Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 8

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 8

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community include those by faculty Sue Bullard, Kurt Geisinger, Dave Gosselin, Cole Thompson and Robert Wright. Student awards include four selected to be Omaha World-Herald fellows in the fall.


Sue Bullard, associate professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, was chosen as one of the 15 finalists in the 2016 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Great Ideas for Teachers competition. Bullard’s entry was a joint entry with Andy Bechtel of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They will be poster presenters at the AEJMC Conference in Minneapolis in August. Their entry involves creating newsletters. Many news outlets, as well as nonprofits, universities and corporations, send out regular email newsletters. The idea was to create a lesson plan around giving students a real-world opportunity to practice creating an email newsletter in an editing or reporting class. GIFT is a refereed panel presentation of the top teaching tips and techniques, held each year at the annual AEJMC conference.

Kurt Geisinger, WC Meierhenry Distinguished University Professor in Educational Psychology and Director of the Buros Center for Testing, was recently named president-elect for 2018-2020. This was announced at the 10th conference of the International Test Commission General Meeting in Vancouver on July 2. Geisinger is the commission’s treasurer. His term as president will begin in July 2018 at their next convention in Montreal, Canada.

Dave Gosselin, professor of earth science in the School of Natural Resources and director of UNL’s environmental studies program, has been elected to the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Board of Directors. The group is an independent faculty and student-based professional association in higher education, designed to serve the needs of environmental scholars and scientists who value interdisciplinary approaches to research, teaching and problem-solving. Gosselin will serve a two-year term as one of six members on the board, which manages the association. For more on the association, click here.

Cole Thompson joined the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture faculty as the new integrated turf grass management specialist and assistant professor. Thompson comes to UNL after working for two years as an assistant professor of turf grass and landscape physiology at California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. Thompson started his new position July 1. He will attend the Nebraska Turf grass Research Field Day, which is July 20 at the new Campus Turf Research Center on East Campus.

Robert Wright, professor of entomology, has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension from the Entomological Society of America. This annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to extension entomology. In his time at UNL, Wright has developed a productive research and extension program in agronomic insect pest management, which has had local, regional and national impacts. Wright will receive his award at the International Congress of Entomology Sept. 25-30 in Orlando.


Anthony “Justin” McMechan, doctoral candidate in the entomology department, has been awarded the North Central Branch Comstock Winner award from the Entomological Society of America. McMechan has taken an interdisciplinary approach in his dissertation research to address risk assessment of over-summering hosts for the wheat-mite-virus complex in winter wheat. He graduated in May from the Doctor of Plant Health Program at UNL. McMechan will graduate and receive his doctorate degree in August. He recently accepted a position as extension assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at UNL with the goal of developing an interdisciplinary research and extension program with a focus on integrating crop protection and management of cropping systems in eastern Nebraska.

The Omaha World-Herald chose four College of Journalism and Mass Communications students to work as fellows at the newspaper this fall. Chasity Blair, Cody Nagel, Tess Williams and Lynn Yen will work as reporting fellows. The students took the Real World I course, a collaboration between the college and the World-Herald. During the 15-week class, students learn from a different World-Herald staff member each week on topics such as editing, interviewing and reporting. As fellows, the students work alongside journalists and photographers to contribute stories and photos to the newspaper. The Real World program began in fall 2008 and is offered every semester.

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.

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