Many of the advances that have made our lives more stable, productive, and enjoyable originated in university research. Each one of us has the desire to become better, to move forward—and active investigation, understanding, and applying new information are the elements of that advancement. Public universities exist not only to teach, but also to engage and be of benefit to the citizens they serve. It is the mission and duty of universities to look farthest into the future and prepare us for the challenges and opportunities ahead.
On behalf of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, I am proud to present this inaugural issue of New Frontiers. It is a sampling of the collaborative research and creative work being conducted by our faculty. Included, for example, is a feature on work aimed at overcoming the economic and technical barriers that currently keep solar energy from being financially viable. Think of the impact success could bring. Helping farmers maintain their hearing in a dangerously noisy environment is the objective of another project. Another explores how simply walking can have profound benefits to our health. Yet another faculty member chronicles the earliest years of our state by researching pioneers whose lives did not make the first draft of history. These lives, only a few generations behind us, help us understand who we are and why we are here. The eight faculty researchers featured in this magazine only begin to tell the story of scholarship at UNK. Great is the personal and professional fulfillment that comes from the hands-on process of experimentation, discovery, and confirmation. Great is the confidence our students build as they work side-by-side with faculty mentors.
The advancement of new information is the key to a progressive, successful society—and we are seeing wonders! Through discovery, commitment, enhanced teaching, and scholarly activity, our faculty are crossing disciplines in their search for knowledge and understanding. All of us at UNK are pleased to share with you our endeavors to “look farthest into the future and prepare us for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”