IANR faculty, staff honored for outstanding work, leadership and initiative

IANR Awards winners
December 12, 2019

Lincoln, Neb. — Faculty and staff from the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln were honored at an awards luncheon on Dec. 9 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center. IANR Harlan Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm presented the awards.

“At IANR, our people are our greatest asset,” said Boehm. “We salute these faculty and staff for their dedication in advancing our mission of teaching, research and outreach.”

Awards presented and their recipients:

  • OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE AWARD: The Outstanding Employee Award recognizes employees who go above and beyond their job responsibilities. Each of the recipients received $750, a certificate and lapel pin.
    • Michael Bergland-Riese, communications specialist, Nebraska Extension
    • Steven Burkey, electronic media engineer, IANR Media
    • Thomas McGargill, research technician, Department of Animal Science
    • Kaylene Sorensen, administrative associate, Department of Agricultural Economics
  • EXEMPLARY SERVICE AWARD: The Exemplary Service award recognizes employees who have made significant and sustained contributions to the University during their career. The recipient received $1,000 and a plaque.
    • Rex Nielsen, research technologist, Panhandle Research and Extension Center
    • Rebecca Vogt, survey research manager, Department of Agricultural Economics
  • OMTVEDT SERVANT LEADER AWARD: The Omtvedt Servant Leader Award recognizes outstanding managerial/professional and office/service employees. This award is made possible through the generosity of Lee Harlan and her late husband, Neal, in honor of Irv Omtvedt and his distinguished career at the university. The recipient received $1,000 and a plaque.
    • Sarah Plautz, research manager, Department of Biological Systems Engineering
  • DINSDALE FAMILY FACULTY AWARD: The Dinsdale Family Faculty Award honors faculty members for outstanding teaching, research and outreach in IANR. It is especially focused on untenured faculty who have demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence. The award is named for Roy Dinsdale, a 1948 graduate of the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration who worked in a family farming and cattle operation. The recipient received a plaque and $2000.
    • Rebecca Wachs, assistant professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering
  • THE OMTVEDT INNOVATION AWARD: The Omtvedt Innovation Award recognizes innovative faculty members, or a team led by faculty, who have demonstrated exceptional abilities and innovation in the areas of teaching, research or extension education. The individual recipients received $2,500 and a plaque. The team recipient received $5,000 per team and each member of the team received a plaque.
    • Omtvedt Innovation Award for Extension: Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, associate professor, extension nutrition specialist, Department of Agricultural Economics
    • Omtvedt Innovation Award for Teaching: Dirac Twidwell, associate professor, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
    • Omtvedt Innovation Award for Research: Samodha Fernando, Department of Animal Sciences
    • Omtvedt Innovation Award for Team: NUTrack Livestock Monitoring Team. Team members include Ty Schmidt, Benny Mote and Eric Psota

To learn more about IANR faculty and staff awards, visit https://ianr.unl.edu/ianr-awards-and-recognition.

Jessie Brophy
Director of External Engagement and Special Events
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources