It’s been our custom for the past few years to publish a Year in Review edition of the Scarlet to focus on our successes as an institution. The chance to reflect and celebrate is welcome, as it marks our progress and sets the course for where we want to Harvey Perlman be. O u r affiliation with the Big Ten conference and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which formally occurred July 1, 2011, came after a year of preparation and accomplishment. As students and faculty return to campus for the start of the 2011 fall semester, the sense of excitement for the Big Ten is building. The theme of this year’s Year in Review edition mirrors our new web page theme: “Big Potential. Big Ideas. Big Impact.” These words describes the university, its history and its future. You’ll hear more about this as the year goes forward. Despite our best efforts, no single publication could list the many victories, milestones and celebrations in the past academic year by UNL’s students, faculty and staff. We spotlight the big highlights and note big events and big opportunities of importance. We also tend to focus on numbers, on rankings, metrics and measures to benchmark progress. That focus has a downside; as we all know, it’s sometimes the smallest act that has the biggest, but unmeasured, impact. One of the quirks of our academic calendar causes final commencement for the prior academic year to fall just one week before the start of the new school year. It is gratifying and humbling to see the smiles of new graduates and the excitement of the parents and families; that is evidence of our Big Impact. Similarly, the smiles of incoming students and their hopeful promise remind each of us of that Big Potential. The Big Idea remains for each of us to work for success and excellence. Thank you for your commitment to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The monthly newspaper for faculty and staff of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Sept. 1, 2011
Chancellor Harvey Perlman speaks to the crowd as Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman looks on during the July 1 celebration of UNL joining the Big Ten Conference.
UNL takes ‘enormous leap forward’ n July 1, UNL officially became a member of the Big Ten Conference and its Committee on Institutional Cooperation. In the months that followed the June 11, 2010 announcement that UNL would be joining a new conference, campus officials from academics and athletics met with Big Ten counterparts to prepare. Members of the Big Ten and its Committee on Institutional Cooperation have come to Lincoln to become familiar with UNL’s people and programs. And, by all accounts, the transition was incredibly smoothly. “We worked for the last year to set the stage for UNL’s entry into the Big Ten and the CIC,” said Barbara McFadden Allen, director of the CIC. “At no time has any part of this transition felt forced, strained or stretched because UNL is a natural fit for the Big Ten.” UNL is indeed similar to other Big Ten universities. It is a land-grant institution like seven
Taylor Hilsen, a Landscape Services employee, moves new “Go B1G Red” banners into position on a light pole along R Street. others in the conference and UNL is a major research university. Nebraska is contiguous to states in the Big Ten Conference. UNL has a high percentage (around 30 percent) of faculty who have degrees from CIC universities. And
UNL faculty and administrators have shown an intense desire for collaboration — both across disciplines among campus units and with other institutions around the world. “This is going to be a partnership that will thrive for many, many years,” said Allen. However, UNL still has some work to do to measure up academically to Big Ten counterparts. In figures used to gauge universities’ financial, academic and research strength, UNL ranks at or near the bottom among the Big Ten institutions. “The Big Ten is much more than a new group of teams with which we will compete,” said Chancellor Harvey Perlman. “This new relationship is an enormous leap forward for UNL academics. The Big Ten is a historically prestigious and stable academic community of scholars and students, highly regarded in academic circles.” http://go.unl.edu/big_ten
University of Nebraska–Lincoln Milestones 140 years
Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is celebrating its 140th year with a variety of activities. http://www-museum.unl.edu/
On Sept. 18, the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture celebrated 100 years with the rededication of Keim Hall. http://go.unl.edu/h30
Research funding remains steady at $132.2 million Funding for UNL research totaled $132.2 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, according to the UNL Office of Research and Economic Development. Officials said this represents a slight decrease from $139 million the previous year, and was expected in the year following a significant influx of one-time federal stimulus funding. Through the one-time American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, UNL received research awards totaling $24.9 million, with nearly $17 million coming during the 2010 fiscal year. If these one-time stimulus funds are excluded from the university’s total research funding, 2011 marked another year-to-year increase in total research funding. “The stimulus funding enabled us to take on important research projects and significantly improve our research facilities and infra-
For more on how research at UNL maintained forward momentum this year, turn to Page 6. structure. That’s a long-term payoff,” said Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development. For example, ARRA funding enabled construction of an addition to the Ken Morrison Life Sciences Center, to be completed in 2013; provided support for the new Nanoscience Metrology Facility, slated to open next spring; financed expansion of UNL’s high-powered laser research facilities, to be finished in 2012; and funded sophisticated instruments and other research equipment.
UNL’s highway paleontology program, Trailside Museum and Bison Books (the paperback divsion of NU Press) all were established in 1961 and celebrated a 50th anniversary in the last academic year.
Jazz in June’s 20th season played this summer. The concert series is hosted by the Sheldon Museum of Art.
Innovation Campus’ first phase includes $80M building plan Leveraged by a $25 million investment by the Nebraska Legislature, the Nebraska Innovation Campus Corp. Board of Directors announced June 8 that the first phase of development at Nebraska Innovation Campus would include four new or renovated buildings representing an estimated $80 million in public and private investments. Included in the first phase is a nearly 170,000-square-foot central commons building that nearly doubles the size of the original 4-H Building. The renovation and construction of a companion building will be funded by a mix of state and investor monies. An additional $15 million from the state will be matched by private philanthropy to build a $30 million “food, fuel and water”
View architects’ drawings of the 4H Building renovation online at http://go.unl.edu/jwm. research facility. The developer has also pledged to build an equalsized life science building. “The result is four significant buildings that create the critical mass for the attraction of private-sector companies,” UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. Phase 1 construction is scheduled for completion in 2012. http://innovate.unl.edu
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 3
2| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Transportation Center helps NU, Netherlands-based institute sign Water for Food agreement Discovering Whitman reduce diesel emissions
Weissinger is new senior vice chancellor
The University of Nebraska signed an international education partnership agreement focused on water and food security on May 2, during the 2011 global Water for Food Conference. The agreement, between the university’s Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft, Netherlands, enables NU students to study abroad and bring students from developing nations to the University of Nebraska. Their studies will focus on agriculture and water resources management. “The opportunity for international students to study in Nebraska — to see production agriculture at its best, to study the High Plains Aquifer, and to have
Following a national search, Ellen Weissinger, interim senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, was been selected by Chancellor Harvey Perlman to take over that position permanently on March 15. Weissinger, formerly dean of Graduate Studies, was appointed interim vice Weissinger chancellor Dec. 21, 2009, by Perlman. She held numerous administrative positions at UNL before being appointed dean of Graduate Studies Jan. 18, 2008. She was also a professor of educational psychology specializing in quantitative research methodology. Read more at http://go.unl. edu/2011_weissinger.
as their field laboratory a state that is a global food producer will offer an unparalleled breadth of experience,” said James B. Milliken, NU President. “Nebraska students will benefit from renowned IHE programs in water management, environmental science, water engineering and other disciplines, gaining new insights into the global water agenda.” In addition to study tours and student exchanges, the partners will develop joint Master of Science degree programs in water for food; short courses on advanced
450+ from 25 nations attend Water for Food conference More than 450 people from 25 nations attended the 2011 global Water for Food Conference May 1-4. The conference explored how to solve the challenge of growing more food with limited water to feed the world’s growing population. The conference featured more than 60 speakers and panelists from agriculture, industry, universities, governments and nongovernmental organizations. http://go.unl.edu/wff2011
Lenton named WFF director
Roberto Lenton, chair of the independent World Bank Inspection Panel and one of the world’s foremost experts in water management and development, has been named to lead the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute. Lenton will also hold an appointment as professor of biological systems engineering at UNL. His appointment begins Feb. 1, 2012. http://go.unl.edu/lenton
Grant fuels partnership with Ethiopian universities A U.S. Department of Agriculture International Science and Education grant will help strengthen the global competitiveness of UNL faculty and students through international research and education by using a newly established partnership between UNL and two Ethiopian universities. An interdisciplinary team from UNL, comprising anthropology faculty from
the College of Arts and Sciences and faculty from the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was awarded $149,579 for the project. “This UNL team was able to leverage their multidisciplinary expertise in agricultural and social sciences and their experience conducting international research to win this competitive grant from USDA to address important chal-
lenges associated with food security in Ethiopia,” said Susan Fritz, then associate IANR vice chancellor and interim dean of UNL’s Agricultural Research Division. One of the goals of the project is to increase opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in international research at a low cost alongside UNL faculty. http://go.unl.edu/ddk
Research $4M NSF grants help bolster leads to math, science in Nebraska solar panel startup NUtech Ventures at UNL and Rare Earth Solar, a new Nebraska company, have reached an exclusive license agreement expected to lead to the development of breakthrough solar panel technology made with rare earth elements. Rare Earth Solar will be the first solar panel manufacturer in Nebraska. Chin Li “Barry” Cheung, assistant professor of chemistry at UNL, and his then-doctoral student Joseph Brewer developed the patent-pending technology, which replaces the typical semiconductor materials now used in solar cell manufacture with rare earth elements. Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the partnership confirms that there are great opportunities to leverage UNL research to create economic growth for all of Nebraska. http://go.unl.edu/wnh
Entrepreurship gauged The state of Nebraska rose three spots to No. 21 in the State Entrepreneurship Index, a nationwide analysis and ranking system that compares how states stack up in terms of business formation and innovation. The SEI, developed by economists at UNL’s Bureau of Business Research and Department of Economics was released Aug. 2. Nationally, New York held the top spot with a score of 2.34. http://go.unl.edu/n7e
The National Science Foundation awarded UNL two grants totaling more than $4 million to support improved mathematics and science education in Nebraska schools that need it most. The grants are through NSF’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program, which aims to encourage talented science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and professionals to become K-12 mathematics and science teachers in “high-need” classrooms. High-need schools include those that educate a large percentage of students living in poverty, or have high teacher turnover rates or a significant number of teachers educating outside their training. “With these grants, UNL is building on our faculty’s expertise and national leadership in math and science education as well as strong ongoing partnerships
with schools statewide to increase the number of highly qualified math and science teachers,” said Prem S. Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “This is a win-win for our Nebraska students and school districts. What we learn from these projects can offer national models for improving math and science education.” The scholarship program is named for Robert Noyce, who co-founded Intel and invented the integrated circuit, which sparked the personal computer revolution. Noyce cared deeply about the dwindling number of students heading into math and science careers. UNL’s Center for Science, Mathematics and Computer Education will administer both grants. http://go.unl.edu/x5g
Project brings soybean studies into elementary classrooms Soybean plants grow on 5.35 million Nebraska acres and were in line for a record-breaking 2010 harvest, but what intrigues Maxey Elementary schoolchildren are the legumes growing in their classrooms. After all, soybean, while relevant to Nebraska, is a model organism that can promote understanding of real science, say collaborators of a soybean education project that brought Maxey teachers into UNL laboratories to work alongside university faculty. “I love the fact that we had the opportunity to be involved in a real research project and follow basically the same scientific process scientists follow,” said Dwight Thiemann, Maxey fourth-grade teacher. He said he appreciates ideas for
Troy Fedderson, Editor Kelly Bartling, News Director Meg Lauerman, Director, University Communications
The UNL recycling program continues to gain steam. Between 2005 and 2010, the university doubled annual totals for both tons recycled and percent of total waste recycled.
Year Tons Recycled Percent of waste recycled 2005 692 20 2006 790 23 2007 910 25 2008 1,419 35 2009 1,324 44 2010 2,082 42
UNL also recycles used office equipment. In 42 surplus inventory open houses held in 2010-11, 2,748 surplus items were recycled for use in campus offices.
Nebraska Transportation Center engineering professor, worked with diesel fleet owners Werner Enterprises, headquartered in Omaha; Dynamic Transit of St. Louis; and Barlow Truck Line of Faucett, Mo.; to administer funds to help offset the cost of purchasing EPA-verified APUs for their diesel-powered trucks. For each truck, this retrofit saves about $1,200 in fuel for each year of useful life of the APU. Read more at http://go.unl.edu/g3K.
UNL leads green building project Ken Price, Hillegass University Professor of American Literature, found nearly 3,000 previously undiscovered documents written by Walt Whitman. The documents were found in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
Price uncovers papers penned by Walt Whitman s a clerk in the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in the 1860s and 1870s, Walt Whitman had a firsthand view of the legal, cultural and ideological challenges facing the nation after the Civil War. That experience, most believe, shaped his later works of poetry and prose. Now, a UNL researcher has discovered nearly 3,000 previously unknown Whitman documents from that era — a trove of information that sheds new light on the legendary poet’s post-war thinking, as well as Whitman’s published reflections on the state of the nation that soon followed. “This was an age of high hopes but also big problems, and Walt Whitman was there in the thick of it,” said Kenneth Price, Hillegass University Professor of American Literature at UNL, who recently uncovered the documents in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. “He was not a passive observer; he was participating, on a daily basis, in issues that were shaping what the nation would be like after the war.” The documents consist of Whitman’s handwritten clerical work from 1865 to 1873 when he was a scribe in the attorney general’s office in the nation’s capital. For more than two years, Price pored over a range of documents, including large, bound 900-page letter books in the archive, discovering for the first time thousands of official federal letters that were written in Whitman’s hand. “I had a hunch there might be three, four, maybe five documents still there. I looked through hundreds of pages without finding anything, and was starting to get blearyeyed,” Price said. “Then, there it was, a page entirely in Whitman’s handwriting. Then, a few others. Then, a whole string of them, all in Whitman’s hand.” In his clerical work, Whitman hand-copied letters and papers authored by federal officials on issues ranging from Reconstruction to the enforcement of new civil rights amendments to the myriad consequences of westward expansion. The government kept the copies in the massive letter books as
his science curriculum and that “the kids are loving this.” His fourth-graders enthusiastically make statements such as “I didn’t even know what a soybean looked like” and “This is so cool. It’s kind of like we’re farmers ... kind of.” Said another, “I’ve never planted a farm plant before.” Coordinating the soybean in the classroom project are Tiffany HengMoss, associate professor of entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, and Jon Pedersen, UNL professor of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences. They sought and received project funding from the Nebraska Soybean Board and the United Soybean Board.
Growing Green | UNL recycling program continues to make progress This special edition of the Scarlet, the newspaper for faculty and staff of the University of Nebraska— Lincoln, was published by: University Communications 321 Canfield Administration Building P. O. Box 880424 Lincoln, NE 68588-0424 Telephone: 472-8518 Fax: 472-7825 Web site: www.unl.edu/scarlet
The Nebraska Transportation Center at UNL has completed work under a $1 million grant to help retrofit commercial trucks with auxiliary power units, known as APUs, reducing emissions and saving thousands of gallons of diesel fuel per year. The center reported 273 trucks were retrofitted. Fleet owners paid 40 percent of the equipment and installation costs, while grant funds covered the remaining costs. According to Steve Phillips, senior vice president of operations for Werner Enterprises, each APU saves over 300 gallons of diesel fuel per year as a result of the retrofit. Funding for the project was provided in 2009 through the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Project principal investigator Larry Rilett, director of the Nebraska Transportation Center and a UNL civil
irrigated agriculture, water use efficiency, field measurements and other topics; and collaborative research projects on the use of water for agriculture. NU administrators began discussions with UNESCO-IHE following the first Water for Food Conference in 2009 and agreed that Nebraska’s expertise in water and production agriculture and IHE’s experience in water management focused on developing nations provide the foundation for a strong partnership. UNESCO-IHE is the world’s largest international postgraduate water education facility. It is established as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Category I Institute, operating under direct responsibility of UNESCO.
ing systems research laboratories,” DOE said in a news release announcing selection of the teams. Jonathan Shi, professor in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction in UNL’s College of Engineering, heads the team, which includes faculty from UNL’s colleges of Engineering and Architecture as well as the University of Florida. The project also includes private-sector partners. Shi said the team is eligible to receive up to $2.5 million per year in DOE funding over the next 4.5 years for work to identify, test and validate energy efficiency measures in new and existing homes.
Extension creates flood resource website
an official record of the correspondence. Those letters, though not officially authored by Whitman, likely felt his influence, Price said. At the same time, the weighty national issues passing through his office and his desk almost certainly had an effect on Whitman. “These ideas passed through his mind, passed through his fingertips, and no doubt were absorbed into his consciousness,” Price said. “These are fascinating documents — they show, down to the exact day, when Whitman was aware of certain things and what issues he spent time on.” These documents shaped “Democratic Vistas,” Whitman’s seminal 1871 analysis of American democracy that is arguably his greatest work of prose. Casting a skeptical eye on the nation’s character and values while sharing a vision for an ideal democratic society, “Vistas” remains one of the most penetrating examinations of American society ever written. Ed Folsom, Carver Professor of English at the University of Iowa, said Price’s discovery is “a stunning find.” The discovery “will revolutionize our understanding of Whitman during the explosive Reconstruction years, since we will be able to track, on a virtually daily basis, just what social and political issues he was thinking about and working on,” Folsom said. “These newly discovered documents will allow biographers, critics, teachers and students to add a rich texture and deep background to our understanding of Whitman’s post-war work.” The discovery was made possible in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which provided grant funding to advance research on Whitman’s correspondence. The letters will be published in the online Walt Whitman Archive, www.whitmanarchive.org.
Sometimes, good leaders need to be bad Outgoing. Assertive. Calm. Practical. Decisive. These are obvious qualities that one would want in their leaders. But what about, say, arrogant, hesitant, overly dramatic, inflexible, or being a “yes-man”? A new study has found that when it comes to leading, some of those negative personality traits aren’t such a bad thing, either. The work, by researchers in the College of Business Administration, studied the development of leaders over a three-year period. Prior research Harms had established that clearly positive personality qualities — such as extraversion, emotional stability and con-
UNL engineers and architects are partnering with University of Florida researchers, home builders and remodelers, and other businesses on research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and improve technologies for making American homes more energy efficient. UNL will lead one of 15 research and deployment teams that DOE selected for its Building America program to pursue innovations that save energy and enhance comfort in new and existing U.S. homes. The UNL-led project is titled Building Energy Efficient Homes for America. The team “possesses impressive simulation and computing facilities, as well as build-
scientiousness — had helpful effects on both the performance and the development of leaders. Little attention has been paid, though, to negative, or “dark side,” personality traits and whether they are really so bad. Peter Harms, assistant professor of management was the study’s lead author. The study tracked more than 900 officer cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Several of the 11 “dark side” traits actually had a positive effect on a number of facets of the cadets’ leadership development over time. http://go.unl.edu/o4n
A new UNL Extension website, at http://flood.unl.edu/, was created to pool news and information to help Nebraskans deal with the 2011 flood. The UNL Extension Flood Resources site includes materials from UNL experts, other land-grant universities and government entities to help Nebraskans deal with flooding. At the site, visitors will find materials in a number of topic areas, including: home, family, business, food safety, small business recovery, acreage and rural living, wells and drinking water, garden and horticulture, crops, cropland, livestock and pets. “For those that have web access, this resource offers flood information in one location that Nebraskans can use to help them get through this time,” said Rick
Koelsch, UNL Extension assistant dean. “Local Extension offices also can help you access some of this information from the best research-based resources from across the United States.” New materials has been continually added to the site.
The Nebraska News Service provides stories and photographs to participating state news organizations free of charge. During legislative sessions, news coverage will focus on the legislature’s activities. The Nebraska News Service also covers state agencies and related issues.
Baenziger, Taylor earn top honors UNL professors Stephen Baenziger and Stephen Taylor were selected among the 2011 winners of the University of Nebraska’s most prestigious awards for research, teaching and engagement. The universitywide awards recognize faculty whose work has made a strong impact on students, the uni- Baenziger versity and the state. Award recipients are selected by committees of outstanding peers. Baenziger, Eugene Price Distinguished Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, was honored with the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity award. The ORCA recognizes individual faculty members for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance.
Taylor, professor of food science and technology, earned the Innovation, Development and Engagement Award. The IDEA recognizes faculty members who have extended their academic expertise beyond the boundaries of the university in ways that have enriched the broader community. In 25 years at Taylor UNL, Baenziger has developed an international reputation as a wheat breeder whose research is helping to feed more people and improve lives in Nebraska and around the world. In his 35 years of research in food safety and toxicology, Taylor has become an international authority in the areas of sulfite sensitivity and food allergies. Read more about the awards at http:// go.unl.edu/dwe.
Shining a light on human trafficking Human trafficking is a dilemma that exists in every corner of the globe — by some estimates, some 28 million people worldwide are enslaved against their will. In September 2010, UNL hosted the Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking. For a second year in a row, the gathering brought together officials, nongovernmental organizations and law enforc-
UNL selected three new deans during the 2010-2011 academic year. In August, Archie Clutter was named dean of the Agricultural Research Division and director of the Agricultural Research Station. Clutter starts at UNL on Sept. 26. Read more at http://go.unl. edu/2011_clutter. In May, Patrick Dussault, Charles Bessey professor of chemistry, was selected new dean of Graduate Studies. He started on June 1. Read more at http://go.unl. edu/2011_dussault. And, in April, Timothy Wei was named dean of the College of Engineering. Wei started at UNL on June 1. Read more at http://go.unl. edu/2011_wei.
Parents group honors 94 UNL faculty, staff
State government news service launched More than 60 newspapers, television and radio stations throughout Nebraska received regular news updates about state government and the legislature’s actions from a new reporting service of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.
3 deans selected
ers from around the world to share research and resources that tackle human trafficking. More than 100 participants attended the conference, which is part of a broadbased effort at UNL to become an international hub for human trafficking research. UNL’s third human trafficking conference is Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. http://go.unl.edu/60c
The UNL Teaching Council and UNL Parents Association honored 94 faculty and staff at an annual recognition ceremony on Feb. 4. Certificates of recognition for contributions to students were given during the ceremony. The awards provide positive feedback to campus faculty and staff about the work they do with students. All award winners were nominated by parents of UNL students. See the complete list of award winners at http://go.unl.edu/8m6.
81 retiring faculty recognized UNL honored 81 retiring faculty with a special reception on April 21. Also this year, UNL offered an early retirement package to faculty meeting requirements. An estimated 270 faculty members were eligible. The retirement package was offered to create budget flexibility by saving on faculty salaries.
In memorium Rose Frolik
Rose Frolik, founder and first president of the University of Nebraska Office Professionals Association, died Dec. 21. She was 101. She worked at the university for 22 years, starting in 1947. She founded UNOPA in 1962. Frolik, a University of Nebraska graduate, worked to establish a professional certification program for office personnel. In 1988, UNOPA established the Rose Frolik Award, which annually recognizes a UNOPA member. These obituaries were featured in the Scarlet during the 2010-2011 academic year. All obituaries are available online at www.unl.edu/scarlet. Mark Colligan Kim Robert Cummings John Richard Hardy Ed Hirsh Robert Katz Jaroslav Kohl Stephen James Lavin June Perry Levine
William “Bill” Long Jeannine Marie Moore Roger Pabian Elizabeth Petrakis Joseph “Joe” Rowson Marie Jordan Sanwick Arnold Schatz Jefferey James Walker
The University of Nebraska— Lincoln is an equal opportunity educator and employer with a comprehensive plan for diversity.
50 years of highway paleontology
Keim Hall dedication
Kaleena Henning, All-University Picnic
Kathy Glenn with Wi ley
Dennis Ferraro, herpetology open house
Archie gets a bath
Doug Zatechka retires
University Theatre production of “The Misanthrope ”
4| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Scarlet | The Year in Review
Schlichting selected as UNL’s 14th Truman Scholar News of winning the highly competitive Truman Scholarship brought tears to the eyes of Omaha’s Emily Schlichting, an outspoken advocate for health care reform and honors student. The scholarship awards $30,000 to juniors pursuing careers in public service, providing financial support for students to attend graduate or professional school to prepare for careers in government, nonprofit organizations or somewhere in the public sector. Schlichting is a junior majoring in communication studies and political science. UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman joined by Laura Damuth,
Watch an interview with Truman Scholar Emily Schlicthing online at http://go.unl.edu/2011_truman. UNL’s director of undergraduate research and fellowship adviser, and others helped make the surprise announcement in Schlichting’s communications class on March 30 in Oldfather Hall. Schlichting was overcome with emotion. “I’ve never really felt like this before,” she said. “It’s satisfying with a little bit of disbelief. I don’t think it’s fully set in yet.” More than 600 applicants from 264 universities were considered for the scholarships, of which typically
60 to 65 are selected. Schlichting was one of three UNL students, and 197 overall, interviewed as finalists. A Truman scholarship is an extraordinarily competitive honor and seeing one go to a UNL student is especially exciting because of the university’s tradition of having Truman Scholars, Perlman said. In 2010, UNL was named a Truman Honor Institution, which recognizes the university’s outstanding record of support for Truman scholars. Schlichting will use the Truman scholarship to go to graduate school, where she told Truman officials she plans to pursue master’s degrees in public health and public policy.
Emily Schlicthing smiles after learning she won a Truman Scholarship. She plans to use the $30,000 award for graduate school and plans to pursue a master’s in public health and public administration.
Elena Shomos will travel to Albania on a Boren Scholarship to conduct research and learn the Albanian language. She leaves for her nine-month trip in early September. http://go.unl.edu/hqk
Jeffrey Lopez, a junior studying chemical engineering, has been awarded a 2011 Goldwater Scholarship. Lopez plans to go to graduate school, where he will likely study materials science. http://go.unl.edu/q98 Walter Bircher, a freshman honors student, spent the summer studying in Bursa, Turkey, on a Critical Language Scholarship. Bircher is a mechanical engineering major. http://go.unl.edu/yo0 Zachary Kane and Jorden Mills were honored by the Office of Student Affairs with UNL’s 2011 Outstanding Student Leadership Awards on April 8. http://go.unl.edu/49h Elizabeth Jaensch, a sophomore biochemistry major, conducted research in Germany this summer through the DAAD RISE scholarship program. Jaensch conducted research on genomes and plant breeding in Cologne. http://go.unl.edu/yef Sarah Anthony, Hans Christensen, Irina Sulejmanovic and Michaela Wolf earned Gilman Scholarships to Study Abroad. Anthony studied at the National University of Ireland. Christensen studied at Universitiy of Cape Town in South Africa. Sulejmanovic went to Berlin through UNL’s Deutsch in Deutschland program. Wolf will study at AngloAmerican University in Prague, Czech Republic. The four Gilman awards set a new UNL record.
UNL has banner year, 9 students earn Fulbright scholarships record nine UNL students will study abroad in the coming year using prestigious Fulbright Scholarships. The feat is particularly noteworthy because the national program received a record number of applications, up 40 percent, and competition was intense. The Fulbright Program, established in 1946 and funded by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to foster understanding between the United States and other countries. The U.S. Student Fulbright program gives recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals the opportunity to conduct research, study or teach in one of the 155
countries that the program operates. About 8,000 grants are awarded annually, and about 1,600 of those grants are awarded to U.S. students. “Students are increasingly interested in study-abroad opportunities at the post-graduate level; Fulbright Scholarships either provide full support for research collaborations between UNL students and foreign scholars, or for teaching English at the university. secondary or elementary school level,” said Laura Damuth, UNL’s fellowships adviser. UNL is boosting its efforts to help students compete successfully for these prestigious scholarships by identifying potential applicants early in
their college careers and coaching candidates to enrich their academic credentials. “Students work with me to compose clear, concise essays, compile application materials including strong letters of recommendation, and ensure that all deadlines are met. Clearly, the efforts are paying off with this year’s record number of successful candidates,” she said. The “name brand value” of the Fulbright scholarship also enhances recipients’ resumes once they return from their experience, making them more competitive in tight job markets.
Team studies at NASA’s MicrogravityU A team of UNL engineering students traveled to Houston’s Johnson Space Center to conduct research for NASA that had them floating on-board reduced gravity missions, March 31 through April 9. The team was chosen in December to participate in NASA’s 2011 Microgravity University. The program engages selected college
and university teams in scientific research that helps the U.S. space program to refine its efforts. Nebraska was one of nine teams at Microgravity University this year. The UNL team worked to stabilize the sloshing of fuel components in a tank. The team’s adviser is Carl Nelson, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Emerging talent in ceramics MATTHEW MASIN|SOPHOMORE, BROADCASTING MAJOR
UNL students Kay Kemmet (left) and Emily Walkenhorst interview a family in the slums of Delhi. Journalism students spent two weeks working on stories in India. Their work is available online at http:// digitalmediaindia.org/.
Lauren Mabry, a master of fine arts in ceramics candidate in the Department of Art and Art History, won first prize for her piece, “Cylinder” (pictured at right), in the Marge Brown Kalodner Graduate Student Exhibition at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. The exhibit identifies emerging artists whose work is deserving of attention.
‘Show Your Red’ campaign promotes students’ character, integrity The Office of Student Affairs is encouraging UNL students — and everyone on campus, for that matter — to “Show Your Red.” The Show Your Red campaign, which launched Aug. 19 during New Student Convocation, recognizes students for demonstrating character traits of integrity, defined as: caring, citizenship, commitment, dependability, open-mindedness and respect. Students who
Jorgensen Hall dedication
are spotted doing the right thing and can be identified, will be given a pin corresponding to a character trait. Those who can’t be identified will celebrated — or, at least their behavior can — through social media (the campaign has a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ShowYour Red and Twitter www.twitter.com/ShowYourRed) or by emailing email@example.com.
PR society collects blu e jeans
Linda Major, assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs, was charged by Vice Chancellor Juan Franco with leading the effort. The campaign arose from the Cornhuskers with Character Committee, comprising UNL students and staff. Committee members used survey data and a review of literature to develop the list of character traits consistent with the mission and vision of the university.
Theresa Baker at Abel-Sandoz dining service
NET, Theatre, Journalism team-up
Jessica Lutton Bedient blood drive
which previously received training on farming techniques from extension. “It’s pretty exciting,” Hammond said. “It’s an awesome opportunity to do what extension does best — help the people.” Hammond and the National Guard team are working in the eastern Afghanistan provinces Paktia and Paktika. Hammond’s mission is being funded by the Department of Defense’s agri-
culture development program in Iraq and Afghanistan. Elbert Dickey, dean and director of UNL Extension, said all Nebraskans should be proud of this initiative. “This is one more step in helping the world meet food and fiber needs of the future. The dream is that Afghanistan will redevelop its agriculture, eventually returning to a foodexporting country,” Dickey said.
Swearer joins White House bullying forum
Curtis L. Weller, a professor of food and bioprocess engineering, was named one of 13 Jefferson Science Fellows for 2011-2012. Jefferson Fellows advise policymakers in the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development on a variety of topics related to global food systems, food processing and sanitation for food and drinking water. Weller began his assignment Aug. 15. http://go.unl.edu/xg0
Chris Calkins, professor of animal science received the 2011 Distinguished Research Award from the American Meat Science Association. The award, established in 1965, recognizes members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry. http://go.unl.edu/rtj
UNL students who earned a Fulbright scholarship and where the award will take them are (clockwise, from top left): Jennifer Birdsall, Macedonia to teach English; Cori Curtis, Turkey to be an English teaching assistant; Alyx Dodds Garner, Germany to teach English at a middle school and lead an economics club; Alexandria Knipe, Turkey to research ancient Islamic pots; Carrie Walker, Jamaica to research African literature; Laura Roost, Rwanda to study the role of women’s non-governmental organizations in the country’s post-genocidal recovery; Sarah Lee, South Korea to work as an English teaching assistant; and Jenna Gibson, South Korea to work as an English teaching assistant and write for an English-language newspaper. Not pictured is Anita Middleton, who will travel to Russia to be an English teaching assistant.
of war, which started with the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion. “So many farmers didn’t survive. Their art of taking care of the land and producing food was not passed down to their children,” Hammond said. “We want to give them some options beyond what they’re doing now.” To that end, Hammond worked in August and September with the Nebraska National Guard Agribusiness Development Team,
Awards & Honors
James Alfano, Charles Bessey professor of plant pathology and member of UNL’s Center for Plant Science Innovation, was elected a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society. The organization is devoted to the study of plant diseases. Membership includes nearly 5,000 plant pathologists and scientists worldwide. http://go.unl.edu/s5s
sc ho lar s
Graduate students in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences won fellowships to work at national laboratories. Jacob Anderson and Amy Gehring won fellowships to work at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. David Peterson won a fellowship to work at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, Calif. http://go.unl.edu/pey
Extension educator assists farmers in Afghanistan Vaughn Hammond, a UNL Extension educator, is in Afghanistan helping farmers there make the transition back to growing crops earlier generations grew before decades of war befell the nation. Hammond, a specialist in growing small fruits and market vegetables, is based at the Kimmel Education and Research Center at Nebraska City. The Afghan people grew such crops before entering more than two decades
Mathematics major Zach Norwood is the first UNL student to win the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and one of 30 in the United States this year. The scholarship is for graduate study in any field at the University of Cambridge in England. http://go.unl.edu/mjv
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 5
Scarlet | The Year in Review
Joan Giesecke, dean of Libraries, earned the 2011 American Library Association Equality Award. The annual award is given for outstanding contributions toward promoting equality in the library profession. Giesecke has made diversity a priority, incorporating it into the strategic plan for the UNL Libraries. http://go.unl.edu/2qc Joe Starita, a professor in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, received the National Education Association’s Leo Reano Memorial Award. The human and civil rights award acknowledging Starita’s work toward the education and achievement of equal opportunity for American Indians. http://go.unl.edu/nbw Brett Ratcliffe, curator of the Entomology Research Collections at the University of Nebraska State Museum and a professor in the Department of Entomology, received honorary membership into the Coleopterists Society. The award is the society’s highest honor, given in recognition of devotion to the study of beetles and dedication to the discipline. http://go.unl.edu/duj Bill Kelly, NET News senior producer, received two national journalism awards for reporting in “CSI On Trial,” and its multi-part companion radio series. The awards were for Radio Investigative Reporting (market 101-plus) and for Documentaries (50-plus market). http://go.unl.edu/785
Faculty Fulbrights UNL faculty also earn Fulbright awards. Those reported in the Scarlet and Today@UNL are: • Miles Bryant, professor of educational administration, studied at Ilia State University in the Republic of Georgia. • Matt Dwyer, professor of computer science and engineering, is pursuing a research project at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. • Bob Portnoy, director of psychological services, is based at Nanjing University in China. • Christine Timm, associate director of Career Services, studied in Germany.
Pam Waldvogle at Get Rec’d
Carina Curto, assistant professor of mathematics, was selected for a Sloan Research Fellowship. Past recipients of the award have gone on to win 38 Nobel Prizes, 14 Fields Medals in mathematics and eight John Bates Clark awards in economics.
Curto named Sloan Research Fellow arina Curto, assistant professor of mathematics, was selected for a Sloan Research Fellowship for her research in the field of mathematical neuroscience. The two-year fellowship awards Curto $50,000 to put toward her research. “I was thrilled to receive the news,” Curto said. “This award will benefit my research significantly, especially because of its flexible nature. I greatly appreciate all those who supported me
in my nomination, as well as my close collaborators.” The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which announced its newest recipients on Feb. 15, awards 118 Sloan Research Fellowships each year, bringing total grants in the program to $5.9 million annually. The fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by earlycareer scientists and scholars of outstanding promise. Twenty fellowships are allocated in the field of mathematics. Curto’s research, funded by
a three-year National Science Foundation grant, uses mathematics to improve understanding of how the brain works, especially at the level of information processing in neural circuits. Many neurological disorders such as autism, Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia are believed to arise from malfunctions in neural circuitry. Sloan Research Fellows are free to pursue whatever lines of inquiry are the most compelling, and their Sloan funds can be applied to a wide variety of uses.
Gift creates early childhood institute A gift from Omaha philanthropist Susie Buffett will allow University of Nebraska experts to reach out and assist at-risk children and their families. Announced Jan. 31, the gift will establish the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska. The institute will be a multidisciplinary research, education, outreach and policy center designed to help transform current approaches to early childhood development and education in Nebraska and nationwide. It will focus on children from birth to age 8, especially those who are vulnerable due to poverty, abuse, or developmental, learning or behavior changes. The institute will capitalize on expertise available on the four NU campuses. Centers that will be involved include UNL’s Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools; the Munroe-Meyer Institute at
the University of Nebraska Medical Center; UNMC’s College of Public Health; and the colleges of education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Nebraska at Kearney. Other partners from UNL will include the College of Education and Human Sciences; Ruth Staples Child Development Laboratory; Barkley Memorial Center; and the Center on Children, Families and the Law. http://go.unl.edu/qap
Sociologist uses $500K grant to study health disparities Bridget Goosby, assistant professor of sociology, received a nationally competitive grant to study how such social factors — such as poverty and racial discrimination — affect human biology and contribute to health disparities. The National Institutes of Health grant, a five-year, $562,000 Mentored Research Scientists Development Award, aims to help exceptional faculty develop as outstanding teacher-scholars and independent researchers. Through her research, Goosby aims to gather valuable information that could change how Americans understand what it takes to be healthy — far beyond diet Goosby and exercise. “When you’re taking about vulnerable populations, it’s going to take a lot more than that. This is something much, much more complicated than just these kinds of Band-Aid fixes at the policy level,” she said. “We need to figure out how to help families. We need to figure out how to eradicate discrimination and racism, economic inequality — these are all factors that influence people’s health.”
Independent Study High School honored The United States Distance Learning Association presented a 2011 International Distance Learning Award to UNL’s Independent Study High School for high school physics in the K-12 Best Practices and Distance Learning Programming category.
Exchange program nets innovation award The New York-based Institute of International Education recognized UNL’s Harold E. Spencer Exchange Program in Teacher Education with a 2011 Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.
Steve Forbes visits UNL
The Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools and the Obama administration asked UNL associate professor of school psychology Susan Swearer to share her expertise on the causes of and solutions for bullying during a conference at the White House. Swearer S w e a r e r, a national expert on the subject, was featured March 10 in a select panel of researchers taking part in the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention.
Navy awards Han $100K A UNL engineer’s idea is among the top 10 winners in the U.S. Department of the Navy’s national Chief of Naval Research Challenge. M i n g Han, assistant professor of electrical engineering, will receive $100,000 for his research Han initiative, “Miniature and Durable FiberOptic Microphone for Accurate Measurement of High-Level Noise.” The Office of Naval Research selected 10 winners from nearly 100 proposals nationwide. Han is using the award to develop noise-control and noise-reduction technologies for the Navy. http://go.unl.edu/mj7
Richards writes composition for Parton Big Band An online collaboration ended with a standing ovation for Eric Richards. The assistant professor of composition and jazz studies premiered a three-movement concert work in December during the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Richards Chicago. The composition was created after a request from the leader of the Rob Parton Big Band, a 19-piece jazz ensemble. http://go.unl.edu/wo5
Lewis named Brassil earns of the year CAREER award prof Jim Lewis, Aaron Douglas Chad Brassil, an assistant professor of biological sciences, is using mathematical models to study how duckweed populations respond to temperature fluctuations. His research may help scientists better predict how more frequent, intense storms and droughts affect food webs. Brassil earned a five-year, $531,141 Faculty Early Career Development Program award from the National Science Foundation for this research. http://go.unl.edu/y3r
Nick Famoso at Dinosaurs and Disasters
University Theatre production of “Iphigenia 2.0”
Professor of math, was named the 2010 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Nebraska Professor of the Year. The award is part of the U.S. Professors of the Year Awards Program, which recognizes dedicated educators who have had a profound impact on the lives of students and contributed significantly to undergraduate education. http://go.unl.edu/foa
Russell Parde at the UNL Dairy Store
Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 | 7
6| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
UNL Research: momentum maintained Even with a slight decrease in federal funding received, research at UNL maintained its forward momentum in 2010-2011. Since 2000, UNL’s research funding has increased more than 168 percent. UNL also achieved a long-standing goal of exceeding $100 million in federal research awards for the first time this year. Total research funding from federal sources was $107.7 million, a 239 percent increase since 2000. “This growth represents our faculty’s achievement of an ambitious goal we set just a few years ago,” said Prem Paul, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “It shows that UNL is a research university on the map and that our faculty researchers are consistently demonstrating leading-edge research and scholarship.” Major research awards recieved in 2010-2011 included: $11.1 million from the National Science Foundation’s EPSCoR program to create and support the Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials and the Nebraska Coalition for Algal Biology and Biotechnology. $5.8 million from the Department of Defense Army Research Office for research on nanoscale magnetoelectronic devices. $5.6 million from the National Institutes of Health to support research on viral diseases affecting plants, animals and humans at the Nebraska Center for Virology. $4.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education through Ohio State University to support UNL education researchers’ contributions to a nationwide initiative to improve children’s reading comprehension. Nearly $4 million from the Department of Defense Air Force Office of Scientific Research to develop software for military applications. Nearly $1.2 million from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities and to expand the University of Nebraska Press’ offerings.
Our trajectory of success exceeds that of most major research universities and we expect it to continue with increased opportunities for collaboration among Big Ten universities. Harvey Perlman, Chancellor
Duo part of effort to solve global bee crisis UNL entomologists continue to help shed light on the global bee crisis. In the third year of a four-year, $4 million USDA multi-state grant given to 16 U.S. universities, Marion Ellis and Blair Siegfried, entomologists in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UNL, and other scientists across the country are studying factors affecting honey bee health that have led to significant losses in the critical insect population. Ellis said many hoped the group would find a single cause of the losses, but instead, it is more of a cumulative effect of many things. UNL research specifically is looking at pesticides and effects of certain varroacide and fungicide combinations on honey bee health, Ellis said. Varroacides are used to kill mites preventing them from destroying bee
Donde Plowman and Koan Nissen
Twelve projects proposed by interdisciplinary teams received seed funding in the UNL Life Sciences Initiative’s inaugural competitive grants program. Proposed by Chancellor Harvey Perlman in his 2009 State of the University Address, the Life Sciences Initiative brings together faculty within the many disciplines of the life sciences. The Life Sciences Initiative is seen as an important tool as UNL aligns with Big Ten universities. The internal grants competition encourages faculty to build multidisciplinary teams across departments, centers and colleges to tackle new life sciences research projects.
colonies. Varroa mites first appeared in the U.S. in 1987. Fungicides are used to prevent fungus on orchard crops. Bees are required to pollinate hundreds of flowering fruit, vegetable, seed and nut crops. Without bees, these crops are unable to produce. So far, research at UNL has indicated some varroacides are significantly more toxic to honey bees when applied together.
What you eat before giving blood could cause a severe allergic reaction in people who receive that blood, according to findings by food scientists, including two from UNL. A 6-year-old boy in the Netherlands who received a transfusion suffered an allergic reaction because three of the five donors had eaten peanuts the night before their donation, according to a report in the May 19 New England Journal of Medicine. Joe Baumert and Stef Koppelman, UNL food scientists, were co-authors
of this report, along with colleagues in the Netherlands. They have studied digestion-resistant proteins and allergens in peanuts and Baumert provided key reagents and analytical testing needed for this study. The boy received the transfusion as part of his treatment for blood cancer. Shortly thereafter, he experienced a rash, low blood pressure, swelling and had difficulty breathing, the scientists wrote in the journal. The boy was resuscitated. Read more online at http:// go.unl.edu/0dx.
$2.35M grant supports new E. coli research UNL scientists are taking their battle against foodborne pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 into the belly of the beast, as it were — hoping to figure out what is in the gut of some livestock that makes them so-called “supershedders” of pathogens. The research team, headed by food microbiologist Andy Benson, received a five-year, $2.35 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project will build on earlier work done with lab mice by Benson and his collaborators. With the new USDA grant, UNL scientists have parntered with USDA’s Meat Animal
Research Center at Clay Center and Geneseek, a private, Lincolnbased company that specializes in genotyping. The goal is to try to associate organisms in the cattle’s gastrointestinal tract with genes in the animals to see if some of those interactions are causing certain animals to become supershedders of the E. coli pathogen, while others that may have E. coli present do not shed it in unusual numbers. If those relationships can be understood, it may be possible to develop breeding and genetic programs to reduce the number of animals that shed high levels of pathogens.
ANDRILL surveys new site After recording the two most successful sediment recovery projects in Antarctica history, ANDRILL, the Antarctic Geologic Drilling program, completed an ambitious survey project in the 2010-11 Antarctic field season. The joint United States-New Zealand expedition operated from a remote camp on the Ross Ice Shelf from late October 2010 through early February 2011 studying the ice
and its movements, the sea beneath the ice and its movements, and the rocks beneath the seafloor. The Coulman High Survey Project was led in part by Frank Rack, executive director the ANDRILL Science Management Office at UNL. This season’s survey project is in preparation for a proposed third drilling project being planned for the 2013-14 season.
unusual death of Amy Robsart, the first wife of Lord Robert Dudley, who served on Elizabeth’s court and attempted to convince the queen to marry him. The queen eventually refused, in part because of the scandal tied to Robsart’s death. As rumors swirled that Robsart had breast cancer and Dudley was waiting for her to die to marry Elizabeth, Robsart was found dead at the bottom of her staircase with a broken neck. Whether her 1560 death was caused by accident, murder or suicide has never been fully resolved. An inquest ruled it an accident. Levin traveled to London for the taping and presented why she believed
Han Do, UCARE stu dent
Expert opinion Watch a video of Carole Levin discussing the unusual death of Amy Rosbart online at http://go.unl.edu/levin. Robsart took her own life. Robsart kicked everyone out of the house on the day she died and her closest maid testified that she heard Robsart praying to be “delivered from desperation,” Levin said as she ticked off the reasons behind her theory. “My guess is that if she was possibly suffering from breast cancer, was hearing that her husband was a favorite of the queen and hadn’t seen him in over a year, she was probably pretty desperate.”
Bike UNL kick off
Jointly funded by the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Office of Research and Economic Development, the grants are for two years and funding begins July 1. Grants support initial research so teams can gather the preliminary data needed to compete more successfully for external funding. “We have great scientific expertise within our departments at UNL,” said Deb Hamernik, interim associate vice chancellor for research. “This funding is designed to encourage projects that tap expertise across departments to tackle big ideas and problems.”
Bio process facility helps develop HIV-fighting cream
Incident shows allergens in blood can cause reactions in transfusion patients
Levin helps define 16th century death Producers of a British documentary show needed an expert on Queen Elizabeth I of England and they turned to Carole Levin, professor of history and director of UNL’s Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program. Levin specializes in late medieval and early modern English and European cultural and women’s history, including Queen Elizabeth I. She has published several books, including “The Reign of Elizabeth Levin I.” She eagerly jumped at the chance to participate in “Mystery Files,” a show that cracks open the most famous and iconic mysteries. The program, which aired on British television, focused on the
New Life Sciences Initiative funds a dozen interdisciplinary projects
Yong Cho, assistant professor at UNL’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, is developing a method to create live threedimensional models of construction sites.
Cho goes 3-D to improve construction site safety ong Cho is helping the construction industry to work smarter, not harder – and through his research, tomorrow’s job sites will be much safer and more efficient, too. Cho, an assistant professor at UNL’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, is developing a method to build real-time virtual 3-D models of work sites. These laser-guided, computer-generated environments will help automated construction equipment perform complicated tasks. “It sounds a little bit like a movie, only this technology will definitely have real-world applications,” Cho said. “We’re creating virtual three-dimensional worlds for future construction sites, which will most likely be populated with a lot more machines.” That’s because the U.S. construction industry faces a continual shortage of skilled construction craft workers – so it will need to automate to help bridge its labor gap. To carry out intricate tasks in an ever-changing job site, construction robots will require con-
stantly updated and precise data about their surroundings. That’s where Cho’s system comes in. He recently received a $400,000, five-year Faculty Early Career Development Program CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to move forward with the research. The CAREER Award is the NSF’s most prestigious award for outstanding pre-tenure faculty and supports their development as researchers and teacher-scholars. “I’m very honored to receive this award,” Cho said. “It’s very satisfying to be recognized, and it shows that our work is relevant and has a lot of potential.” When remote-controlled robots handle construction materials, they need rapid visualization in their workspaces, not to mention accurate position data, he said. Extremely accurate position data, in fact, so any physical contact the robots make with a target object is on line, and therefore safe and secure. Such a precision-based system will help the construction industry be more environ-
ment-friendly, too, by reducing the amount of construction waste. Cho and his Durham School team’s system features a lightweight hybrid 3D laser scanner, a laser rangefinder and other optical sensors that can be mounted on a construction robot, such as one that drives bolts into girders. Their system will automatically recognize many objects typically found on a construction job site and will use new algorithms to lock in on other various shapes of construction materials and components. Then Cho plans to test the system using real-world robotic test beds, including a multi-joint arm robot in his UNL lab as well as a bolting robot and an automated crane at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. The 3D modeling system is being developed with humans in mind. “The goal is not to replace people with construction robots,” he said. “We want to provide precise, effective and safe ways to help humans perform jobs that can often be very dangerous.”
Physicists eye 4-D imaging A long-standing goal of science is to be able to understand how matter behaves at the atomic and subatomic level. The problem is atoms and molecules are very small, requiring highly specialized equipment to “see” them. The goal to understanding is made more difficult by the fact that everything at the atomic level happens very, very fast, far too quick for the human eye or any existing equipment to detect. Nothing exists to allow scien-
A published paper written by UNL researcher Ross Secord and his team could influence the way scientists think about global warming and its effects. Researchers found that a major pulse of ancient global warming may have been more complex than scientists previously believed. The pulse of warming may have been preceded or even caused Secord by an earlier pulse of warming, said Secord, assistant professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences and curator of vertebrate paleontology at
Great Plains Art Museum’s artists-in-residence
Hua-Chieh Shao and Anthony Starace
Tom Floyd, graphic designer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation award
Xiang pursues lactobacillus bacteria as anti-HIV agent UNL virologist Shi-hua Xiang won the university’s first Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations grant. The initiative enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent global health and development challenges. Xiang, a scientist in the Nebraska Center for Virology, explores the use of lactobacillus bacteria as an anti-HIV agent. The grant for $611,000 announced in July is one of 12 Phase II grants in the Grand Challenges Explorations that will foster creative projects that show great promise to improve the health
of people in the developing world. Global health topics are targeted to diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. Xiang’s research proposes engineering lactobacillus, bacteria which normally reside in human genitals and the gastrointestinal tract, to carry anti-HIV agents such as neutralizing antibodies, peptides or other inhibitors. He and his colleagues hypothesized that introducing the engineered bacteria into the gastrointestinal tract would allow the bacteria to colonize and provide long-lasting protection against HIV. http://go.unl.edu/xiang.
Team shares $2.3M ‘Life on Earth’ grant
the University of Nebraska State Museum. “That has implications for climate models designed to predict the consequences of future global warming,” he said. While a few marine records have suggested a similar finding, the issue has remained unresolved, he said. This is the first evidence of its kind from the continental record, he added. The team’s findings were the focus of a paper published in the Oct. 21 issue of Nature.
transmission. For nearly 20 years, now with a staff of 29 scientists, engineers, and administrative personnel, the UNL Biological Process Development Facility has been recognized as a leading research facility in the development of vaccines and therapeutic agents. The facility recently opened its $11.2 million cGMP manufacturing pilot plant on the first floor of Othmer Hall with more than 6,000 square feet of cleanroom space and another 7,000 square feet of support space in the basement. Read more about this project at http://go.unl.edu/ybi.
This graphic, a scientifically accurate illustration of an HIV virus, was designed by Angie Fox, the staff illustrator for the University of Nebraska State Museum. Find it at http://go.unl.edu/hiv_image.
tists and engineers to see those electronic processes, but UNL physics graduate student HuaChieh Shao and his adviser, theoretical physicist Anthony Starace, have modeled a four-dimensional imaging technique that could lead to a breakthrough. They reported their findings in the online edition of Physical Review Letters. Their paper appeared in the Dec. 31 print edition of the journal.
Paper may sway climate change ideas
With $3.8 million in new funding from the Mintaka Foundation of Medical Research supported by the Wellcome Trust, UNL’s Biological Process Development Facility is developing a process to manufacture a stable and affordable microbicide to protect women from contracting and spreading HIV. The contract is one of the largest and the latest to the university’s Biological Process Development Facility. Over the next two years, the facility will develop a process and manufacture the microbicide, 5P12-RANTES, that can be administered to women in a vaginal cream for resisting HIV
Study challenges perceived links between religion and education It’s pretty much a given that the more educated someone becomes, the more likely they are to question their religious beliefs, stop going to church and even abandon their faith entirely. A UNL study challenges that age-old notion with findings that show education actually has a positive effect on Americans’ churchgoing habits, their devotional practices, their emphasis on religion in daily life and their support for religious leaders to weigh in on the issues of the day. The work, published in a the journal Review of Religious Research, analyzed a nationwide sample of thousands of respon-
dents to the General Social Survey. The analysis determined that education does, in fact, influence Americans’ religious beliefs and activities — but the effects are more complicated than conventional wisdom suggests. “Education influences strategies of action, and these strategies of action are relevant to some religious beliefs and activities, but not others,” said Philip Schwadel, associate professor of sociology at UNL and author of the study. “The effects of education on religion are not simple increases or decreases. In many ways, effects will vary, based on how you define religion.”
Lied Center expansion groundbreaking
A UNL team is collaborating with Harvard University, the University of Michigan and other institutions to develop an innovative evolution exhibit for five U.S. museums, including the Nebraska State Museum. “Life on Earth” is expected to be open to the public at the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall) by 2012 as a permanent display. It will be integrated with the museum’s educational programs for schools and the general public. Life on Earth will also be installed at the Harvard Museum of Natural
History, California Academy of Sciences, Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and Boston Children’s Museum. Judy Diamond, professor and curator of informal science education for the University of Nebraska State Museum, is a co-principal investigator along with Margaret Evans from the University of Michigan. Harvard University Science Discovery Room Lab director Chia Shen is leading the project. Life on Earth is funded by a new three-year, $2.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
UNL, Bayer CropScience team up A licensing agreement between NUtech Ventures and Bayer CropScience AG announced Dec. 15 focuses on wheat improvement. The agreement makes $2 million available for an endowed professorship at UNL. It also includes support for UNL research and education programs, and plans for the company to establish its first North American wheat
breeding station near Lincoln. World-renowned UNL wheat breeder P. Stephen Baenziger is the first to hold the Nebraska Wheat Growers Presidential Chair. Under the agreement, Bayer also will gain access to UNL’s wheat germplasm, the genetic material used to develop new wheat varieties. http://go.unl.edu/957
Clarence Thomas, Law commencement
Ideas rewarded Interdisciplinary research projects awarded funds from the UNL Life Sciences Initiative’s competitive grants program are: Improving Drought Tolerance and Application to Camelina, a New Crop for Nebraska and a New Crop Research Plant: Michael Fromm, agronomy and horticulture and Center for Biotechnology; Zoya Avramova, biological sciences; Ed Cahoon, biochemistry and Center for Plant Science Innovation; Sabrina Russo, biological sciences; Jean-Jack Riethoven, Center for Biotechnology. Exploration of the Gut Microbiome to Identify Bacterial Systems that Degrade Immunotoxic Gluten Peptides: Jens Walter, food science and technology; Steve Taylor, food science and technology; Nandakumar Madayiputhiya, biochemistry. Function of AGO2/AGO3Mediated Gene Silencing in Plant Immune Responses: Bin Yu, biological sciences; Jim Alfano, plant pathology; Chi Zhang, biological sciences; all Center for Plant Science Innovation. Real-time Monitoring of Biofuel Production from Biomass Using Coherent Anti-Stocks Raman Scattering Spectroscopy and Microscopy: Yongfeng Lu, electrical engineering; Paul Black, biochemistry. MicroRNA Regulators and Gene Co-Expression Networks as Models for the Enhancement of Algal Bioenergy Production: Steve Ladunga, statistics; Donald Weeks, biochemistry; Jean-Jack Riethoven, Center for Biotechnology. Analysis of Signal Transducing Proteins Toward Biomedical Application: Etsuko Moriyama, biological sciences and Center for Plant Science Innovation; Shunpu Zhang, statistics; Bo Deng, mathematics; Steven Dunbar, mathematics; Stephen Hartke, mathematics; Guoqing Lu, UNO; Thomas Wilkie, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. A Systems Biology Approach to the Stress Response: Interdisciplinary Research on Soybean Aphid: Nicholas Miller, entomology; Ryan Bickel, biological sciences; Jennifer Brisson, biological sciences; Tiffany Heng-Moss, entomology; Blair Siegfried, entomology; Anthony Zera, biological sciences; Renu Nandakumar, biological sciences. Fatty Acid Analogs as Novel Therapeutic Agents for Pathogenic Mycobacteria: Patrick Dussault, chemistry; Raul Barletta, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences; Andy Benson, food science and technology; Ken Nickerson, biological sciences; Robert Powers, chemistry. Developing a Platform for High-Throughput Field Phenotyping of Stress Response in Maize: Aaron Lorenz, agronomy and horticulture; Richard Ferguson, agronomy and horticulture; George Meyer, biological systems engineering; Greg Kruger, agronomy and horticulture. Systems Approach to Discover “Stress Gene Networks” in Plants: Harkamal Walia, agronomy and horticulture; Chi Zhang, biological sciences and Center for Plant Science Innovation. Mechanisms of Micronutrient Control of Epigenetic Marks in Stem Cells: Angela Pannier, biological systems engineering; Janos Zempleni, nutrition and health sciences; Dong Wang, statistics. Gene Therapy Against Neurodegenerative Disorders Associated with Pesticide Exposure: Rodrigo FrancoCruz, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences; Ming Li, psychology; Nandakumar Madayiputhiya, biochemistry.
8| Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011
Scarlet | The Year in Review
UNL collects honor from Truman Foundation A track record of successful scholars and a university mission that promotes public service caught the eye of the Harry S. Truman Foundation, which last summer named UNL as one of its two honor institutions for 2010-11. Fred Slabach, executive secretary and CEO of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, visited UNL Nov. 8 to meet with prospective scholarship applicants and confer the award. The Truman Scholarship Foundation annually selects two institutions for its honor award, which recognizes an institution’s active encour-
agement of students pursuing careers in public service, effective promotion of the Truman Scholarship program, and sustained success in helping students win Truman Scholarships. The other 2010 honoree is Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. The Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation awards 60 merit-based scholarships each year to college juniors to attend graduate school and pursue a career in public service. Slabach, who received a Truman Scholarship in 1977, the first year they were presented, said UNL “has entered
Chancellor Harvey Perlman (right) accepts the Truman Scholarship Honor Institution plaque from Fred Slabach, executive secretary and CEO of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. The award was presented Nov. 8.
a very elite group of colleges and universities that have at the center of their mission promotion of public service leadership and academic excellence.” Fourteen UNL students have won the highly selective scholarship since 1977 and several other students have been semifinalists. Slabach said each year about 2,000 students begin the process, some 600 are nominated by their institutions and 180 are named finalists. UNL’s most recent Truman Scholar is Emily Schlichting. Turn to Page 2 for more on the award.
NU Press author wins Nobel Prize For the third consecutive year, a University of Nebraska Press author has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, a contributor to “The Global Game: Writers on Soccer” (University of Nebraska Press, 2008), has been named the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature.The other recent Nobel Prize winners published by NU Press are: 2009 Nobel Laureate Herta Mueller, “Nadirs” (1999); and 2008 winner J.M.G. Le Clezio, “The Round and Other Cold Hard Facts” (2002).
“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek and UNL’s Tim Relihan.
Senior second on ‘Jeopardy!’ UNL senior Tim Relihan proved he knows his stuff when it comes to miscellaneous measures, mystery meat and identifying the familiar university linked to a certain diminutive, red college mascot. The Stromsburg native finished in second place with $14,800 during the Nov. 11 broadcast of the “Jeopardy!” College Championship. The syndicated television game show coincidentally featured a question about Lil’ Red. The tournament’s broadcast got under way Nov. 8 and continues through Nov. 19. The tournament’s grand prize is $100,000. Relihan and other players eliminated in the first round received $5,000. Relihan, an international studies and history major, was one of 15 contestants selected for the popular college tournament.
Huskers lead Big 12, Big Ten in Academic All-Americans UNL student-athletes produced another outstanding year in 201011. The Huskers increased their nation-leading total of CoSIDA Academic AllAmericans across all sports to 291 with 14 honorees — the secondhighest overall total in the nation in 2010-11. Nebraska’s 14 honorees led both the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences, while the Huskers expanded their lead over national No. 2 Notre Dame in the all-time CoSIDA Academic All-America standings to 70. NU leads the nation in Academic AllAmericans since 2000 with 101, extending its nation-leading streak to 40 consecutive years with at least one All-American selection.
A UNL student works in rundown chemistry lab space in Hamilton Hall. In March, UNL started a $1.6 million project to renovate four of the chemistry lab spaces. The work is scheduled to be completed by spring 2012.
Chemistry lab gets $1.6M upgrade aboratory space in Hamilton Hall was state of the art when the building opened in 1970. Today, the labs are dreary, substandard, inefficent barriers to teaching. But that is changing as UNL is spending $1.6 million to renovate four of the Hamilton Hall labs. Demolition started during spring break in March, with renovations scheduled for completion in spring 2012. Chemistry is a foundational course for many disciplines at UNL, said Mark Griep, an associate professor of chemistry who
heads the department’s academic affairs. Almost one-third of all UNL students end up in Chemistry 109 labs during their college careers, 80 percent of them as entering freshmen — that’s about 1,700 students per year. Enrollments have grown about 25 percent in the past five years. That growth has exacerbated the labs’ “decrepitude and inefficiency,” Griep said. He and others from the department visited other chemistry departments to learn best practices in lab design, and they
Construction updates The face of UNL campuses continued to change in 2010-2011. New facilities that opened include Jorgensen Hall, Robert Knoll Residence Center, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, and a LEED silver rated parking garage at 17th and Vine streets. UNL also started a $55.5 million expansion of Memorial Stadium. The project includes about 20,000 square feet set aside for future office and lab space for research. The stadium project is
implemented their own ideas. The new labs will change how the department teaches chemistry, and add flexibility to scheduling. The biggest changes for the new labs will be reconfiguration of bench space from lines where students stand shoulderto-shoulder to “islands” where students will face each other. To refurbish all Hamilton Hall labs will take another $5 million. The university is using internal allocations for this upgrade, but will be seeking donations to complete the project.
scheduled for completion in fall 2013. Other major facility upgrades completed were Keim Hall, Whittier Research Center and AbelSandoz welcome center and dining service. UNL also continues an upgrade of the Animal Science Complex. Ferguson Hall was demolished and replaced by a green space. The green space will include information about Ferguson Hall and the site of the original Nebraska Hall, NU’s first building. And construction of a Lied Center for Performing Arts addition started. Jorgensen Hall, the new home to physics and astronomy at UNL.
Programs ranked by U.S. News U.S. News and World Report released its 2012 “Best Graduate Schools” rankings tables, and on the list are colleges of Business, Education and Human Sciences, Engineering, and Law. UNL’s College of Business’s “Part-Time MBA School” was ranked tied for 50th. The College of Education and Human Sciences was ranked among “Schools of Education,” at 50th. Among “Schools of Engineering,” UNL was listed at number 95. The College of Law was placed at 84th. http://go.unl.edu/ey2
Industrial tech returns UNL’s industrial technology teacher credentialing program, the victim of budget cuts a year ago, returned in a new form with a new name, as a partnership with Nebraska’s community colleges that will not add to UNL’s budget. The program is dubbed the 2+2 Skilled and Technical Sciences Program. Southeast Community College and Metro Community College have signed agreements with UNL to implement the program. http://go.unl.edu/qmp
UNL tests large lecture hall
Green roof being evaluated
Program honors Forsythe
In fall 2011, faculty and students are helping evaluate large-enrollment classes. One section of Psychology 181 has enrolled nearly 400 students, almost double the size of the largest sections regularly offered on campus. The class is meeting at the Lincoln Grand Cinema, 1101 P St. in downtown Lincoln. Evaluations will be used to decide if UNL should build a 400-seat classroom/auditorium and what types of configuration and technology would be best. http://go.unl.edu/5ha
Through funding provided by Facilities Management and Planning and the Office of Research and Economic Development, Landscape Services is testing the feasibility of a green roof in a small Whittier Building courtyard. The 700-square-foot living roof is a first for UNL. The living roof was installed in mid-June. Landscape Services is recording maintenance time so the data can be used when UNL consider green roof options in the future. http://go.unl.edu/gua
The Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs program at UNL has been named in honor of David P. Forsythe, professor emeritus, and his family for their longtime commitment to the program and generous financial support. The Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs is a joint program of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Law at UNL. The program was founded in 1997. http://go.unl.edu/ http://go.unl.edu/3xo
Cather heir donates ‘treasure trove’ of author’s documents
Items in the Charles E. Cather Collection include Willa Cather manuscripts and the Howells Medal (above), which the author received in 1930.
20th season of Jazz in June
Charles Cather, an heir to Willa Cather, has left an estate gift to the University of Nebraska that contains manuscripts including the beginning of her last novel, letters, medals and inscribed first editions of her work. Charles Cather, Willa’s nephew, died March 14 in California, and his personal property relating to Willa Cather was given to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The materials, which were loaned to the foundation from Charles Cather and became a gift upon his death, arrived last December to be catalogued by the uni-
UNL’s first living roo f
versity. While the materials have not been formally appraised, the estimated value is $2 million. They were unveiled at a May 12 event at the Van Brunt Visitors Center. “This is a treasure trove of materials that sheds distinctive light on Cather’s working life, and allows us to see just how relentlessly creative she was, even at the end of her life,” said Guy Reynolds, professor of English and director of the Cather Project at UNL. The collection includes hand-written scenes from Cather’s last, unpublished novel, “Hard Punishments.” The “Hard Punishments” items were thought to have
Surplus inventory open house
been destroyed. This manuscript has not previously been made public. Some of the documents from the collection were never known by scholars to have existed, like notebooks full of hand-drawn maps of locations Cather featured in her fiction. “The Charles Cather collection is an astounding and a wonderful complement to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s other rich Cather collections,” said Andrew Jewell, editor of the Willa Cather Archive, and associate professor at University Libraries.
Parking payments go high tech
Big Red Welcome
Annual year in review edition of the Scarlet, the monthly newspaper for faculty and staff at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Published o...