Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 15

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 15

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community include honors, awards and publications collected by Bill Frakes, Kurt Geisinger, Prem Paul, David von Kampen and Kate Likens.

Faculty and Staff

Bill Frakes is serving as a visiting professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The Pulitzer Prize-winning visual storyteller is working with Joe Starita, professor of news-editorial, and journalism students to create a depth report on a small Nebraska town. Frakes will work with students on the project through the fall 2016 semester. For more information, click here.

Kurt Geisinger, WC Meierhenry Distinguished University Professor in Educational Psychology and director of the Buros Center for Testing, was recently honored by the Penn State Alumni Association as a 2016 Alumni Fellow. The award recognizes Geisinger’s exceptional professional accomplishments and is the highest honor given by the Penn State Alumni Association. He is invited back to University Park campus for a special induction ceremony and private breakfast in October. During the visit, as an Alumni Fellow, he will have an opportunity to share his expertise and experience with students, faculty and administrators of Penn State’s College of Education. Geisinger earned his doctorate from Penn State.

Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development, received the lifetime achievement award from the University Industry Demonstration Partnership. The honor was presented during the organization’s annual meeting at UNL the week of April 11. The organization fosters collaborations and research between universities and industry.

David von Kampen, a lecturer of composition in the Glenn Korff School of Music, has been selected as the 2015 Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year. Three judges selected one composer from more than 30 entries to be honored. Von Kampen’s composition, titled “Under the Silver and Home Again,” will be performed at the MTNA National Conference in San Antonio this month. All compositions are also placed in the MTNA Commissioned Works Library.


Carrie Brown, Ashley Stengel, Kimberly Stanke and Bridget Tripp teamed up to win the grand prize in the application development category of a daylong hackathon during the University of North Dakota’s Early Career Big Data Summit on April 8. The students, all part of UNL’s complex biosystems doctoral program, earned the award with an application titled “On Demand Taxonomic Reference Database Compilation.” The also took third place in the educational video category for their entry, “The omics of Big Data.” The UNL quartet was the only all-women team competing in the 12-team tournament. The summit was hosted in conjunction with the National Science Foundation’s Midwest Big Data Hub.

Kate Likens, a sophomore agriculture education major from Swanton, has been selected as a campus ambassador for Agriculture Future of America. Likens is one of just 15 campus ambassadors in the United States selected through a competitive application process to serve as AFA’s student voice and represent peers on a national level. In addition to serving as a liaison between AFA, their respective campuses and AFA corporate partners, the ambassadors will assist the student advisory team in delivering the 2016 AFA Leaders Conference Nov. 3-6 in Kansas City. Agriculture Future of America is a professional development organization for collegiate leaders and young professionals, providing leader development, intern support and scholarships.


The College of Journalism and Mass Communications placed fourth overall in the 2016 Hearst Journalism Awards Intercollegiate Photography Competition. In the first photo competition, sophomore Calla Kessler placed fourth and senior Jake Crandall placed 17th. The photo submissions were a mix of news, sports and features photos. In the second photo competition, senior Allison Hess placed seventh. The submission was a photo story about a 7-year-old Ecuadorian girl’s battle with brain cancer and the toll it took on her family. The 56th annual Hearst Journalism Awards Program is held in 108 member universities of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication with accredited undergraduate journalism programs. For more on this achievement, click here.

More than 60 people attended the WikiWarriors Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon March 15-16. The event focused on increasing the female presence on Wikipedia. Research collected by event co-organizer Daniel Clausen, a graduate student in English, showed that less than 13 percent of Wikipedia editors are women. The event was held in the Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons in Love Library in conjunction with Women’s Week at UNL. The event generated 22 improved articles, 12 new published articles and four articles drafted. For each completed article or edit, Aspen Lincoln donated $5 to the local YWCA SMART Girls Club for a total of $255 raised. The YWCA program engages fourth- to eighth-grade girls in after-school activities focused in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.

This column is a regular Friday 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.

Prem Paul
Members of the UNL team that won top honors at an April 8 hackathon at the University of North Dakota are (front) Kimberly Stanke, (back row, from left) Carrie Brown, Bridget Tripp and Ashley Stengel.
Courtesy photo
Members of the UNL team that won top honors at an April 8 hackathon at the University of North Dakota are (front) Kimberly Stanke, (back row, from left) Carrie Brown, Bridget Tripp and Ashley Stengel.
Bill Frakes
Kurt Geisinger
Kate Likens
David von Kampen

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