LINCOLN — Based upon her eye-opening experience with her own son, an Iowa State University graphic design professor is leading research efforts to develop new ways to teach students with autism and cognitive disabilities.
Debra Satterfield's teenage son, John, has epilepsy and an autism spectrum disorder. A few years ago, when his school assigned a project from a list of suggestions, she decided to have John try painting.
To her surprise, John not only enjoyed painting, he became engrossed in it. He approached it purposefully and he was good at it. One of his paintings won a prize at the Iowa State Fair, without the judges knowing the artist was disabled.
“I had never even thought to give him a chance,” said Satterfield, associate professor and interim chair of graphic design. “When I look at these paintings, I see John's voice. It makes me wonder how many others like him could benefit from having a creative outlet.”
Satterfield now works with a team of faculty and students to design educational, social inclusion and play experiences for children with cognitive disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders.
In two recent studies, they examined college students who display signs of autism and interviewed parents and teachers about the skills they deem most important for autistic students.
UNO program extension will benefit 5 in the fall
Five University of Nebraska at Omaha students will be the first to benefit from the National Science Foundation's decision to provide an additional $1.6 million to continue UNO's Scholarship for Service program for three more years.
The program was established 10 years ago, soon after the 2001 creation of the Nebraska University Center for Information Assurance. It provides up to $30,000 per year in tuition assistance and stipends to selected students pursuing careers in cybersecurity and information assurance.
In return, students are asked to participate in summer internships at federal, state or tribal agencies and to work at an agency for a period of time after graduation.
So far, the program has helped 35 students graduate and go on to work at the National Security Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Strategic Command, among others.
The grant extension will support five or six new students each year for the next three years, beginning this fall.
Undergraduate students selected for this fall are Ryan Grandgenett and Derek Jansen of Omaha, Alyssa McGhee of Bellevue and Michael Hefley of Fort Dodge, Iowa. Graduate student Christopher Daniels of Bellevue will be pursuing a master's degree.
The program provides undergraduate students $20,000 per academic year, for two years; graduate students, $25,000 per year for two years. Those pursuing a doctorate or who are in an integrated undergraduate/graduate program are paid $30,000 per year for three years.
Prof helps reproduce Civil War-era poems
A University of Nebraska-Lincoln researcher has helped produce an edition of Civil War-era poems published in Union-sympathizing newspapers.
The work provides insight into the role of newspaper and poetry during the war.
Elizabeth Lorang, a research assistant professor at UNL, co-edited the edition with Rebecca Weir, supervisor in American literature at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
The work is available online, through the 2013 volume of the Journal of Scholarly Editing. It contains images of the newspapers in which the poems appeared, along with historical and literary analysis.
Hundreds of thousands of such poems were published in newspapers across the nation during the war. The editors selected 138 poems published in two newspapers published near each other: the National Anti-Slavery Standard, aimed at a white abolitionist audience, and the Anglo-African, aimed at a black audience.
Many of the poems were published between May 1863 and May 1864, when many African-American men enlisted in the Union Army. Poems were chosen for their themes of military service, citizenship, race and gender.
Two CU professors earn fellowships
Two faculty members at Creighton University recently received prestigious fellowships.
» Law Professor Sean Watts was named a senior fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.
» Microbiologist Kenneth S. Thomson was elected to a fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Thomson is director of Creighton's Center for Research in Anti-Infectives and Biotechnology.
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