UNL in the national news: January 2016

· 5 min read

UNL in the national news: January 2016

Two stories — one about snow-melting concrete and the other about digitally distracted students — dominated national headlines featuring the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during January.

The research by Chris Tuan, civil engineering, and Barney McCoy, broadcasting and journalism, respectively, generated headlines in hundreds of outlets nationwide.

The two stories were among more than 60 separate UNL-related studies, happenings and topics that were covered by national media during the month.

Tuan’s effort to develop concrete that conducts electricity and enough heat to keep it free of ice and snow broke into the news just as a major snowstorm hit the East Coast. The first of more than a dozen reports on the research appeared in Popular Mechanics, London’s Daily Mail and ECN Magazine on Jan. 22. Stories and videos appeared on several other digital news sites in coming days, including Huffington Post, Engadget and Red Orbit on Jan. 25 and 26. National Geographic and The Atlantic also posted stories about conductive concrete. Business Insider and The Weather Channel posted video reports.

In his latest survey of students’ use of digital devices, McCoy found college students spend about a fifth of their class time texting, surfing the web, using social media and playing games. His newly published research was covered by Science Daily on Jan. 15 and picked up by outlets in Pakistan and India on Jan. 18. Campus Technology reported on the survey on Jan. 20. It appeared in hundreds of local TV and newspaper outlets after HealthDay produced a story on Jan. 26. Inside Higher Ed reported on McCoy’s findings on Jan. 26.

Other UNL national news appearances during January included:

Guillermo Baigorria, Daugherty Water for Food Institute, was mentioned in articles in Environmental Leader, an environmental and energy management news site, and Sustainable Brands, a web site for business leaders, about the CropClimate tool he developed. The tool uses climate, soil and crop modeling to develop more resilient crop production systems.

The Jan. 26 episode of Maryland Farm & Harvest, a Maryland Public TV program, featured an interview with Thomas Clemente, agronomy and horticulture, about genetically modified organisms.

Entertainment Weekly quoted Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, about audience fascination with true crime stories as part of a Jan. 18 story about the popularity of Netflix’ “Making a Murderer” documentary series. Dixon also appeared in a Jan. 21 Los Angeles Times report about the absence of nonwhite nominees on this year’s Oscar slate. The Boston Globe quoted him Jan. 29 in a story about the genre mash-up movie “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.”

UNL’s food and nutrition expertise made its way into several national stories during January. A Jan. 21 Delish.com story about egg freshness, which also appeared on Cosmopolitan.com, cited UNL food safety information. Refinery29, a health and beauty site, also cited UNL in a Jan. 30 story about egg safety. NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth referred readers to UNL food-safety information in a Jan. 22 story about salvage grocery stores. Global News in Canada cited Alice Henneman, extension educator, in a Jan. 26 story on saving money by substituting cheaper foods for pricier ones.

Tim Gay, physics, was quoted by Wired Jan. 13 about a flexible football helmet designed to prevent brain injuries. Gay, author of “The Physics of Football,” said the helmet’s design sounds promising but it needs to be tested on players.

The Adele Hall Learning Commons, UNL’s new high-tech gathering place in Love Library, was featured in Campus Technology magazine on Jan. 11 and in EdTech magazine on Jan. 27.

Washington Post’s Wonkblog cited research by John Hibbing and Kevin Smith, political science, for a Jan. 6 column about Donald Trump’s mastery of the psychological biases of conservatives.

Science 360, the National Science Foundation’s news site, highlighted perovskite solar cell research by Jinsong Huang, engineering, and his team on Jan. 19.

Arthur Maerlander, Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, discussed the need for more data about youth sports concussions for a Jan. 12 article in the Concord, N.H., Monitor.

Dennis Molfese, Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, was among the experts discussing the implications of concussions for NFL athletes for a Jan. 1 ESPN piece.

U.S. News & World Report quoted Mario Scalora, psychology, for a Jan. 4 report about terrorism fears. Scalora discussed his study of targeted violence and threat assessment. Education Week quoted Scalora in a Jan. 12 article about using behavioral threat assessments to improve school safety in Nebraska.

Anthony Schutz, law, was among legal experts quoted by Bloomberg Business for a Jan. 6 report on TransCanada Corp.’s $15 billion trade appeal over the rejected Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Susan Sheridan, educational psychologist, was quoted or mentioned in a series of Education Week stories detailing a $26 million Institute of Education Sciences research project into early education. A Jan. 19 story quoted Sheridan on efforts to examine why early childhood education benefits seem to fade as children get older. A Jan. 20 article described an early education research network, to be led by Sheridan and UNL, to examine school readiness, transitions from pre-school and between elementary grades, and achievement over time. A Jan. 28 story discussed UNL’s $6.5 million project to study how early education policies differ between rural and urban school districts. The rural early education study also was covered by the Rural Blog on Jan. 29.

A Jan. 6 Washington Post article on the “socio-technical” obstacles to using drones for package deliveries quoted Matt Waite, founder of UNL’s drone journalism laboratory. Any number of things could go wrong, he said, including interference by startled household pets. “You know darn well a dog is not going to leave that thing alone,” he said. Waite also was quoted Jan. 7 in the International Business Times in a report on the status of the Federal Aviation Administration’s drone regulations.

The Big Ten Network’s LiveBig program highlighted research led by Richard Wood, engineering, using aerial drones and laser scanners to analyze how tornadoes and other natural disasters damage buildings. The piece aired during BTN’s basketball coverage.

To review month-by-month stories highlighting UNL’s national news mentions, click here. If you have additions to this list or suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed at lreed5@unl.edu or 402-472-2059.

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