Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 1

· 5 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 1

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community include those by faculty Matthew Douglas, Wayne Drummond, Patricio Grassini, Yongfeng Lu, Greg Snow, David von Kampen and Tim Wentz.


Matthew Douglass, an archaeologist in the anthropology department and lecturer with the School of Natural Resources, is in Kenya working as a team member in the Koobi Fora Paleoanthropological Field School. The field school, directed by George Washington University, provides students with a six-week research experience in Sibiloi National Park and the Mpala Research Center. Students from United States and African institutions are paired with archaeologists, geologists, physical anthropologists and paleoecologists working in east Africa. Douglass, with David Braun and Jonathan Reeves (both at George Washington), will incorporate five students into an archaeological survey seeking to address changing patterns of hominid land use in the period between 1.6 and 1.4 million years ago. Using data sources, project members are seeking to understand changes in habitat use during a pivotal time in human evolution marked by changes in stone tool technology (the introduction of the Acheulean handaxe) and the spread of hominids (Homo erectus) outside Africa.

Wayne Drummond, dean emeritus in the College of Architecture, was chosen as a 2016 Honor Recipient by the American Society of Landscape Architects. Selected by ASLA’s Board of Trustees, he was given the accolade of Honorary Membership, which is among the highest honors ASLA gives to non-landscape architects in recognition of notable service to the profession. Since 1899, ASLA has inducted 207 honorary members. Drummond will be presented with the honor during the ASLA Annual Meeting and Expo Oct. 21-24 in New Orleans. For more information, click here.

Patricio Grassini, assistant professor of agronomy and horticulture, joined the Field to Market: Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture’s new Science Advisory Council. He will be one of 12 experts who will provide guidance on agricultural sustainability issues. For more information, click here.

Yongfeng Lu, Lott Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected as the 2016 Arthur L. Schawlow Award recipient. The award will recognize Lu’s record of laser industry innovation and his significant contributions to basic and applied research in the fields of laser science and electrical engineering. Lu established the UNL Laser Assisted Nano Engineering group in 2002 and has led several research projects for the university. He will be presented with the award on Oct. 20 during the International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics luncheon in San Diego. For more information, click here.

Greg Snow, professor of physics and astronomy, has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the U.S. Compact Muon Solenoid Collaboration Board. The board includes a representative from each of about 50 U.S. institutions that work on the Compact Muon Solenoid, a massive particle detector and corresponding experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to representing the U.S. group at international meetings of more than 40 countries collaborating on the CMS experiment, Snow will report at various CMS reviews coordinated by the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy.

David von Kampen, Glenn Korff School of Music lecturer, was selected as the 2015 Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year. He was chosen for his composition “Under the Silver and Home Again: Five Walter de la Mare Lyrics for Baritone and Piano.” He is the first Nebraska composer in the history of the MTNA commissioning program to be given this award. Von Kampen’s piece was featured at the 2016 MTNA conference in San Antonio, performed by von Kampen (piano) and Nathaniel Sullivan (baritone). Von Kampen was awarded $5000 for this achievement. For more information, click here.

Tim Wentz, associate professor of construction management in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, was installed as president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers on June 27. Wentz has also been president-elect, treasurer, vice president on the board of directors and as Region IX director and regional chair. As president, Wentz will travel extensively to represent ASHRAE, which has members in 130 countries. His term will run through June 2017. For more information, click here.


Jessica Burnett, a College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources graduate student, has been selected to receive an Irvin A. and Agnes E. Nelson Memorial Fellowship. The assistance provided by this fund is intended to help the recipient pay for travel expenses to attend a professional meeting for the purpose of presenting research results or other professional development opportunities. Burnett will attend the sixth North American Ornithological Congress from Aug. 16-20 in Washington, D.C. Burnett’s graduate research focuses on identification and prediction of regime shifts, or abrupt changes in the functioning or structure of an ecosystem. She identifies individual bird species that can best inform about future regime shifts by examining their distribution and population trends.

Chrissy Peters, a senior horticulture major and School of Natural Resources Cabela’s Apprenticeship intern, was featured on June 16’s episode of “Backyard Farmer” on NET. Peters discussed what her summer program consisted of this summer and the learning opportunities she has experienced. Watch the segment 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.

Matthew Douglass (center) and colleagues instruct students from U.S. and African universities in stone artifact identification at the Koobi Fora Base Camp.
Courtesy Photo
Matthew Douglass (center) and colleagues instruct students from U.S. and African universities in stone artifact identification at the Koobi Fora Base Camp.
Wayne Drummond
Patricio Grassini
Yongfeng Lu
Greg Snow
David von Kampen
Tim Wentz
Jessica Burnett
Chrissy Peters during a "Backyard Farmer" segment that ran in June.
Courtesy Photo
Chrissy Peters during a "Backyard Farmer" segment that ran in June.

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