Four receive awards from Faculty Senate

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Four receive awards from Faculty Senate

The UNL Faculty Senate presented an academic freedom award to Patrick Jones and honored the distinguished careers of Lloyd Ambrosius, Patricia Cox Crews and James Specht.

Jones, associate professor of history and ethnic studies, received the James A. Lake Academic Freedom Award. The honor was established in 1980 to recognize and individual who made exceptional contributions defending, supporting and explaining the applications and practice of the principles of academic freedom.

Jones led the effort to raise national and international awareness about the case of Waskar Ari, a Bolivian scholar who was hired by UNL but denied re-entry to the United States for unspecified reasons. Jones is also a campus contact for Scholars at Risk, an international network of academic institutions designed to support and defend the principles of academic freedom and to defend the human rights of scholars around the world. He has also merged his research and civic engagement to promote racial justice.

Ambrosius, professor of history, Crews, professor of textiles, merchandising and fashion design, and Specth, professor of agronomy and horticulture, all received the Louis Pound-George Howard Distinguished Career Award. Established in 1990, the award recognizes individuals with a distinguished career of service to the university through teaching, research, public service, administration or a combination of factors.

In his 48 years at UNL, Ambrosius helped shape and guide the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues; has influenced policy makers, particularly in the context of U.S. foreign policy; has served in many capacities, including vice-chair and chair of the history department; and mentored dozens of graduate and undergraduate students. Ambrosius is also a leading scholar on President Woodrow Wilson.

Crews is a scholar, curator and researcher in the study of quilts at levels addressing science, aesthetics and history. She is also the founding director of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum and a leader in textile preservation research. She has received three Willa Cather Professorship appointments and numerous international and national awards for her work. She also served as acting chair of textiles, merchandising and fashion design; was a member of the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women; a member of the UNL Speaker’s Bureau; a part of the Faculty Senate; and served on the University of Nebraska Press advisory board.

Specht is a national leader in the fundamental basic science of soybean genetics. His research has been key to advancing the use of novel soybean cultivars broadly distributed around the world and his professional efforts in basic and translational agricultural science continues to elevate the stature of the UNL on the national and international stage. Specht is a strong believer in faculty governance serving on many peer-evaluation committees and promotion and tenure committees.

For more information on the UNL Faculty Senate, go to

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