Up to two Innovation, Development, and Engagement Awards shall be presented each year to honor faculty members who have extended their academic expertise beyond the boundaries of the University in ways that have enriched the broader community. These faculty members have worked with citizens, businesses, government and non-profit organizations, other educational institutions, communities, or regions to develop new ideas, projects, technologies, events, or businesses that resulted in new development that strengthened the region or community economically, culturally, environmentally, or governmentally.

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

ShaneFarritor VIDEO: Stephen Reichenback - 2015 IDEA Winner
Stephen Reichenbach, Ph.D., founding director of GC Image LLC and professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In a previous career as a teacher, Reichenbach gained exposure to early personal desktop computers, and was quickly hooked on computer science. He co-founded Internet Nebraska Corp., a local internet provider offering high-speed internet connections to Nebraskans. The company grew from 20 subscribers to more than 2,100 in less than two years, and is still the oldest and largest internet service provider based in the state. He also founded the software company GC Image LLC. Researchers around the world have published more than 100 scholarly journal papers detailing findings enabled by GC Image software. Reichenbach serves as a role model for colleagues interested in pursuing collaborative research or developing university-based spin-off companies. Graduate students supervised by Reichenbach have accepted position in government, academia and at leading companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google.

DmitryOleynikov VIDEO: Michael Epstein - 2015 IDEA Winner
Michael Epstein, Ed.D., William E. Barkley Professor of Special Education and director of the Center for Child and Family Well-Being at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Epstein has dedicated his 15 years at UNL to improving the lives of children with behavioral and mental health disorders. His research led to a major shift in the field of child mental health. Treatment is now administered by focusing on a child’s strengths, while narrowing the focus on their deficits. Epstein’s strength-based approach combatted issues of negative clinician bias. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences then asked Epstein to guide the development of a “what works” guide that focused on reducing problem behavior in the classroom. It is now the most downloaded practice guide produced by the department. Epstein also initiated the Center for Child and Family Well-Being, a partnership between UNL and the Boys Town National Research Institute in Omaha.
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