Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 22

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for April 22

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community include honors, awards and publications collected by Julie Johnson, Fred Luthans, Mehrdad Negahban, Karl Reinhard, Tian Zhang and John Stansbury.

Faculty and Staff

Julie Johnson, emeritus professor and former chair in child, youth and family studies, was awarded the 2016 Friend of the Great Plains IDEA Award. She received the award for her work building online, inter-institutional degrees, especially an online master’s for Family and Consumer Sciences educators. Johnson has actively addressed the shortage of Family and Consumer Sciences Education teachers for the past 17 years. She guided development of business plan, syllabi, handbooks, and marketing for the 2004 launch of the Family and Consumer Sciences Education master’s program offered through the Great Plains IDEA.

Fred Luthans, management, will be honored with the Individual Contributor Award at the Best Places to Work in Omaha awards luncheon on May 5. This is the fifth time that this honor, awarded by Baird Holm LLP, founder of the Best Places to Work in Omaha initiative along with its sponsor, the Greater Omaha Chamber, has been given since 2003. The award is given to a leader in Omaha’s human resource community whose contributions make a lasting impact by creating great places to work. Luthans, a professor emeritus, was chosen for his contributions to the human-resource community through his published research, training programs and leadership in the area of organizational behavior.

Mehrdad Negahban, professor and graduate chair of mechanical and materials engineering, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Rouen on April 21 as the French institution celebrates its 50th anniversary. The honor, Negahban said, is in recognition of a long partnership that he and the UNL College of Engineering have had with Rouen. Over the last decade, nearly 40 graduate students have earned master’s degrees at both universities while faculty from both institutions have spent time teaching “short” courses at the other school. For more on this achievement, click here.

Karl Reinhard, forensic science, received the 2016 Eve Cockburn Mentorship Award by the Paleopathology Association for his years of excellence in mentoring. The award was announced at the association’s meeting April 12 in Atlanta. Paleopathology is the study of ancient diseases in humans and animals, and the Paleopathology Association was formed in 1973 by U.S. and Canadian scientists.

A paper co-authored by UNL civil engineering faculty Tian Zhang and John Stansbury and graduate student Meng Hu has been chosen to receive the prestigious Rudolph Hering Medal, given by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Titled “Contributions of Internal and External Fouling to Transmembrane Pressure in MBRs: Experiments and Modeling,” the paper was published in the June 2015 edition of the ASCE’s Journal of Environmental Engineering. Zhang, professor of civil engineering, and Hu were co-primary investigators on the project. Stansbury, associate professor and associate chair of civil engineering, was also a co-author of the study along with two faculty from UNL’s Center for Biotechnology – research professor You Zhou and research scientist Han Chen. For more on this achievement, click here.


Chris Heady, senior journalism major, placed 10th in the Hearst Journalism Awards Personality Profile competition. He placed for his profile of then-new Nebraska head football coach Mike Riley, “Mike Riley Isn’t Following His Father’s Footsteps Anymore,” published in the Daily Nebraskan. The story examines Riley’s relationship with his father and why he left his position at Oregon State to coach at Nebraska. Heady is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Nebraskan and was previously the senior sports editor and Husker football reporter. He co-hosted a show on KRNU, the university’s student radio station, called First and Third and served on the college’s student advisory board.

Calla Kessler, sophomore journalism major, placed eighth in Hearst Journalism Awards Enterprise Reporting Multimedia competition. Her piece was titled “Los Churequeros,” and examines two different landfill lifestyles in Managua, Nicaragua. Kessler had the opportunity to complete this piece through the Global Eyewitness program, which sends photojournalism students to places of great human need to document the stories of the people there.

Kaitlin E. Phillips, a doctoral candidate in communication studies and Jordan Soliz, associate professor of communication studies, were awarded a Central States Communication Federation Research Prize to fund their research project, “Assessing Recruitment Strategies for Obtaining Ethnically and Racially Diverse Samples in Family Communication Research.” Kaitlin accepted the award, which is the association’s top research prize, at the annual conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on April 15.

Dan Uden and Johnica Morrow, doctoral students, and Ashley Alred, graduate student, have been selected to receive the School of Natural Resources Meritorious Graduate Student Award. The award typically is given to one master’s and one doctoral student annually; this year, the committee chose to recognize two doctoral students. Criteria for the award includes outstanding performance as a student, research and professional contributions. Uden, Morrow and Alred will each receive a stipend and their names will be included on a plaque in Hardin Hall.

The Spring Graduate Research and Creative Activities Poster Session featured over 140 graduate research posters from across the university. The top posters representing student work and research will receive a $400 travel grant to present their research at a regional or national conference. Winners are Rakesh Halekote Basavalingappa, doctoral student, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Ana Lucía Córdova Cazar, doctoral student, psychology; Eric Farris, doctoral student, biological systems engineering; Aileen Garcia, doctoral student, child, youth and family studies; John Emmanuel Kiat, doctoral student, psychology; Lei Li, doctoral student, chemistry; Zora Murff, master’s student, art and art history; Ehsan Rezaei and Charles Nguyen, doctoral students, mechanical and materials engineering; Raquel de Oliveira Rocha, doctoral student, agronomy and horticulture; Elliott Leoncio Rodriguez, doctoral student, chemistry; Max Stehr, doctoral student, Glenn Korff School of Music; and Anne Thomas, doctoral student, special education and communication disorders.


The 25th Annual Robert Mittelstaedt Symposium hosted by the Department of Marketing in April attracted more than 85 participants from 26 colleges and universities, making it the largest symposium yet. A three-day event, the symposium featured marketing doctoral dissertation research from students across the country. For more on this achievement, click here.

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.

Julie Johnson
Fred Luthans
Mehrdad Negahban
Karl Reinhard
Tian Zhang and John Stansbury

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