Two Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Awards are presented each year in honor of outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance conducted by individual full-time faculty members at the University of Nebraska. Faculty members receiving the ORCA have sustained records of excellent accomplishment in their respective fields.

2016 Call for Nomination Information
Past Recipients

For more information on University of Nebraska awards, contact Angela Dibbert at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (402) 472-5242.

2015 Award Winners

sheridan VIDEO: Charles Wood – 2015 ORCA Winner
Charles Wood, Ph.D., Lewis Lehr/3M University Distinguished Professor and director of the Nebraska Center for Virology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Wood has spent his career driving innovations in HIV/AIDS research. His many studies have led to new prevention and management efforts, and new treatment methods that suppress the virus. Wood also founded a new research center, the Nebraska Center for Virology, a unique collaboration between Nebraska’s premier biomedical research institutions: UNL, UNMC and Creighton University. Wood is the lead investigator on a number of projects supported by millions in competitive grant funding, making him one of the highest-funded investigators at UNL. Most importantly, Wood ensures his research is accessible to the global community. He trains Chinese and Zambian personnel and develops healthcare infrastructure in-country, slowing transmission and minimizing the damage of AIDS in Africa and Asia. One nominator wrote that Wood’s work has had “a singular influence both on how NU views and interacts with the world and how the world views and engages with NU.”

weeks VIDEO: Wayne Fisher – 2015 ORCA Winner
Wayne Fisher, Ph.D., H.B. Munroe Professor of Behavioral Research and director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Fisher is devoted to improving the lives of children with autism. As director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, he oversees three programs that serve about 100 students annually, with participation expected to grow significantly. Among the programs he oversees is the Severe Behavior Disorders Program, which was found to reduce the destructive behavior of students and impose less restrictive procedures on them than of children served by specialty programs. In the past nine years Fisher has secured $3.6 million to support his work. He procures the necessary resources to maintain his highly active research programs, providing support to children who would not otherwise receive it. Fisher’s dedication to the field earned him the Outstanding Contribution to Applied Behavior Research award from the American Psychological Association in 2002.


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