Military Man: Noel Palmer zeroes in on ethics, developing leaders

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BY JAN TREFFER THOMPSON Low hills run below a sky streaked with blues and violets. Palm trees line a stream, their leaves stark silhouettes. The landscape looks quiet and a little hazy, like it may be a peaceful early morning in Iraq. The scene hangs behind Dr. Noel Palmer’s left shoulder, in his office at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. It’s a reminder of the place, and the people, who have shaped his academic career. “I don’t feel like it’s mine,” he says, turning toward the … [Read more...]

Are we Alone?: Adam Jensen’s work for NASA examines life beyond Earth

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BY JAN TREFFER THOMPSON When 8-year-old Adam Jensen pointed his first telescope to the sky in the early 1990s, scientists already knew there had to be planets beyond Earth’s solar system. They just couldn’t prove it. It was a dilemma Jensen could have sympathized with. Whether seeing dinosaurs come to life in the movies, turning the pages of chemistry and astronomy books at the library, or searching for deep-sky objects in his backyard, Jensen’s scientific interests were fueled early by … [Read more...]

Game-based Learning: Phu Vu finds video games increase student interest, engagement

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By SARA GIBONEY As Phu Vu watched his young sons play video games, he realized that games might be the key to getting the attention of his college students. “We all know that children and adults love to play games,” said Vu, an assistant professor of teacher education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. “If we can implement the game strategy and principles into the classroom, students will feel more motivated to learn.” At UNK, Vu teaches instructional technology online classes … [Read more...]

Creative Freedom: Wetherell mixes love of arts, interest in science

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By SARA GIBONEY Mallory Wetherell’s porcelain cross sections of organs with delicately painted interiors may be viewed as dark or morbid by some, but her anatomic sculptures are simply a metaphor for relationships. “I use anatomy to talk about human relationships, specifically my own relationships with loved ones or myself,” said Wetherell, assistant professor of ceramics at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. “They’re usually internalized, so I’m creating visual depictions of … [Read more...]

Energized by Politics: Rowling challenges himself to reach students with limited worldview

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By KIM HACHIYA It’s hard to imagine a better ambassador for the University of Nebraska at Kearney than Chuck Rowling. As he strides across campus, his eyes gleam with pride as he points out various landmarks. And he offers this: “I really, almost literally, grew up on this campus. I went to the college’s preschool. My brothers and I would swim in the campus pool. We spent so much time in my dad’s office. This place really shaped who I am.” Rowling is an assistant professor of political … [Read more...]