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.

2016 Award Winners

Batra VIDEO: Surinder Batra – 2016 ORCA Winner
Surinder Batra, Ph.D., chair and professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Stokes-Shackelford Distinguished Professor in the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Together with colleagues at UNMC, Batra has helped make the medical center’s pancreatic cancer research program one of the best of its kind. After completing graduate studies in biochemistry in India and France, Batra completed a fellowship in biochemistry at North Carolina State University. He went on to receive postdoctoral training at Duke University Medical Center. He previously served as senior associate dean of research and development in the College of Medicine and the Helen Freytag Professor of Cancer Biology at UNMC. Batra’s current lab has cloned and patented mucin genes being investigated for the diagnosis and therapy of pancreatic cancer. In a series of papers, his lab has shown the diagnostic potential of the mucin gene MUC4 and implications in the progression and metastasis of pancreatic cancer. His research has been continuously funded by multiple and he has published more than 360 papers in high-impact journals and received several U.S. patents.

Johansen VIDEO: Bruce Johansen – 2016 ORCA Winner
Bruce E. Johansen, Jacob J. Isaacson Professor of Communication and Native American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.Johansen, who has been teaching and writing at UNO since 1982, has authored 44 published books. He writes frequently about environmental subjects, including Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Issues, a 200,000-word encyclopedia of indigenous peoples’ struggles with corporations with a world-wide scope. Johansen's first academic specialty was the influence of Native American political systems on United States political and legal institutions; his best-known books in this area are Forgotten Founders and Exemplar of Liberty (with Donald A. Grinde, Jr.). He has described the present-day debate over this issue in Debating Democracy and Native American Political Systems and the Evolution of Democracy: An Annotated Bibliography. He also writes as journalist in several United States national forums, including the Washington Post and The Progressive. Johansen was co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Indian History, a 4-volume set, as well as a 2-volume Praeger Handbook of Contemporary Native American Issues. He recently also wrote The Global Warming Combat Manual: Serious Solutions for a Sustainable World.


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