Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Sept. 4-17

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Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for Sept. 4-17

Andrei Snyman

Recent honors collected by the UNL community include recognition for Lori Bennett Baumli, Joseph Francisco, Brad Muehling, Kristen Olson, Veronica Riepe, Andrei Snyman, Joe Starita and Greg Vinton. Read on for more information about each award.


Lori Bennett Baumli has been named business manager for the College of Architecture. Since joining UNL in 1997, Baumli has held several managerial positions in various areas including athletics, Filley Hall Business Center, Food Processing Center and psychology department.

Kristen Olson, associate professor of sociology, has been named to the Panel on Reengineering the Census Bureau’s Annual Economic Surveys. Coordinated by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the 14-member panel will convene for the first time Oct. 29-30 in Washington, D.C.

Veronica Riepe, director of student involvement, was awarded one the 2015 Lt. Governor’s “Be Prepared Awards,” which celebrate excellence by Nebraskans in making communities safer through service focused on preparedness, response, recovery, leadership and assistance related to a disaster, emergency and/or crisis. The awards are sponsored by the Nebraska Citizen Corps Program and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency. UNL Student Involvement received the 2015 Citizen Corps Partner Program of the Year Award for Riepe’s outstanding efforts to collaborate with multiple agencies and organizations within the community to successfully execute the ReadyCampus initiative at UNL.

Brad Muehling, project manager, was presented an AIA Nebraska Design Award for work on UNL’s Outdoor Adventures Center. A part of Campus Recreation, the center features indoor and outdoor climbing spaces, a bike repair shop, outdoor gear rentals, bike lockers and meeting space. The center also organizes outdoor-themed trips, which are offered to the campus community. Jury comments praised the building’s classic modern design and how much was accomplished with such a low budget.

A computer-generated image that depicts a discovery made at UNL now graces the cover of an annual booklet from the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society. The illustration – a double helix of ice molecules revealed by UNL chemists Xiao Cheng Zeng, Jaeil Bai and Jun Wang in 2006 – adorns a publication detailing guidelines to be followed by undergraduate chemistry programs receiving official ACS approval. The guidelines were initially developed in part by Joseph Francisco, dean of the UNL College of Arts and Sciences.

Joe Starita, professor of news-editorial, was presented the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution History Award medal on Sept. 8 by the Omaha Chapter for his research and publications on Native American history. His recent work includes the books “The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge: A Lakota Odyssey,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and translated into six languages, and “I am Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice,” which was awarded One Book One Nebraska 2012.


Andrei Snyman, a doctoral student, has been selected to receive a $4,000 Shikar Safari Club Scholarship from the Texas Game Warden Association. The scholarship recognizes high-achieving students currently involved in the studies of wildlife management, range management and law enforcement. Snyman is a native South African whose research in Botswana focuses on the population dynamics of large carnivores like lions, leopards, spotted and brown hyenas, and African wild dogs. His efforts have resulted in the recovery and steady growth of the resident lion population. These scholarship funds will go toward Snyman’s student fees and research equipment.

Greg Vinton, a second-year law student, recently competed on the game show “Jeopardy!” hosted by Alex Trebek. Vinton, a native of North Platte, will appear on Oct. 1’s episode of the popular quiz show. “I was up against tough competition, but I think I did well,” said Vinton, who completed an online test earlier this year, scoring well enough to move to the next stage of the selection process to be on the show. He was selected to audition in person in Kansas City in July. “Jeopardy!” airs at 4:30 p.m. weekdays on CBS affiliate KOLN/KGIN-TV (Time Warner Cable channel 11).

This column is a regular 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.

Kristen Olson
Veronica Riepe
UNL Outdoor Adventures Center
Joseph Francisco
Greg Vinton
Joe Starita

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