Achievements | Barrett honored for online vehicle rental system

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Achievements | Barrett honored for online vehicle rental system

College of Law named a best value; Bilder, Starace draw accolades
Patrick Barrett, director of transportation services, demonstrates the new automated auto rental system available on City and East campuses. Barrett was honored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers for the implementation of the Keyosk system.
Troy Fedderson | University Communications
Patrick Barrett, director of transportation services, demonstrates the new automated auto rental system available on City and East campuses. Barrett was honored by the National Association of College and University Business Officers for the implementation of the Keyosk system.

Patrick Barrett, director of transportation services, received an Innovation Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The award was for the creation of Keyosk, UNL’s new online vehicle rental checkout/check in system.

Keyosk, which went online in spring 2013, gives UNL vehicle renters the opportunity to pick up or return rentals at any hour and on weekends. The system is a marked improvement over old rental methods that were only available 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Barrett said the Keyosk system can put returned vehicles back on the road in as little as 15 minutes.

“Under the old system, vehicles returned after hours were unavailable until we opened on the next business day,” said Barrett. “Now, vehicles are available any time. This new system increases the availability of our vehicle fleet. It also improves the level of service we offer campus.”

For more information on the Keyosk system and UNL vehicle rentals, click here.

Other recent awards and honors earned by the UNL community include:


• Chris Bilder, professor of statistics, was recognized for his research at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston on Aug. 3. He received the American Statistical Association’s Award of Outstanding Statistical Application for co-authoring the paper “Two-Stage Hierarchical Group Testing for Multiple Infections with Application to the Infertility Prevention Project.” The paper published in Biometrics in 2013.

This paper describes cost-efficient ways to screen individuals for chlamydia and gonorrhea through group testing (also known as pooled testing). New algorithms in the paper show that the amount of testing (and subsequent costs) can be reduced by 30 to 50 percent while still screening the same number of people. The algorithms are general in that they can be used in many other situations, including screening blood donors for multiple infections.

The Award of Outstanding Statistical Application is presented annually at the Joint Statistical Meetings, the largest gathering of statisticians in the world. More than 6,000 attended the 2014 meetings. The award recognizes the author(s) of a paper that features a unique application of statistics in the physical, biological or medical sciences

Bilder was the principal investigator for the National Institutes of Health grant that funded the research. Other co-authors are Christopher McMahan of Clemson University and Joshua Tebbs of the University of South Carolina.

• Anthony Starace, professor of physics and astronomy, received an honorary doctorate degree from Voronezh State University in Voronezh, Russia, in June. The award was in honor of a 17-year collaboration between Starace and VSU.

As part of the ceremony, Starace delivered a public lecture, “Attosecond Physics: The Study of Matter at its Natural Time Scale.”

Sharing a similar research interest concerning intense laser interactions with atoms, Starace has worked with VSU professor Nikolai Manakov since October 1997. The collaboration has resulted in 64 joint scientific publications, at least 12 of which have published in high-profile journals.

Starace has hosted four postdoctoral researchers from VSU, including Mikhail Frolov, now adjunct faculty in physics and astronomy at UNL. Starace said three other VSU students have earned physics degrees at UNL. He has also hosted many visiting professors from VSU.

During his meetings in Voronezh, Starace said VSU officials expressed interest in expanding ties with UNL.


• T.J. Edwards, a Masters of Fine Arts student who graduated in May, received the first Bemis Center Residency Prize. Established in fall 2013, the award was created by UNL’s Department of Art and Art History and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha. The annual residency prize is for graduates from UNL’s Master of Fine Arts program.

Edwards, who studied ceramics, was selected as an emerging artist by Ceramics Monthly and was featured in the publication in May. His work was featured in 15 exhibitions during his time at UNL, including 10 that were international in scale.

The residency prize follows the same guidelines as the Bemis Center’s internationally-recognized artist-in-residence program, which provides critical time and support to outstanding artists working at the cutting-edge of contemporary practice. In a typical year, the Bemis Center can accept fewer than two percent of applicants to its residency program.

The recipient of the Bemis Center Residency Prize is expected to join the center’s program within 12 months of selection.

For more information, click here.


• The University of Nebraska College of Law finished No. 2 in “Best Value Law School” rankings compiled in National Jurist magazine’s 2014 back to school edition. The rankings take into account the percentage of graduates who pass the bar examination, percentage of graduates who find employment, tuition, cost of living and average indebtedness upon graduation.

“The College of Law has a consistent history of providing an excellent legal education at an affordable cost. This value provides our graduates with great flexibility in their career choices,” said Susan Poser, dean of the college. “We are thrilled to again be recognized for providing this value.”

This column is a regular feature of UNL Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit their achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515.

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