Graduate Studies Semester Wrap-Up

Published: Tues., December 11

In addition to their classes and research, UNL graduate students are earning awards, presenting and publishing their work, or serving their community. Below are some of the accomplishments of our many talented graduate students as well as the accomplishments of the Office of Graduate Studies at UNL.

Student Accomplishments

Publications and Presentations

Madhav Bhatta

Bhatta M., A. Morgounov, V. Belamkar, B. Waters, and P.S. Baenziger. 2018. Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Novel Genomic Regions Associated with 10 Grain Minerals in Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19 (10), 3237. Doi: 10.3390/ijms19103237

Bhatta M., A. Morgounov, V. Belamkar, A. Yorgancilar, and P.S. Baenziger. 2018. Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Favorable Alleles Associated with Common Bunt Resistance in Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat. Euphytica 214 (11). 200. Doi: 10.1007/s10681-018-2282-4

Bhatta M, A. Morgounov, V. Belamkar, and P. S. Baenziger. 2018. Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Novel Genomic Regions for Grain Yield and Yield-Related Traits in Drought-Stressed Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19 (10), 591. Doi: 10.3390/ijms19103011

Bhatta M, A. Morgounov, V. Belamkar, J. Poland, and P. S. Baenziger. 2018. Unlocking the Novel Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat. BMC Genomics, 19:591.

Yuan W., M. Bhatta, Y. Shi, P. S. Baenziger, Y. Ge. 2018. Wheat Height Estimation Using LiDAR in Comparison to Ultrasonic Sensor and UAS. Sensors 18 (11), 3731. Doi: 10.3390/s18113731

Bhatta M., Morgounov A., Belamkar V., and Baenziger P.S. 2018. Identification of genomic regions associated with grain yield and related traits in drought stressed synthetic hexaploid wheat. Conference: 2018 ASA and CSSA Meeting, Crop Breeding and Genetics Oral and Poster Session, Baltimore, MD. Available at

Christopher Brandt

Brandt, C. Music contest reform: Restoring the educational value of music contest - The Instrumentalist Vol, 73, No. 4 (November 2018): p. 10-14, 38.

Suman Chakrabarty

Chakrabarty, S. & Takacs, J.M. (2018). Phosphonate-Directed Catalytic Asymmetric Hydroboration: Delivery of Boron to the More Substituted Carbon, Leading to Chiral Tertiary Benzylic Boronic Esters. ACS Catalysis, 8 (11), 10530-10536. DOI: 10.1021/acscatal.8b03591. Retrieved from

Long Chen

Chen, L. (2018). Oral presentation titled "Radiofrequency Inactivation of Salmonella spp. and Enterococcus faecium NRRL B-2354 in Cumin Seeds", 2018 IAFP Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, US

Chen, L. (2018). “Developing a controlled gaseous ozone treatment chamber to evaluate and optimize processing parameters on low-moisture foods” Poster presented at Alliance for Advanced Sanitation Annual Meeting, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, United States.

Mikaela Cherry

Cherry, M.*, Gilmore, T.E., Mittelstet, A.R., Gastmans, D., and J. Gates. 2018. Isotopic composition of groundwater and precipitation in Nebraska, USA, XX Congresso Brasileiro de Águas Subterraneas, Campinas, SP, Brazil. November 7, 2018.

Prescott Evans

Prescott E. Evans, Hae Kyung Jeong, Zahra Hooshmand, Duy Le, Takat B. Rawal, Sahar Naghibi, Ludwig Bartels, Talat S. Rahman, and Peter A. Dowben, "Methoxy Formation Induced Defects on MoS2", Journal of Physical Chemistry C 122 (2018) 10042-10049; doi: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b02053

Prescott E. Evans, Maren Pink, Ayan A. Zhumekenov, Guanhua Hao, Yaroslav Losovyj, Osman M. Bakr, Peter A. Dowben, and Andrew J. Yost, "The Rotationally Free and Rigid Sublattices of the Single Crystal Perovskite CH3NH3PbBr3(001): The Case of the Lattice Polar Liquid", J. Phys. Chem. C 122 (2018) 25506−25514

Ashley Garcia

Garcia, A. (March 2018). “FEMEN’s Self-Objectifying Protests as Global Media Events,” Top Paper in the Communication Ethics, Activism and Social Justice Interest Group of the Central States Communication Association.

Simeon Gilbert

Simeon Gilbert, Hae Kyung Jeong and P. A. Dowben, “Cyclodextrin-carbon nanotube composites for fluorescent detection of cholesterol”, Chem. Phys. Letters 687 (2017) 222-226; doi: 10.1016/j.cplett.2017.09.024

Hemian Yi, Takashi Komesu, Simeon Gilbert, Guanhua Hao, Andrew J. Yost, Alexey Lipatov, Alexander Sinitskii, Jose Avila, Chaoyu Chen, Maria C. Asensio and P. A. Dowben, "The band structure of the quasi-one-dimensional layered semiconductor TiS3(001)", Applied Physics Letters 112 (2018) 052102; doi: 10.1063/1.5020054

Elena Echeverría, George Peterson, Bin Dong, Simeon Gilbert, Adeola Oyelade, Michael Nastasi, Jeffry A. Kelber, Peter A. Dowben, “Band bending at the gold (Au)/boron carbide-based semiconductor interface”, Zeitschrift für Physikalische Chemie 232 (2018) 893–905; doi: 10.1515/zpch-2017-1038

Takashi Komesu, Michael Randle, Alexey Lipatov, Nataliia Vorobeva, Simeon Gilbert, Andrew J. Yost, Avinash Kumar, Chun-Pui Kwan, Jubin Nathawat, Bilal Barut, Shenchu Yin, Keke He, Nargess Arabchigavkani, Pavlo V. Galiy, Peter A. Dowben, Alexander Sinitskii, Uttam Singisetti and Jonathan P. Bird, "Building the Quasi One Dimensional Transistor from 2D Materials", 2019 International Symposium on VLSI Technology, Systems and Application (VLSI-TSA), IEEE Xplore submitted

Callie Griffith

Raynor, E.J., C.D. Griffith, D. Twidwell, W.H. Schacht, C.L. Wonkka, C. Roberts, C. Bielski, D. Debinski, and J.R. Miller. 2018. The emergence of heterogeneity in a tall fescue-dominated prairie: a matter of scale detection. Landscape Ecology. In press.

Timothy Hackett

Kashyap, M. K., Hackett, T. A., Provino, A., Pathak, A. K., Pecharsky, V. K., & Manfrinetti, P. "Formation, stability and magnetism of new Gd3TAl3Ge2 quaternary compounds (T = Mn, Cu)", Accepted into The 21st International Conference on Solid Compounds of Transition Elements.

Guanhua Hao

Prescott E. Evans, Maren Pink, Ayan A. Zhumekenov, Guanhua Hao, Yaroslav Losovyj, Osman M. Bakr, Peter A. Dowben, and Andrew J. Yost, "The Rotationally Free and Rigid Sublattices of the Single Crystal Perovskite CH3NH3PbBr3(001): The Case of the Lattice Polar Liquid", J. Phys. Chem. C 122 (2018) 25506−25514

Guanhua Hao, Aaron Mosey, Xuanyuan Jiang, Andrew J. Yost, Keshab R. Sapkota, George T. Wang, Xin Zhang, Jian Zhang, Alpha T. N'Diaye, Ruihua Cheng, Xiaoshan Xu, Peter A. Dowben, "Isothermal Voltage Controlled Molecular Spin State Switching", submitted to Appl. Phys. Lett.

Tuyen Huynh

Huynh, T., Hatton-Bowers, H., & Howell Smith, M., (2018). “A critical methodological review of mixed methods designs used in mindfulness research,” Mindfulness, 1-13.

Huynh, T., & Torquati, J., (2018). “Outdoor adventure instructors’ perceptions of nature and their work: A phenomenological study,” Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 1-14.

Mason Johnson

Gilmore, T. E., Zlotnik, V., & Johnson, M.* (2018 – online view). Recognition of Regional Water Table Patterns for Estimating Recharge Rates in Shallow Aquifers. Groundwater, 0(0).

This research was featured on UNL Pocket Science and an interview was conducted Nov 19, for a future episode of UNL's Market Journal TV/video program.

Diane Lally

Forbes, C. T., Brozovic, N., Franz, T. E., Lally, D. E., & Petitt, D. N. (2018). Water in society: An interdisciplinary course to support undergraduate students' water literacy. Journal of College Science Teaching, 48(1), 36.

Lally, D., Petitt, D.N., Forbes, C., Brozovic, N., Franz, T. (2018, November) Investigating undergraduate students’ reasoning about socio-hydrological issues: Results from a transdisciplinary water course. Presentation at the 2018 Geological Society of America annual meeting (GSA), Indianapolis, IN.

Lally, D., Forbes, C., McNeal, K.S., Soltis, N. (2018, November) National survey of geoscience teaching practices 2016: Current trends in geoscience instruction of scientific modeling and systems thinking. Presentation at the 2018 Geological Society of America annual meeting (GSA), Indianapolis, IN.

Soltis, N.A., McNeal, K.S., Forbes, C., Lally, D. (2018, November) The relationship between active learning course innovation and teaching earth system thinking: A structural equation modeling approach. Presentation at the 2018 Geological Society of America annual meeting (GSA), Indianapolis, IN.

Ann Matthews

Schachter, R.E., Matthews, A., & Piasta, S.B. (2018). How do differing stakeholders perceive instances of literacy instruction? Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, DOI: 10.1177/1468798418813661

Mackenzie Minniear

Minniear, M. & Soliz, J. (November 2018).“I wish someone told me being Black wasn’t monolithic”: Messages about Race and Identity in Black Families.” Top Paper, African American Communication and Culture Division of the National Communication Association.

Evangela Q. Oates

Oates, E. Q. Tenure and Promotion Experiences of Black Faculty at a Public, Two-Year Institution in the North: A Case Study. Poster session at ASHE 2018 in Tampa.

Bora Pulatsu

Pulatsu, Bora, Erdogmus, E, and Lourenço, P.B. "Comparison of in-plane and out-of-plane failure modes of masonry arch bridges using discontinuum analysis." Engineering Structures 178 (2019): 24-36.

Pulatsu, B., Erdogmus, E, and Lourenço, P.B. "Simulation of Masonry Arch Bridges Using 3D Discrete Element Modeling." Structural Analysis of Historical Constructions. Springer, Cham, 2019. 871-880. (September 11-13, 2018 – Cusco, Peru)

Pulatsu, B., Erdogmus, E., Lourenco, P.B. “Soil structure interaction in masonry arch bridges: a hybrid approach" 13th World Congress in Computational Mechanics, June 11-14, 2018. (New York City, US)

Falah Rashoka

Rashoka, F. (2018). "Cultural Diversity, Iraqi culture". Presentation for the Community Nutrition Panel Council, Lincoln,NE. presentation focused how to deal with the people Middle East, what is healthy habits that people have there . and we didn't have it in the US.

Galen Richards

Richards, G.I.*, Gilmore, T.E., and A.R. Mittelstet. 2018. Survey of groundwater transit times and nitrate delivery to Bazile Creek, 2018 NIWR Regional Symposium, Lincoln, NE. Oct 24-26, 2018.

Aaron Shropshire

Shropshire, A.J., W.H. Schacht, and J.D. Volesky. 2018 Evaluating methods of estimating forage intake by grazing cattle. Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. MP106:69-70.

Ozge Nayman Tiryaki

Tiryani, O.N. (2018). Alternative Biomass Materials To Corn For Production Of Value-Added Products. Nebraska Extension Publication available from

Ernest Tufuor

Tufuor, Ernest OA, et al. "Land Suitability Analysis for Emergency Medical Services Posts along State Highways: A Case Study of California." Transportation Research Record (2018): 0361198118798293.

Tufuor, Ernest OA, and Laurence R. Rilett. Analysis of Low Cost Bluetooth-Plus-WiFi Device For Travel Time Research. No. 18-05992. 2018.

Janell Walther

Walther, J.C., PytlikZillig, L.M., Houston, A.L., Detweiler, C., & Kawamoto, J. (2018). Using public & stakeholder perceptions of drone technology to influence design and implementation of drones for atmospheric data collection. Paper presented at American Meteorological Society 98th Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, January 2018.

PytlikZillig, L.M., Houston, A.L., Walther, J.C., Kawamoto, J., & Detweiler, C. (2018). Understanding the role of trust in public support for weather (and other) drones: Results of a nationally representative U.S. survey. Paper presented at American Meteorological Society 98th Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, January 2018.

Marty Wells

Marty published his first thesis chapter this year. This was an invited submission and all publication fees were waived based on the quality of the manuscript. This research will also be presented in an invited talk at the 2018 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in Washington, DC on December 13, 2018.

Wells, M.*, Gilmore, T., Mittelstet, A., Snow, D., Sibray, S., Wells, M. J., et al. (2018). Assessing Decadal Trends of a Nitrate-Contaminated Shallow Aquifer in Western Nebraska Using Groundwater Isotopes, Age-Dating, and Monitoring. Water, 10(8), 1047.

Mingyu Yang

Yang, M., Frank, T.D., & Fielding, C.R. (2018) Cryogenic Brine and Its Impact On Diagenesis of Glaciomarine Deposits, McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. Journal of Sedimentary Research 88 (8): 898-916.

Awards and Honors

Madhav Bhatta

Widman Distinguished Graduate Assistant Award, UNL (2018-19)

Mott Award: Crop Science Society of America (2018)

Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) Competitive Student Research Program Award (2018)

Sabrina Brown

UNL EAS Department Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Jessica Burnett

Visiting Researcher, Young Scientists Summer Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria (Research program; May - September 2018). Selected via proposal competition.

Carmen Cano Roca

Received $3,000 FMI Foundation Scholarship Grant. The FMI Foundation scholarships are awarded to students currently enrolled in food and agricultural science majors who have a true interest in the field of accredited food safety auditing. These scholarships are extremely competitive and are based primarily on academic ability, leadership potential, motivation and initiative, along with a passion for the food industry and the auditing profession.

Long Chen

Widaman Distinguished Graduate Fellowship Award

Mikaela Cherry

UNL Othmer Fellowship

Onay Dogan

Oral Presentation Travel Award, Society for Risk Analysis, $325

Melina Feitl

UNL EAS Myerly Martin Award in Sedimentary Geology

Tuyen Huynh

College of Education and Human Sciences Research and Creativity Award

Buffett Early Childhood Institute Scholar ($25,000 for dissertation research)

Galen Richards

UNL's Chancellor's Fellowship

Aaron Shropshire

Holling Family Teaching Assistant Award, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, 2018.

J.E. Weaver Small Grants Award, The Nature Conservancy; Arthur William Sampson Fellowship, Center for Grassland Studies, UNL, 2018.

Nicole Smith

Griesen Award

Roxanne Szal

Edgren Fellowship

Ernest Tufuor

International Highway Engineering Exchange Program (IHEEP), 2018 Conference Student Award Winner.

Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Heartland Chapter, 2018 Annual Meeting Student Award Winner.

Janell Walther

Awardee, Honorable Mention 13th Symposium on Societal Applications: Policy, Research and Practice Student Competition for: “Using Public and Stakeholder Perceptions of Drone Technology to Influence Design and Implementation of Drones for Atmospheric Data Collection” at the American Meteorological Society's 98th Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas, 2018 (January)

Awardee, Diana Carlin Research Fellowship, 2018 (UNL Comm Studies, April)

Mingyu Yang

Best student poster award, Geological Society of America Sedimentary Geology Division (Geological Society of America 2018 Annual Meeting)

2018 Myerly-Martin Prize for Excellence in Sedimentary Geology or Paleontology, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, UNL

Leadership and Service

Madhav Bhatta

Served as Ad Hoc Reviewer for Agronomy Journal, Crop Science Journal, Journal of Plant Breeding and Genetics, PLOS Genetics, Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science, and International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Sabrina Brown

Selected as Geological Society of America, Limnogeology Division, Grad Student Representative

Long Chen

Invited by Food Safety Magazine to write a paper on radio frequency pasteurization technology

Adam Fullerton

Elected to the board of directors for the United States Marine Corps Reserve Association

Served as the President of the Graduate Student Association (GSA)

Reviewer for AERA

Reviewer for the Nebraska Educator

Timothy Hackett

Reviewed an article as an editor in "Vacuum" and received certificate acknowledging him as an "outstanding editor".

Mackenzie Minniear

Volunteer for Girls on the Run through Lincoln Public Schools

Monrieh Mostofi

Persian Instructor, Annual Modern Language Fair, Dept. of Modern Languages and Literature. University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2018

Falah Rashoka

Completed about 50 hours of Volunteer work in the Good Neighbor Community Center, presenting classes on: Physical activity, Obesity epidemic in the U.S., wHY WE eAT, and Nutrition in Different Cultures

Ernest Tufuor

Head Start Policy Council Member, Community Action Partnership (Lancaster and Saunders Counties)

Naomi Mardock Uman

While conducting her dissertation study (successfully defended Oct 26, 2018), Naomi, instructor of English as a Second Language at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, created and launched MCC's Language and Literacy Center, a one-stop shop help English learners both leverage the resources they come with and expand their access to college and community resources.

Janell Walther

Member, Junior League of Lincoln (past president)

Other Accomplishments

Adam Fullerton

Became Assistant Team Leader for Third Civil Affairs Group, FHG, MARFORRES.

Callie Griffith

Created a PowerPoint and booklet on seedlings of grasses and forbs native to the Tallgrass Prairie as a resource for the Herbarium on East Campus.

Gabriela Inveninato Carmona

NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant Program. $11,716. Carmona, I. G and A. J. McMechan. Evaluating the impact of insecticides on arthropods in cover crop to corn transitions.

Mason Johnson

Assisted in developing and helps with updates to our interactive groundwater age map for Nebraska. The map is an innovative "interactive literature review" showing where studies have occurred across Nebraska and giving highlights and links to the source literature. The site is the top search result in Google when searching "groundwater transit time"

Roxanne Szal

Created web resource: ‘How Not To Be Sexist,’ An Analysis and Antidote for Misogynistic Language in News Media available at . This website was created after researching misogynistic language in media, offers guidelines for journalists who might not even recognize the problem and serves as a watchdog to call out transgressors. Think of it as an AP Stylebook for wiping out sexism in media. The guidelines, which aim to standardize the thoughtfulness and conversation that many editors, reporters and journalist trainers call for, come in the form of questions reporters can ask themselves before submitting an article or story pitch and range from, “Is the focus of this story fair and in good taste? Is it going to be important several years from now?” to “If I’m asking a question of a woman, would I ask this same question of a man?” and “How could this topic or my language be perceived? Am I writing with empathy?”

Ozge Nayman Tiryaki

Created "Fueling the Future" (Streaming Science video highlighting Dr. Sibel Irmak's research), viewable at

What we love about UNL

We also asked new students to reflect on what they liked best about UNL. Here are some of their responses.

The thing I liked [most] as a student [that] had completed his B.S outside the U.S. is diversity in the UNL. Almost every day I had meet students from the different area, different languages, color. It is something you can't find it anywhere on the globe. When you see this considerable diversity, you should know [h]ere you are [in] "America." [There are n]o stereotype[s] in the UNL, all are equal. Small city, happy life. I am so excited to be part of LINCOLN. -Falah Rashoka

I really appreciated all the hands-on experience and the direct access to teachers, some of top talent in the industry. - Roxanne Szal

I enjoyed all facilities available in UNL like library, language lab, etc, computer center, etc. I enjoyed being in a multicultural environment and finding new friends from different countries. I also appreciate the availability of professors to helps students when needed and their punctuality. In the first semester I enjoyed participating in ITA classes and introducing with other TAs. -Monrieh Mostofi

The Office of Graduate Studies

Recruitment and Enrollment

The 2018 Fall Semester got off to a great start with two events the week before the beginning of classes. On August 16, the New Graduate Student Orientation was held in the Nebraska Union. It included welcomes from Executive Vice Chancellor, Donde Plowman, Graduate Studies Dean, Tim Carr, current graduate student panel, discussion of professional development opportunities, and “OUCH!” training led by Karen Kassenbaum, Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion. The orientation was well attended, with over 500 student, faculty, and staff participating. The next day, August 17, a Welcome Picnic and Community Resource Fair was held outside on the Selleck Quadrangle outside Seaton Hall. Almost 600 students came out for food, music, giveaways, information about campus and community resources, and social conversation. Online and distance students who were unable to make the events participated via live stream and received a welcome packet in the mail which included a letter from the dean and the same UNL t-shirt given out in-person.

Throughout the fall semester, the OGS Recruitment Team promoted University graduate programs to thousands of students across the region and nation. OGS representatives attended UNL and UNK career fairs, as well as educational fairs at Purdue University, the University of Illinois, Union College, along with trips to the California Forum for Diversity in Graduate Education, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and the yearly conference for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science. Spring semester will again see OGS traveling to other institutions and national conferences for graduate student recruitment.

Graduate Student Development

Over the last semester, the Graduate Student Development Team hosted 15 workshops for graduate students and postdocs. Presenters for these workshops included staff from our office as well as faculty members, staff from Career Services, NUFCU, and CAPS and Big Red Resilience. These workshops covered topics including delivering effective lectures, creating teaching portfolios and philosophies, interviewing skills, writing effective CVs and resumes, networking, and creating a syllabus, and writing learning objectives. A few hundred students have attended these workshops. As a member of the national CIRTL network (The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning), we have also formalized the process for earning a CIRTL Certification. This certification will allow graduate students and postdocs to demonstrate teaching expertise.

We also continue to offer teaching consultations and consultations on job documents. Students can schedule consultations on Friday mornings or submit materials for a more in depth review. Students in departments all across campus (Engineering, Statistics, Psychology, Modern Languages, Entomology, Physics and many more) have utilized our services.