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Another good year for UNL in the national news

It was a big year for UNL in many ways, and our progress, expertise and change was often chronicled by the national media. Next semester, we’ll pull together our annual list of national news appearances by faculty, staff, students and administrators for 2011. But until then, here are a few highlights from 2011:

Carlos Asarta’s quick thinking and videography skills from Tokyo Tower during the massive February Japanese earthquake. His video landed on network news outlets around the globe.

UNL’s entrance into the Big Ten Conference on July 1 got wide coverage, including The Chicago Tribune and ESPN.

The National Drought Mitigation Center’s climatologists were busy tracking some of the most exceptional drought on record in the southern United States this summer.

UNL hydrologists were busy giving their scientific opinions about the Ogallala Aquifer and the effect the proposed Keystone XL pipeline could have upon it.

English professors Andrew Jewell and Guy Reynolds made national headlines in May when the university was gifted a trove of Willa Cather materials from her family’s estate, including an unfinished manuscript of her final book.

Digital humanist Kenneth Price discovered 3,000 new documents written in Walt Whitman’s hand in the National Archives, and unveiled them in April. The national media flocked to Washington, D.C., for the release of the documents.

Philip Schwadel’s research into education’s effects on religiosity garnered national interest from places such as USA TODAY, CNN and The Discovery Channel.

Susan Swearer, a UNL school psychologist, took part in a March summit at the White House on bullying hosted by the president, the first lady and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. She appeared on Good Morning America the same day as the conference.

Eric Thompson and William Walstad’s State Entrepreneurship Index, which measured and ranked entrepreneurial activity in all 50 states, received wide and consistent coverage throughout the country during August and September.

Political scientist Mike Wagner was quoted regularly on domestic politics, including in CNN stories about what was expected of President Obama in a speech to the nation after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, the difficulty of town hall meetings and the tricky nature of redistricting Congressional districts.

There are many other examples of our national media presence, of course. We’ll have a full list for you the week of Jan. 3. Until then, have a happy holiday break.

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