Nebraska in the national news: October 2022

· 9 min read

Nebraska in the national news: October 2022

Laura K. Muñoz, assistant professor of history and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, was interviewed for an Oct. 6 USA Today article on many Latinos in the United States losing their Spanish fluency. The article was among 35-plus national news stories featuring Husker faculty, staff, students, administrators, centers and programs in October.

In the early 20th century, English-only curriculums in schools were the norm, even though there’s no official language in the United States, Muñoz said.

“We assume that this failure to maintain the language has something to do with us — with the way that we were raised, with the inability of our parents to succeed at teaching Spanish — when in fact there are so many other pressures coming at both the parents and the children,” she said. “When I think about Spanish language loss, the big word is lástima.”

Muñoz said the loss of Spanish makes many Latinos question their own identity. She said the big question for many is, “Am I truly Latino?”

“We believe (Spanish) is a marker of identity because people on the outside are telling us, ‘Oh, well, you’re not a true Latinx if you don’t speak Spanish,’” she said. “We’ve been in American school systems that have told us, ‘Well, you’re not a true American and you don’t speak English.’ So when you’re caught between that sort of rock and a hard place, it makes you question your identity.”

Additional national news coverage in October includes:

  • Jody Green, an urban entomologist with Nebraska Extension, was the featured guest on a recent episode of the Nature Talks podcast. She discussed how she became interested in entomology and her role with extension.

  • Chigozie Obioma, English, wrote an Oct. 5 article for The Guardian titled “Top 10 books about Nigeria” related to the new anthology “Of This Our Country,” featuring some of the country’s most celebrated contemporary writers. Obioma, who has twice been shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize, contributed a piece to the collection.

  • Geoff Lorenz, political science, was interviewed for an Oct. 7 Newsweek article on a possible successor to Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who might resign to become the new president of the University of Florida. Lorenz said Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts is the most likely person to fill the seat.

  • French author Annie Ernaux’s works “Do What They Say or Else” and “Things Seen” are available in English from the University of Nebraska Press, Inside Higher Ed reported Oct. 7. Ernaux recently won the 2022 Nobel Prize in literature.

  • Kristen Blankley, law, recently worked with JPMorgan Chase on a comprehensive report of its U.S. employee arbitration program. An Oct. 7 BusinessWire article on the report was picked up by 50-plus media outlets.

  • Blankley was also interviewed for an Oct. 21 Bloomberg Law article on Samsung facing nearly 50,000 individual arbitration claims. For the few law firms able to identify and file thousands of individual claims, mass arbitration essentially allows for collective action against a company that includes class action waivers in its contracts, Blankley said. “What these types of cases are showing is the real limitations of class action waivers,” she said, adding that, in both arbitration and courts, companies are faced with huge costs when claimants win.

  • A new study led by Patricio Grassini, agronomy and horticulture, shows how Brazil could increase its agricultural production without converting more rainforest and savannah to crops. Stories on the research appeared in New Scientist,, ScienceDaily and more than a dozen other media outlets.

  • FOX Weather recently aired a story on the university’s National Drought Mitigation Center. Brian Fuchs, a climatologist with the center, and Mark Svoboda, the center’s director, were interviewed.

  • Husker researchers have identified specific sorghum genes and traits — including seed color — that contribute to a healthy gut microbiome. The groundbreaking discovery paves the way for identifying additional traits in sorghum and other crops that have the potential to improve human health, as well as for the emergence of new crop varieties developed with microbiome health in mind. Andrew K. Benson, food science, director of the Nebraska Food for Health Center, discussed the research Oct. 11 on RFD-TV.

  • Justin “Gus” Hurwitz, law, Menard Director of the Nebraska Governance and Technology Center, wrote an Oct. 11 opinion piece for Real Clear Policy on the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case Axon Enterprise v. Federal Trade Commission. The case should settle whether parties subject to administrative proceedings by federal agencies need to wait until such proceedings conclude before they can ask a federal judge to review constitutional and procedural challenges.

  • Husker researchers John DeLong, Stella Uiterwaal and Alondra Magallanes have found that wolf spiders’ hunting rate may peak when the temperature is 85 degrees. The experiment supports the idea that some predators may consume less prey once ecosystems surpass certain temperatures. ran an Oct. 13 article on the research.

  • Yiqi Yang, textiles, merchandising and fashion design, and biological systems engineering, is the 2021 recipient of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists Olney Medal for outstanding achievement in textile science, Textile World reported Oct. 13. He is being recognized for his work on the research and development of more-sustainable textiles.

  • Kristen Olson, sociology, director of the Bureau of Sociological Research, was featured in an Oct. 14 Military Times article on the shortcomings of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. She is part of the committee analyzing the registry. “[Our findings] conclude that there are no refinements or improvements that will allow the registry to serve as a population health surveillance system,” she said. Yahoo! News picked up the story.

  • Matt Spangler, animal science, was interviewed for an Oct. 17 Beef magazine article on iGENDEC, a new web-based tool for constructing customized selection indexes for seedstock and cattle. He led the research and extension team that built iGENDEC.

  • Anthony Schutz, law, was quoted in an Oct. 19 Guardian article on dozens of advocacy groups filing a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming the federal department has failed to come up with a plan to regulate water pollution from factory farms. Federal authorities have been “reluctant” to regulate factory farms since the Clean Water Act passed in 1972, he said.

  • Schutz was also interviewed for an Oct. 24 KCUR story on towns passing abortion bans. He said there are two questions at work: Do local governments have the authority to impose bans? And even if they do, do statewide rules about due process, equal protection or privacy overpower local ones?

  • An Aug. 29 tweet by Shari Veil, dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, was mentioned in an Oct. 20 Teen Vogue article on Grand Island Northwest High School pausing its student newspaper after it published an LGBTQ pride issue. Veil voiced her support and admiration for the student journalists by letting them know they are all welcome to learn and report at the college’s various news outlets.

  • Humorist and storyteller Roger Welsch, who taught at the university for 15 years, died Sept. 30 at age 83. The Washington Post published an Oct. 21 article on Welsch.

  • A 2016 University of Nebraska–Lincoln study was highlighted in an Oct. 22 New York Times article on the wreckage of a World War II German patrol boat leaking pollutants into the North Sea. The Husker researchers examined corrosion of the USS Arizona wreckage at Pearl Harbor.

  • Margaret Jacobs, history, director of the Center for Great Plains Studies, was interviewed for an Oct. 24 Insider article on the U.S. Supreme Court reconsidering the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978. The removal of Native American children from their homes is rooted in colonization, she said. The story was picked up by Yahoo! News and a few other media outlets.

  • Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg has been named the new dean of the College of Architecture, the Lincoln Journal Star and Archinect reported.

  • Waste Advantage Magazine ran an Oct. 24 article on the university’s new All in the Hall recycling program. Morgan Hartman, sustainability coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, was quoted in the story. Scrap Monster ran a similar story Oct. 24.

  • John Hibbing, political science, was interviewed for an Oct. 25 Associated Press article on how the midterm election might affect Nebraska Republicans’ efforts to ban abortion in the state. He said he expects the Nebraska GOP will pick up the seats they need to ban abortions but noted that the Supreme Court ruling “has put pressure on Republicans that they haven’t felt before.” The article was picked up by 250-plus media outlets, including ABC News,, U.S. News and World Report, The Washington Post and Yahoo! News.

  • L.J. McElravy, agricultural leadership, education and communication, discussed results from the 2022 Nebraska Rural Poll during an Oct. 25 segment on RFD-TV. The poll shows rural Nebraskans are not optimistic about the economy in the next year.

  • Farm Journal’s Pork magazine published an Oct. 25 article on the university’s contributions to McDonald’s McRib sandwich, which may be on its farewell tour. Roger Mandigo, professor emeritus of animal science, helped develop a binding process to turn trimmings into meat products for fast-food restaurants. Gary Sullivan, meat science, was interviewed for the story.

  • The College of Law has launched its new Public Interest Scholars program for prospective students applying for admission to Nebraska Law in 2023. The program offers half-tuition scholarships, among other benefits. ran an Oct. 26 article on the program. Dean Richard Moberly was featured in the story.

  • Diverse: Issues in Higher Education published an Oct. 27 brief on the university’s State of Diversity summit, held Oct. 26. Marco Barker, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, was quoted in the story.

  • The university will officially mark construction of the Feedlot Innovation Center at the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center near Mead during a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Nov. 4. In concurrence with the groundbreaking, Greater Omaha Packing Co., a supplier of premium beef, has announced a $700,000 pledged gift to the University of Nebraska Foundation to support the construction of the facility. Stories on the groundbreaking and gift appeared in Beef magazine, Feedstuffs, The Fence Post and several other media outlets.

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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