Nebraska in the national news: November 2021

· 8 min read

Nebraska in the national news: November 2021

The Genoa Indian School Digital Reconciliation Project, co-directed by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Margaret Jacobs, garnered significant national and international media attention in October. The stories were among 30-plus featuring Husker faculty, staff, students, centers and programs during the month.

During a Nov. 11 panel discussion, team and community members shared the lasting impact of the school, new research and deep insights into the personal stories of those who attended the Genoa, Nebraska, school — one of more than 300 Indian boarding schools established by the government and churches in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The schools were meant to assimilate Native children and break their ties to families and tribes. The Genoa school operated from 1884 to 1934.

Researchers say they have discovered the names of 102 students who died while at the Genoa Indian School, the Omaha World-Herald reported Nov. 12. The Associated Press version of the article was picked up by 130-plus media outlets, including ABC News, The Guardian, USA Today, The Washington Post and Yahoo! News. The World-Herald published another article on the boarding school Nov. 28.

The project was highlighted Nov. 5 in The Daily Yonder, Nov. 16 in the Independent and Esquire, Nov. 17 in The New York Times and Nov. 23 in Mother Jones.

Jacobs, Charles Mach Professor of History and director of the Center for Great Plains Studies at Nebraska, also wrote a Nov. 24 guest column for The Washington Post on how to address the American history of ripping Indigenous children from their families and sending them to boarding schools.

“Perhaps we can use Native American Heritage Month (November) and especially Thanksgiving as a time for seeking further truths, building accountability and promoting reconciliation,” she wrote.

More coverage:

Charles Stoltenow has been named the priority candidate in the university’s search for its next dean and director of Nebraska Extension. He returned to Nebraska for a statewide tour to various communities and research, extension and education centers. Stories on the announcement appeared in several Nebraska media outlets and Agweek.

Rex Nelson, associate extension educator with Nebraska Extension, was interviewed for a Nov. 2 Center Square article on a new survey showing that Nebraska’s rural economy is growing. Rural economies have been “virtually unscathed” by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson said. “Nebraska’s economy hardly dipped at all,” he said.

The university celebrated a new biography of former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter with a Nov. 4 book launch. “Rhymes with Fighter: Clayton Yeutter, American Statesman,” by Joseph Weber, journalism, celebrates the life and career of Yeutter, who grew up in Eustis, Nebraska, attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and embarked on a career in which he worked with four U.S. presidents and helped shape international trade policy. AgriPulse ran a Nov. 2 article on the book launch.

Justin “Gus” Hurwitz, law, director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, was interviewed for a Nov. 3 USA Today article on deadly recalled products still being widely available for purchase on Facebook Marketplace. “There is no legal framework that would require Facebook to do anything about recalled products,” he said. “The issue here is that Facebook isn’t doing the sale. Facebook is only mediating the sales between buyer and seller.”

The Daily Yonder published a Nov. 4 article on the Rural Reconciliation Project based in the University of Nebraska College of Law. The project seeks to answer questions about the structural forces and collective choices affecting the sustainability and viability of rural communities. Project co-directors Jessica Shoemaker and Anthony Schutz, both law, were interviewed for the story.

For Eric Markvicka, mechanical and materials engineering, and colleagues, droplets of liquid metal are emerging as a protagonist in the quest to dissipate heat — and prevent overheating — in wearable technology, soft robotics and other microelectronic-packed applications. and ran articles on the research.

Travis Mulliniks, animal science, was interviewed for a Nov. 9 segment on RFD-TV. He discussed the Western Rangeland Livestock Center at the Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, which is being used as a testbed for precision livestock management on rangelands.

The University of Nebraska’s Nebraska Integrated Beef Systems Hub brings faculty members in wide-ranging disciplines together with cattle producers and industry partners to solve new challenges facing the beef industry. Stories on the hub have appeared in KLKN, Nebraska Ag Connection, Rural Radio Network, Feedlot Magazine, Midwest Messenger and The Fence Post.

Jack Beard, law, co-director of the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law program, was interviewed for a November Harper’s Magazine article on the development of the Woomera Manual. He is editor-in-chief of the manual.

Tim Borstelmann, history, was quoted in a Nov. 10 USA Today article on the Freedom Riders whose 1961 sit-in campaign helped lead to the desegregation of U.S. Route 40 in Maryland. “(The campaign) just sharpened the hypocrisy of being a ‘free country’ that didn’t allow freedom for all of its people,” he said. “And that’s a huge stimulus to the civil rights reforms that are going to come — the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Yahoo! News picked up the story.

Kathryn Holland, psychology and women’s and gender studies, was interviewed for a Nov. 12 Inside Higher Ed article on the new Center for Institutional Courage. Holland and Wichita State University’s Rachael Goodman-Williams are conducting a survey of Title IX coordinators to learn more about their mandatory reporting policies and how they’re implemented, the practitioners’ attitudes toward those policies, and predictive factors of those attitudes. The researchers received a $4,000 grant from the center.

ESPN aired a Nov. 13 story on Damien Jackson’s improbable road from Navy Seal to walking on at Nebraska. The senior child, youth and family studies major played linebacker for the Huskers. Jackson; Scott Frost, head coach; Mike Dawson, defensive line coach; Kenny Wilhite, director of high school relations; and Garrett Nelson, fellow linebacker, were interviewed for the story.

Nouredin Nouili, a junior criminology and criminal justice major and Husker offensive lineman, was featured in a Nov. 15 FiveThirtyEight article on visas preventing international student-athletes from capitalizing on name, image and likeness deals. Nouili, who is from Germany and is in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, explored NIL opportunities but didn’t go through with them. “It’s just not worth it,” he said.

Kelli Boling, advertising and public relations, was interviewed for a Nov. 15 Washington Post article on people following the Kyle Rittenhouse homicide trial on TikTok. She said she has found people are fascinated by true crime for myriad reasons, including trying to better protect themselves from potential violence and a desire to see justice served. The interest is not a novel concept by any means, she said.

Tamra Jackson-Ziems, Nebraska Extension plant pathologist, was cited in a Nov. 17 Successful Farming item on tar spot disease in corn. “The fungus that causes tar spot, like many of the pathogens that cause our common diseases, overwinters in infested crop debris,” she said. Tar spot can become a more consistent threat when the weather is cool and wet late in the season. Temperatures in the 60s and 70s are optimal for the fungus.

Tim Gay, physics and astronomy, was featured in a recent NFL Films video. He discussed the physics behind a well-thrown football pass.

Kahheetah Barnoskie, an agronomy graduate student, was mentioned in a Nov. 19 Flatwater Free Press article on the re-emergence of Pawnee corn. She oversees data collection for the Pawnee Seed Preservation Society. The story has been picked up by at least five Nebraska media outlets and Indian Country Today.

Eric Thompson, economics, director of the Bureau of Business Research, was interviewed for a Nov. 20 Wall Street Journal article on Nebraska’s unemployment rate falling to 1.9% in October — the lowest rate for any state since data collection began in 1976. He said the state’s strong high school graduation rate helps. “More educated workers … are just less likely to be laid off and more likely to find work quickly.”

A new study co-authored by Rebecca Jack, a doctoral student in economics, suggests remote schooling during the 2020-21 academic year contributed to “highly significant” learning loss. Yahoo! News published a Nov. 22 article on the study.

The American Association of University Professors has voted to remove the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from its list of censured administrations, Inside Higher Ed reported Nov. 23.

Margaret Huettl, history and ethnic studies, discussed the history of the Oregon Trail on the Nov. 23 episode of the podcast “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness.” Huettl, who has Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe tribal ancestors, was one of three historians who consulted on the new “Oregon Trail” video game.

Jocelyn Bosley, research impact coordinator, was featured on the American Association for the Advancement of Science website on Nov. 24. “Bosley is all about breaking barriers, whether they’re divisions that foster rigid thinking or socio-cultural constructs that impede talented scientists from fulfilling their potential,” the article read.

New research led by the Nebraska Water Center suggests a mineral known as ferrihydrite might help reduce arsenic and uranium levels in soil while boosting nutrient uptake in crops. Smart Water Magazine published a Nov. 29 article on the research. published a Nov. 29 Q&A with David Harwood, Earth and atmospheric sciences. He discussed his work in light of the recent United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, focused on climate change.

Harwood will help lead a new multinational team that is drilling into Antarctica’s past to gain a glimpse at Earth’s future. Stories on the Sensitivity of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 2C project appeared in Scienmag and a few other media outlets.

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.

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