was interviewed for a June 9 CNET article on preventing and eliminating fruit fly infestations. She said one way to eliminate an infestation is to put vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap in a bowl, cover the bowl with cling wrap and poke holes into it. Sticky paper works at trapping them, too, she said.

John Fech, Nebraska Extension educator, and Brad Jakubowski, plant and turfgrass science instructor at Penn State University, co-wrote a June column for Golf Course Management on irrigation efficiency. “On average, a thorough investigation and implementation of water-saving techniques will bring about a million-gallon reduction in usage over a year’s time,” they wrote.

Paul Weitzel, assistant professor of law, was quoted in a June 12 Lead Stories fact check addressing a Facebook post that claimed HBO Max could free itself from paying residuals to screenwriters by changing its name to just Max. “Changing your name doesn’t get you out of business contracts,” he wrote.

Elliott Dennis, agricultural economics, was interviewed for a June 14 Progressive Farmer article on Walmart’s plans to build its first case-ready beef facility in Olathe, Kansas. Dennis said he wasn’t aware of another retailer that has built such a facility but that the move might be because of the lack of people with meat-cutting skills at local store meat cases.

The Fence Post ran a June 14 article on the university’s Flex-Ro autonomous planting robot, which recently seeded a five-acre no-till field on Rogers Memorial Farm — a significant milestone for the project. Supported by a $452,783 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Flex-Ro resides at the forefront of unmanned ground vehicle planter research, said Santosh Pitla, advanced machinery systems. A similar story ran in the Aurora News-Register.

Single tickets to Disney’s hit Broadway musical “Aladdin” at the Lied Center for Performing Arts went on sale to the public June 22, KLIN and Broadway World reported.

National media arts nonprofit Black Public Media has received a $40,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Grants for Arts Projects program. The award will support its fellowship and residency program for new works in immersive, interactive and emerging media at the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts. Harlem World published a June 16 article on the award.

Heather Hallen-Adams, food science and technology, was interviewed for a recent Tampa Bay Times article on the sale of products containing mood-altering chemicals from the mushroom Amanita muscaria. She said no human clinical trials have evaluated the product’s safety and effectiveness. The article was picked up by several media outlets, including the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald.

With the aid of $3.6 million in funding from the U.S. Army’s Engineer Research and Development Center, research teams at Nebraska and Auburn University are working to safeguard the entry points of military bases against the specific threats posed by hostile-driven electric vehicles. Stories on the research have appeared in at least 10 Nebraska media outlets, as well as Military Times and Yahoo! News.

Inside Higher Ed published a June 20 article on the university’s STEM CONNECT program, a scholarship program aimed at supporting low-income students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Jim Lewis, mathematics, principal investigator for the grant, was interviewed for the story.

The University of Arizona’s Hank Stratton has been named director of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film and executive director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. Stories on the appointment appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star, American Theatre and Broadway World.

The University of Nebraska Board of Regents approved the hiring of Rodney D. Bennett as the 21st chancellor of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln at its meeting June 22. He assumed his new role July 1. Stories on Bennett’s hiring appeared in multiple Nebraska media outlets, as well as Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

A projected rise in droughts could muddy the waters for painted turtles and some fellow freshwater-dwelling reptiles, says 11 years of data collected by 50-plus Husker undergrads. Two recent studies based on the data suggest that drought can lower the survival odds, slow the growth and even skew the ratio of female-to-male painted turtles inhabiting the ponds of the Cornhusker State. Larkin Powell, School of Natural Resources, oversaw the studies. The Omaha World-Herald and published articles on the research.

Anthony Schutz, law, was the featured guest on a recent episode of the Ag Law in the Field podcast. He discussed the recent ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA.

Richard Moberly, dean of the University of Nebraska College of Law, was among 15 deans of Big Ten law schools to pledge their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion ahead of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 29 ruling striking down affirmative action in college admissions. published a June 22 article on the deans’ statement. (This article requires a subscription.)

The U.S. Drought Monitor — produced jointly by the university’s National Drought Mitigation Center, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — was cited in a June 29 Associated Press article on drought conditions in the central United States. According to the monitor, half of Kansas is in either extreme or exceptional drought conditions, and more than a quarter of Nebraska is in extreme drought, with 13% in exceptional drought. The story was picked up by more than two dozen media outlets.

A new study by Kazi Albab Hussain, a doctoral student at Nebraska, and colleagues has found that microplastics are released in huge quantities from plastic containers when they’re microwaved. The U.S. Sun published a June 30 article on the research.

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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