Katrina Jagodinsky and Amanda Ramer-Tait have each been awarded the Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Edgerton Junior Faculty Award is presented each year to honor an outstanding junior faculty member who has demonstrated creative research, extraordinary teaching abilities and academic promise.
Jagodinsky and Ramer-Tait will be recognized at Honors Convocation on April 12.
Jagodinsky, assistant professor of history, is a rising star in her research area of the social and legal history of the American West, publishing prize-winning journal articles and securing a major book contract for publication with Yale University Press. In addition, she has published several articles in top peer-reviewed journals in her field.
She also has demonstrated extraordinary promise in research. Within a year of arriving on campus, she won the Jerome Braun Prize in Western Legal History for the best journal article submitted for a peer-review in that journal. Jagodinsky also has secured a contract with one of the best university presses for her innovative and important study of indigenous women’s uses of the law to secure and protect their property and civil rights during the expansion of the United States in the 19th-century American West.
Students comment on Jagodinsky’s high expectations as well as the guidance she provides to ensure student success. In addition to teaching courses at every level, Jagodinsky has developed innovative new courses for the curriculum, including a 100-level gateway course on making and breaking the law in U.S. history.
“In teaching, she has proven herself a gifted and dedicated instructor whose attention to pedagogy and creativity in course design has inspired her students and her colleagues,” said William Thomas, chair of the Department of History.
Ramer-Tait, assistant professor of food science and technology, has developed an ambitious research program focused on host-microbe interactions and the impact of these interactions on inflammatory diseases. She is one of five junior investigators selected to participate in an $11.3 million National Institutes of Health COBRE grant that will establish the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules, a research center focused on understanding nutrition and obesity at the molecular level.
Ramer-Tait has mentored eight undergraduate students and is on program of study committees for another 14 graduate students. She has taken her interest in studying host-microbe interactions into the classroom and extended this by educating into the community. Through a collaboration with Judy Diamond at the University of Nebraska State Museum, she has developed a hands-on educational activity for children to promote awareness of the gut microbiota. The “Microbe Maniacs!” program helps children understand why we have gut bacteria and how important they are for keeping us healthy.
“Dr. Ramer-Tait is a great example of the researcher that we envisioned and an example of how talented researchers can better those around them,” said Rolando Flores, professor and head of food science and technology.