Research about “The Transformers” cartoon, op-eds about gun violence and lethal injection, the fate of the avocado and the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide were among topics that generated national news coverage for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during April. At least 55 national news stories cited UNL, its faculty, administrators or students during the month.
Highlights of April’s national coverage:
As the U.S. Supreme Court heard legal arguments in a case challenging lethal injection, CNN published an April 29 op-ed by Eric Berger, law, describing the issues at stake. He called for greater transparency for the drugs and procedures used to carry out executions, arguing that a growing veil of secrecy conceals the pain lethal injection causes.
Chris Calkins, animal science, was interviewed by a former vegetarian who now eats meat for an April 16 U.S. News & World Report article about common misconceptions about red meat.
Bedross Der Matossian, history, was quoted in publications around the world in days leading up to the April 24 centennial anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide. The Armenian Mirror-Spectator published an April 9 report on UNL’s academic conference marking the centennia. l of the Armenian genocide. Seventeen scholars from seven nations participated in the conference organized by Der Matossian. The Armenian Weekly carried a similar report on April 10. Der Matossian’s April 15 speech at Emory University in Atlanta about the origins of the genocide was covered by the Emory Wheel student newspaper. He authored an April 21 article in the Stanford University Press Blog about role the Young Turks of the Ottoman Empire played in the genocide. His observations were quoted in Today’s Zaman, an English-language newspaper in Turkey, on April 22. On April 24, the German press agency, DPA International, interviewed him for a story about the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem, where he was born.
Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, talked about Hollywood’s love affair with superhero movies for an April 22 article in the San Jose Mercury News. The story was carried by several other outlets in the Bay Area News Group. Dixon also was quoted in an April 29 Arizona Republic piece on why movie studios are rebooting beloved ’80s movies like “Vacation” and “Mad Max.”
In a story carried by out-of-state National Public Radio outlets, Harvest Public Media interviewed Galen Erickson, feedlot specialist, about why beef producers have been slow to adopt vaccine against e. coli.
Shane Farritor, mechanical engineering, described the maker space under development at Nebraska Innovation Campus for an April 20 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article discussed efforts to foster a “maker movement” on campuses across the country.
The National Drought Mitigation Center and climatologist Brian Fuchs were quoted in a April 22 New York Magazine Grub Street blog article on whether the California drought endangers avocado production. The article was carried by several other web news outlets, including Slate.com and Gothamist.
Amanda Gailey, English, wrote an April 26 piece published by The New Republic calling for a change in societal attitudes toward fatal gun accidents. Gailey is director of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence.
Harvard Business Review quoted James Gentry, marketing, in an April 21 story about the gender roles depicted in the brands used for marketing. Gentry’s research has shown that even though society’s gender attitudes are changing, commercials have not become more gender neutral.
Research by Peter Harms, management, that examined the leadership values embodied in 120 characters from the 1980s cartoon “The Transformers” was covered by Business Insider (Australia) on April 28. Phys.org reported on the study April 27. Science Blog and Red Orbit published articles about Harms’ research on April 28.
Digital Journal reported April 24 that UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, in partnership with USC Annenberg and Texas State University, had been awarded a $35,000 seed grant to bring “maker culture” to journalism via a project tracking food truck lines.
Kenneth Kiewra, educational psychology, was one of several experts interviewed for a April 16 story in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on whether it’s better for students to use pen and paper or a laptop to take class notes.
The Columbia Journalism Review quoted Ari Kohen, political science, in an April 2 article about how the media covered a state senator who compared police violence against black people to ISIS terrorism. Kohen maintained the reports omitted important context to the remarks by State Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha.
The Associated Press and The Chronicle of Higher Education gave national attention to Chancellor Harvey Perlman’s April 1 announcement that he will retire in 2016, after 15 years as chancellor. On April 20, the Chronicle published a more detailed piece in its People column about Perlman’s decision to retire.
Nanowerk.com reported April 20 that the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center had been awarded a $9.6 million grant for nanotechnology research through 2020. The multidisciplinary center, directed by Evgeny Tsymbal, physics, allows physicists, chemists and engineers to collaborate in the study of nanostructures and materials that could lead to more energy-efficient electronic devices.
The debut novel of Chigozie Obioma, a Nigerian author soon to join the creative writing faculty, was given a glowing review in The New York Times Sunday Book Review on April 14. Other favorable reviews came from NPR on April 14 and The Chicago Tribune on April 23.
EWTN, the global Catholic network reported April 21 on the opening of the newly built St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on the UNL campus.
Stephen Vantassel, a graduate student who serves as webmaster for the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, was interviewed by Washington Post columnist John Kelly for a April 14 column on the problems caused by home-invading squirrels.
Student Hung Vo, an urban planning researcher, wrote an Earth Day essay for the April 27 Huffington Post “Generation Change” blog. The post called for youth to respond to climate change be becoming “everyday change-makers.”
The Christian Science Monitor quoted Matt Waite, founder of the drone journalism laboratory for an April 22 report on whether the Federal Aviation Administration needs to enact stricter privacy rules governing drone use.
Stories published April 28 by ScienceDaily.com and Nanotechnlogy Now described new nanoscale “blueprints” that would result in more stable gold nanoclusters. The research is led by Xiao Cheng Zeng, chemistry and Yi Gao, a former visiting professor.