Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for May 6

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for May 6

Recent accomplishments earned by members of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln community include honors, awards and publications collected by Dee Aguilar, Sue Burzynski Bullard, Jenny Dauer, Natalie Umphlett, Chris Fielding, Fayrene Hamouz, Ruth Heaton, Marjorie Kostelnik and David Swanson.

Faculty and Staff

  • Dee Aguilar, coordinator of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNL, received the 2016 College of Public Affairs and Community Service Alumni Award for Excellence in Public Service from the University of Omaha’s Department of Gerontology. The award is presented annually to alumni who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the public good. Aguilar started with OLLI in 2005, serving as coordinator since 2007.

  • Sue Burzynski Bullard, associate professor of journalism and mass communication, placed second in an Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications teaching competition. The AEJMC Standing Elected Committee on Teaching selected Bullard’s lesson, “Whose Link Is It Anyway? Crediting Curated Content,” for the award. Her assignment teaches students to provide clear attribution when curating content from other sources. Bullard will present her lesson at the AEJMC national conference this August in Minneapolis.

  • The School of Natural Resources’ Jenny Dauer and High Plains Regional Climate Center’s Natalie Umphlett were named the 2016 Great Plains Fellows. In order to be nominated to be a fellow, scholars have to presently hold a regular appointment at the University of Nebraska and be concerned with the past, present and future of the Great Plains. Nominees also have to present evidence of a research, teaching or public service commitment to the Plains region. Dauer and Umphlett join five others named 2016 Fellows. The Center for Great Plains Studies established the Fellows program to link scholars of the Great Plains, no matter their discipline, and to establish a means to share their work.

  • Chris Fielding, professor from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, has been awarded Honorary Membership by the Society for Sedimentary Geology. The award will be presented at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention and Exhibition to be held in June in Calgary, Canada. Honorary membership in the SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology acknowledges excellence in professional achievements and extraordinary service to the society. The society limits the total number of living honorary members to one percent of the total membership or no more than one elected each year as a means of preserving their prestigious rank. Fielding’s award recognizes both his scientific achievements in the field of sedimentology and his service as a past president of the society.

  • Fayrene Hamouz, associate professor of nutrition and health sciences, has been recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Nebraska Restaurant Association. She received the award at the association’s 27th Annual Taste of Nebraska banquet April 18 in LaVista, Nebraska. Hamouz has been active in the association’s activities for many years and serves on the Hospitality Education Foundation Board. She is also a leader for the organization’s Nebraska ProStart Program that provides hospitality industry training and exposure to high school students across the state.

  • Ruth Heaton, Gilmartin professor of mathematics education, has been elected to a two-year term as co-chair of the Research in Mathematics Education special interest group of the American Educational Research Association. Co-chairing responsibilities include organizing the SIG conference programs at both the AERA national conference and the Research Pre-session of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national conference. She’ll also help coordinate AERA award programs in the SIG for an early career publication award and a senior scholar award. Heaton has been a member of AERA since 1992 when she was a doctoral student.

  • Marjorie Kostelnik, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, received the Sally Wysong Award from the Lincoln Association for the Education of Young Children. The annual honor is for individuals who offer outstanding service to the children of Lincoln and their families. Kostelnik received the award during an April 9 celebration at Southeast Community College.

  • David Swanson, director of the Holland Computing Center and research associate professor in computer science and engineering, has been elected to a two-year term as the chair of the governing Council of Open Science Grid. The OSG provides the national fabric of distributed high throughput computing in the United States, serving researchers across a wide variety of scientific disciplines. The council governs the consortium that builds and operates the OSG, and ensures that the OSG benefits the scientific mission of its stakeholders. The Holland Computing Center is a major resource provider to the OSG. Swanson was elected by members of the council. For more information on the Open Science Grid, click here.


  • Jeremy Neilsen, a third-year law student, won the 2015 American Bar Association Forum on Construction Student Writing Competition with his paper “21st Century Application of the Spearin Doctrine.” Neilsen will be recognized at the forum’s annual meeting and in their newsletter, Under Construction. Nate Bray, a third-year law student, was named a finalist and received second place in the same competition. His paper was titled “Project Counsel in an Online Construction Industry.”

  • Chris Schmidt, a third year law student, won the 2015-16 Louis Jackson National Student Memorial Writing Competition in labor and employment law for his paper, “A Ticket to Ride Free? Not so Fast: Members-Only Collective Bargaining as a Possible State Response to a Judicially Recognized Right to Work.” The competition, sponsored by national labor and employment law firm Jackson Lewis is administered by IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Institute of Law and the Workplace. For more information, click here.

  • Twenty-seven biotechnology students have earned 2016-2015 Milton E. Mohr Awards. Recipients are selected based on academic performance and potential for accomplishments in their specific fields. The awards include 15 scholarships and 11 fellowships. Scholarship winners and their fields of study are: Autumn Dunn, natural resources; Nathan Duffy, agronomy and horticulture; Samuel Eastman, microbiology; Andrew Egger, biochemistry, Erin Eickman, microbiology; Nathaniel Korth, food science and technology; Katherine Lagerstrom, microbiology; Alissa Martindale, animal science; Jennifer Myers, agronomy and horticulture; Erin Oeltjen, biochemistry; Brenna Petersen, chemistry; Alexandra Tobin, food science and technology; Tiffany Truong, chemistry; Erich Vogel, biochemistry; and Josh Wehrbein, agronomy and horticulture. Fellowship recipients and their fields of study are: MohamedAbedal-Majed, animal science; Rakesh Halekote Basavalingappa, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences; Justin Buchanan, biological sciences; Jyothi Kumar, plant pathology; Hardik Kundariya, agronomy and horticulture; Maranda Miller, natural resources; Camila Hofman, entomology; Govardhan Rathnaiah, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences; Daniel Santana de Carvalho, agronomy and horticulture; Esteban Valverde-Bogantes, food science and technology; and Yao Wu, chemistry.

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.

Dee Aguilar
Sue Burzynski Bullard
(Left to right) Jenny Dauer and Natalie Umphlett
Chris Fielding
Fayrene Hamouz
Ruth Heaton
Marjorie Kostelnik
David Swanson

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