Nebraska in the national news: May 2018

Nebraska in the national news: May 2018

Two University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty members were featured in National Geographic articles in May. The articles were among 19 national news stories to mention faculty, alumni and students at Nebraska during the month.

John Benson, a vertebrate ecologist, conducted research with the Monterey Bay Aquarium to quantify how juvenile great white sharks were dying in the northeast Pacific Ocean. The resulting study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, found that fishing was the leading cause of death. National Geographic ran an article on the research May 9.

"It's certainly fair to say that human fishing is a major threat, probably the biggest threat causing (shark population) declines around the world," Benson said.

Brett Ratcliffe, professor of entomology, was interviewed for a May 11 National Geographic story on Hercules beetles. The beetles can reach up to 7 inches in length.

"Dynastes hercules, the Hercules beetle which occurs in Central and South America and the West Indies, is the largest scarab in the world," Ratcliffe said.

Other coverage:

Justin "Gus" Hurwitz, law, co-director of the university's Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program, was quoted in a May 2 MarketWatch article on the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger and the race to deploy 5G technology.

Eric Thompson, economics, director of the university's Bureau of Business Research, was quoted in a May 5 Omaha World-Herald article on farmland values in Nebraska declining for the second-straight year. The story also appeared in the Norfolk Daily News. It was later picked up by the Hastings Tribune, KLKN, KOLN/KGIN and more than 30 other media outlets across the country.

John Borstelmann, a junior chemistry major, won a national title in the Club individual road omnium at the recent USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships in Grand Junction, Colorado. An Associated Press story on the championships ran in The Washington Post, USA Today and more than 15 other media outlets across the country.

Jennine Capó Crucet, English and ethnic studies, was featured in a May 7 Bustle list of influential Latina authors. Crucet is the author of the short story collection "How to Leave Hialeah" and the novel "Make Your Home Among Strangers."

Brian Baugh, finance, co-authored a recent study showing that the more time between Social Security checks being issued and bills being due, the more likely a recipient is to have a financial shortfall. An article on the research appeared May 7 on

Late benefactor Mildred Topp Othmer was mentioned in a May 11 Inside Higher Ed article on women donating their wealth to colleges and universities. Othmer left $125 million to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in her will. At the time, it was the largest-ever single, private donation to the university.

The Omaha World-Herald published an article May 13 about how more college students in Nebraska are graduating in four years. The University of Nebraska–Lincoln's four-year graduation rate improved from 29 percent in 2010 to 39 percent in 2015, according to federal data. The story was picked up by The Grand Island Independent, Hastings Tribune and more than 30 other media outlets across the country.

A 2014 survey of American Economic Association members by Ann Mari May and Mary McGarvey, economics, and Wake Forest University's Robert Whaples was cited in a May 10 article in The Economist. The survey found that few men believed professional opportunities for economics faculty are tilted against women.

May, McGarvey and Kucera also wrote a piece for the June issue of the International Monetary Fund's Finance and Development magazine on how the differing perspectives of male and female economists may affect policy outcomes.

The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce recently released its 2018 Barometer, which compares Omaha to nine other U.S. cities. The Bureau of Business Research collaborates with the chamber on the study. The Omaha World-Herald ran an article on the study May 16. A similar article also appeared in more than a dozen other media outlets across the country.

Daniel Otto, a senior economics major, Sudanese refugee and Lincoln Literacy Council volunteer, was quoted in a May 17 Dallas Morning News article on immigration and the increasing U.S. labor shortage. The story was picked up by more than 50 media outlets across the country.

The university's Print, Copy, Mail and Distribution Services office was featured in the May issue of In-Plant Graphics.

Reece Peterson, special education, was interviewed for a May 26 Washington Post article on schools' use of seclusion and restraint — most often on students with disabilities — coming under scrutiny.

Silicon Prairie News ran a feature story May 18 on Carlos Estrada, the new managing director of NMotion, a startup accelerator in Lincoln. NMotion is supported by the university, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Invest Nebraska, local companies and private investors. The Lincoln Journal Star picked up the story May 26.

A research team led by Allison Johnson, biological sciences, found evidence that individuals of one fairy-wren species can recognize specific members of another — the first experimental evidence of recognition across non-primate species. An article on the research appeared May 27 on Futurity.

Max Perry Mueller, classics and religious studies, wrote a May 29 essay for Religion and Politics on the Mormon Church dealing with its global identity and legacy on race.

Sunseo Omega 3, a South Korean agricultural company, has located its U.S. headquarters at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Feedstuffs ran an article on the announcement May 29.

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged at
 If you have additions to this 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.