UNL in the national news: July 2014

· 8 min read

UNL in the national news: July 2014

Media outlets across the nation featured and cited UNL sources on a number of occasions in July.

Scott Gardner, biological sciences, made national news with his discovery of four previously unidentified species of tuco-tucos, a gopher-like rodent that lives in South America. National Geographic kicked off the coverage July 17. Gardner’s discovery subsequently was reported by LiveScience, Science 360, NBC News and Yahoo! News.






The Kansas City Star reported July 5 on the latest edition of “Black Elk Speaks,” the John G. Neihardt classic newly reissued by the University of Nebraska Press.


Salon.com mentioned research by Dawn Braithwaite, communication studies, in a July 7 piece discussing the welfare of children of gay parents. Braithwaite and a researcher now located at the University of Pretoria in South Africa interviewed children whose parents had come out and concluded that any harm resulted from social scrutiny and stigmatization, not that their parents are gay.


Oregon Public Radio highlighted Pacific University’s MFA program for writing, including UNL’s Kwame Dawes, English, who taught there during its summer residency. Dawes read some of his poetry and discussed line and form.


National Public Radio published a July 22 report by Faiz Siddiqui and Andrew Dickinson, journalism students, about a 7-year-old Ethiopian boy with scoliosis.


Wheeler Winston Dixon, film studies, discussed “Jersey Boys,” Clint Eastwood and why it’s hard to make a successful movie musical in a July 1 BBC.com piece. Dixon discussed the evolution of movie trailers in a July 16 Yahoo! Movies piece that featured several clips, dating back to “Casablanca”. On July 22, he helped CNN Entertainment report Todd Leopold explain why viewers can’t get enough of Netflix. In a July 31 Boston Globe story, he said new “4-D” movies are a gimmick that will soon run its course.





The UNL Food Processing Center’s Product Traffic Report was cited in a July 14 Associated Press story about the growing popularity of the aronia berry. The story was picked up by CBS News, among others.


Wall Street Journal reporter Sue Shellenbarger cited research from Peter Harms, management, and his former postdoctoral researcher, Seth Spain, in a July 9 piece about how “dark traits” like narcissism, manipulativeness, and lack of empathy affect the workplace.


Mother Jones reported July 15 on the latest research published by John Hibbing and Kevin Smith, political science, on the biological differences between conservatives and liberals. Hibbing discussed his findings July 23 on the Alan Colmes Show on Fox Radio. On July 29, Salon.com revealed “The Secrets of the Right-Wing Brain,” based upon Hibbing-Smith research. Daily Kos and the Stamford Advocate published pieces on July 30.






A recently completed project to digitize Nebraska homestead records was featured July 2 on NPR’s All Things Considered. UNL was a partner in the effort.


The Tulsa World discussed how Hudl, an online game video service used by college and professional football teams, has impacted the sport at the high school level. Hudl, now a multi-million dollar company, was founded by David Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz while they were undergraduates at UNL.


Science 360 featured the polymer solar cells being developed by Jinsong Huang, mechanical and materials engineering, as its July 3 daily video. Stent research by Linxia Gu, mechanical and materials engineering, was featured on the site July 16.



Laurie Keeler, Food Processing Center, was mentioned in a July 1 Washington Times story about using insects as a possible food source. Keeler had discussed the topic during the Institute of Food Technologists’ annual meeting in New Orleans.


Ari Kohen, political science, shared his perspective on the violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip in a July 21 post on a Houston Chronicle blog.


Broadway World reported July 15 that the Lied Center for Performing Arts received a $4 million gift from the Glenn Korff estate to bring top Broadway shows to Lincoln. The gift also was reported July 20 by Philanthrophy News Digest and July 16 by the Washington Times, among several other outlets.


Joe Luck, biological systems engineering, discussed using high-tech equipment on small farms in a July 24 interview on WKCT radio in Bowling Green, Ky.


Barney McCoy, journalism, and colleagues Trina Creighton, Bobby Calvan, and Michelle Hassler appeared in a July 22 NetNewsCheck story about UNL’s digital journalism programs. Editor & Publisher.com carried the story.


The Week newsmagazine published a July 30 story about Matt Masin, photojournalism student, and the story he turned up during UNL’s Global Eyewitness trip to Brazil in December 2012. He came back with photos of a pair of Brazilian farmers who grow crops atop an abandoned landfill outside Sao Paulo.


The Chronicle of Higher Education quoted Craig Munier, scholarships and financial aid, about the need to consider social responsibility when evaluating college performance. In the July 1 article, Munier said evaluations should recognize colleges that do a good job of educating low-income students. In addition, the Stamford Advocate reported that Munier, immediate past chair of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, received the group’s Allan W. Purdy Distinguished Service Award.



Timothy Nelson, psychology, was quoted in a July 23 USA TODAY story about teenagers’ and pre-teens’ misperceptions of their body weights.


io9 published a map July 29 that showing groundwater declines in the southwestern U.S. The map was produced by Chris Poulsen, National Drought Mitigation Center, based on data from NASA.


In a July 14 Farm Journal/Ag Web story, Ty Schmidt, animal science, discussed his study that found no noticeable detrimental effect on cattle health or wellbeing caused by the Zilmax cattle feed additive. Merck Animal Health had removed its product from the market last year after reports of lameness in some cattle that had been fed the additive. The story was carried by a number of trade publications, such as Feedstuffs, the syndicated news programs Ag Day and U.S. Farm Report.



In a July 4 ESPN.com piece, Dean Sicking, former director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, recalled efforts a decade ago to make NASCAR safer. In 2004, it took the entire U.S. supply of the correct size of steel tubing to build safety barriers at critical points in high-speed NASCAR tracks.


Tim Schaffert, English, and UNL’s web site on the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha, popped up in an Examiner.com article on July 25. Schaffert is the project director for the web site and author of a novel, “The Swan Gondola,” set at the event known as the Omaha World’s Fair.


Gregory Snow, physics, discussed the search for cosmic-ray “hotspots” in a July 9 National Geographic article.


The long-term economic forecast released by the Nebraska Business Forecast Council and the Bureau of Business Research was carried by the Associated Press July 11. Eric Thompson, economics, said the report reflects Nebraska’s strong labor market.


Matt Waite, journalism, was quoted in a July 3 Denver Post opinion piece calling for the Federal Aviation Administration regulations for commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. Waite, founder of UNL’s Drone Journalism Lab, says regulations are needed to make drone usage safer. He was quoted July 6 in a widely carried Reuters article on why journalism outlets are interested in drones. He also discussed the regulatory issues raised by commercial drones in July 7 and 9 articles in the Seattle Times, the Huffington Post, McClatchy DC and others about a woman who reported a “peeping drone” in Portland, Ore. PBS.org quoted Waite in a July 16 piece on drones and journalism.






Research by Les Whitbeck, sociology, was featured in a July 7 report by Indian Country Today. Based upon a longitudinal study of indigenous youth at four American Indian reservations and four Canadian First Nations reserves, Whitbeck and his colleagues developed a model of adolescent development that addresses the issues faced by indigenous youth.


Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, psychology, was quoted by NBC News Latino Life in a story about tensions that may arise when Latino families take their children back to their home country for a visit.


Wayne Woldt, biological systems engineering, discussed the potential uses of drones in agriculture in a July 10 Wisconsin Ag Connection piece.


This is a monthly column featuring UNL faculty, administrators and staff in the national news. National media often work with University Communications to identify and connect with UNL sources for the purpose of including the university’s research, expertise and programming in published or broadcasted work. 

Faculty, administration, student and staff appearances in the national media are logged at http://newsroom.unl.edu/inthenews/

. If you have additions to this list or suggestions for national news stories, contact Leslie Reed at lreed5@unl.edu or 402-472-2059.

Recent News