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UNL in the national news: July 2012

National media outlets featured and cited UNL sources on a number of topics in the past month. Appearances in national media included:

Ken Bloom, physics, was mentioned in a July 4 story in The Courier and Mail of Brisbane, Australia, about the highly anticipated announcement regarding the “discovery” of the Higgs Boson particle.

Sarah Browning, extension horticulturist, appeared in a July 8 article by The Associated Press about the origins and disease-resistant qualities of heirloom plants. The story appeared in dozens of media outlets around the country.

Beth Burkstrand-Reid, law, was quoted in a July 13 article at about potential legal challenges in Mississippi aiming to close the state’s lone abortion clinic.

Kwame Dawes, English, was featured in a July 20 blog post at the New York Daily News’ Pageviews books blog about the newly formed African Poetry Book Series. He also was a daily contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, posting daily poems about the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sarah Gervais, psychology, debuted as a Psychology Today blogger on July 9. In the final week of July, her research into the differing cognitive processes our brains use to perceive men and women appeared in hundreds of media outlets around the world, including NBC News, Forbes, the Daily Mail (UK), United Press International, the Huffington Post and Jezebel.

John Hibbing, political science, was quoted in a July 10 story in the Washington Times about Nebraskans’ reactions to a joke by U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey’s wife.

Bob Hutkins, food science and technology, appeared on NPR’s Talk Of The Nation with Ira Flatow on July 6 to discuss the science of the barbecue.

David Moshman, educational psychology, penned a July 10 op-ed for Huffington Post regarding Israel, Palestine and the teaching of history.

The National Drought Mitigation Center at UNL was in the news regularly in July as extreme drought tightened its grip on the continental United States. NDMC staffers Brian Fuchs, Michael Hayes and Mark Svoboda were quoted by hundreds of media outlets across the country, including the Kansas City Star, The Huffington Post, the Orange County Register, Discovery News, PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill, U.S. News & World Report, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Bloomberg News, CNN, MSNBC and The Associated Press.

Reece Peterson, special education and communication disorders, appeared in a July 11 article in Education Week about a Senate hearing on special educators’ use of restraints and seclusion.

Josephine Potuto, law, appeared in a July 2 Yahoo! Sports story about potential NCAA punishment at Penn State. On July 24, she penned an op-ed for The Chronicle of Higher Education in reaction to the severe penalties handed down by the NCAA.

Karl Reinhard, earth and atmospheric sciences, had his research into the link between ancient Natives’ diets and their modern susceptibility to diabetes featured by a number of national media outlets in late July, including NBC News, The Huffington Post, Discovery News, and the International Business Times.

Dean Sicking, civil engineering, and director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at UNL, appeared in a USA TODAY article about the 10-year anniversary of the use of SAFER technology at NASCAR facilities.

William Thomas, history, appeared in a July 9 story in the Kansas City Star about the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act.

Eric Thompson, economics, appeared in a July 21 article by Associated Press on the UNL Bureau of Business Research’s two-year economic forecast. The story ran in dozens of media outlets across the nation.

Matthew Waite, journalism, appeared in a July 2 Kansas City Star story about the advent of drones in various U.S. industries. He also appeared in a July 2 Washington Times story about newly released guidelines for unmanned aircraft.

Timothy Wei, dean of the College of Engineering, appeared in a video produced by NBC and the National Science Foundation about fluid dynamics and the sport of swimming. The segment ran on dozens of NBC affiliate stations around the country. On July 22, he appeared in a Fox News story on the same topic.

Ted Weidner, former assistant vice chancellor for facilities, appeared in a July 17 story in The Chronicle of Education about aging facilities workforces on campuses.

National media often work with University Communications to identify and connect with UNL sources for the purpose of including the university’s research, expertise and programming in published work. Faculty and administration appearances in the national media are logged here.

To offer suggestions on potential national news stories or sources at UNL, contact Steve Smith at or 402-472-4226.

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