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.

2016 Award Winners

Ostler VIDEO: Elliott Ostler – 2016 IDEA Winner
Elliott Ostler, Ed.D., Paul Kennedy Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Ostler has spent more than two decades researching and applying the most effective non-traditional teaching techniques for students who struggle to learn mathematics and science content. During this time, his unique instructional approaches has attracted the attention of institutions such as NASA, JPL, Texas Instruments and The College Board, all of whom have invited him to consult on projects ranging from curriculum review to product design. The application of his own research led to the development of an innovative mathematics teaching tool, which earned a U.S. Patent and ultimately evolved into a successful business venture called the Initiative for Instructional Inventions and Solutions. Since formalizing this business commitment, he has distributed nearly 11,000 of his unique teaching instruments nationwide and trained more than 1,000 mathematics teachers in its use. Today he continues to pursue his vision of reinventing STEM instruction through the development of innovative teaching tools.

Waite VIDEO: Matt Waite – 2016 IDEA Winner
Matt Waite, professor of practice in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Waite is founder of the Drone Journalism Lab, the first of its kind at a journalism school. Since he joined the faculty in 2011, Waite and his students have used drones to report news in six countries on three continents. He regularly speaks about the legal and ethical complexities of using drones at conferences around the world and is frequently consulted by media organizations about their potential. He also teaches courses in data journalism, web development and the intersection of storytelling and technology. He created an open learning lab for students called Maker Hours, helped develop an interdisciplinary minor in informatics and serves on the Publications Board of the Daily Nebraskan. Waite previously was a hybrid programmer/journalist for the St. Petersburg Times, where he developed PolitiFact, a website that fact checks what politicians say. The site became the first website awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. Before becoming a web developer, Waite was an award-winning investigative reporter.
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