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Katie Vogel

Vogel, ’08, Joins Koenig | Dunne

04 Nov 2019    

Katie Vogel, ’08, has joined the law firm of Koenig | Dunne in their family law practice.

Prior to joining Koenig | Dunne, Vogel practiced in the areas of probate and estate planning.

 Vogel is active in the Nebraska State Bar Association. She is the former chair of the Women in the Law section and currently the secretary for the Real Estate, Trust and Probate section.

Adam Kauffman and Elizabeth Workentine

Kauffman, '17, and Workentine, '19, Join Endacott Peetz and Timmer

31 Oct 2019    

Adam Kauffman, a native of Gretna, graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2017, where he served as research editor for the Nebraska Law Review. While in law school, Adam clerked for the Nebraska Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Division as the Janet D. Steiger Fellow. From 2017-2019 he served as a judicial clerk to Chief Judge Frankie J. Moore on the Nebraska Court of Appeals.  He will practice in the areas of estate and trust litigation and resolution, commercial litigation and employment law.  

Workentine, a native of Geneva, graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2019 and will practice in the areas of estate and trust planning, banking, business and succession planning and real estate. In law school, Elizabeth earned the CALI Excellence for the Future Award® in farm and ranch tax and in partnership tax. The CALI award is given to the highest scoring student in the class. Elizabeth joined Endacott Peetz & Timmer in 2018 as a law clerk and became an Associate in 2019.

“We are excited to grow the Endacott, Peetz and Timmer law firm with the addition of these two high quality associates,” said Jeff Peetz.  “We look forward to serving our clients across the state in estate planning, litigation, banking, business and agriculture law.”   

Endacott, Peetz and Timmer serves clients throughout Nebraska, South Dakota and Iowa in the areas of trust and estate law, community banking and construction litigation.   The firm is located in Lincoln, Bruning and Newman Grove and can be reached toll free at 844-704-5296, at eptlawfirm.com  or on Facebook.

Trevor Matulka and Stephany Pleasant Manness

Nebraska Law Students Volunteer at Lawyers in the City Event

29 Oct 2019    

Thirteen Nebraska Law students and Professor Sullivan worked alongside volunteer attorneys to provide free legal services at Lincoln’s first Lawyers in the City event.

Lawyers in the City was organized by the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project in collaboration with the Center for Legal Immigration Assistance, Lincoln Commission on Human Rights, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Nebraska Appleseed Center and the University of Nebraska College of Law. During the half-day legal clinic, volunteers met with walk-in clients to provide brief advice, referrals to a service provider, self-help forms and other helpful resources.

Students from the Civil Clinic, Immigration Clinic and pro bono initiative conducted legal triage as clients arrived, or were paired with licensed attorneys to provide the requested legal services. Volunteers served 23 Lincoln families in need, providing free legal services in the areas of family law, guardianship, debt collection defense, immigration law, juvenile law and other general civil matters.

Lawyers in the City volunteers

Student volunteers were:
Shailana Dunn-Wall
Brig Jensen
Trevor Matulka
Brianna Poppert
Noah Rasmussen
Shelby Rowan 
Jake Schneider
Allison Seiler
Brittany Shultz
Nichole Sklare
Amy Sonnenfeld
Alex Sycher
Lauren Ziegenbein 

A number of Civil Clinic alumni also volunteered during Lawyers in the City:
Angela Choe
Alex Lierz
Kasey Ogle
Stephany Pleasant Manness
Megan Zobel

ACS Student Leaders

Nebraska Law ACS Chapter honored as Chapter of the Week

28 Oct 2019    

The University of Nebraska College of Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society was featured as the national organization’s Student Chapter of the Week for the week of October 21, 2019. 

The Chapter was recognized, in part, for its focus on expanding its reach by partnering with other organizations to host larger events and to get more students involved with ACS. Below are some of Nebraska ACS' fall 2019 activities:

  • Students and faculty teamed to painted a Lincoln home as part of the Lincoln Paint-a-Thon.
  • On Constitution Day, ACS hosted (in parternship with the Federalist Society) a faculty debate on a recent 10th Circuit decision on electoral votes.
  • "How to Ruin Thanksgiving" will be a conversational meeting for upperclass students to provide advice to 1Ls on how to navigate family holidays after a semester of law school. 

In addition to these events, ACS has kicked-off a year-long pro bono project with ACLU Nebraska. Students will observe county court arraingments to identify how cases are handled and whether current practices comply with LB259, a 2017 Nebraska bill aimed at dealing with modern day debtor's prisons. 

Professor Gus Hurwitz

Hurwitz Named Recipient for the Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence

24 Oct 2019    

Professor Gus Hurwitz is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Ray H. Bunger Memorial Award for Excellence. This award is an annual award chosen on the basis of demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, academic promise, and achievement related to the fulfillment of the research and teaching mission of the University of Nebraska College of Law. The donor for this award gave this gift to commemorate the life of the donor’s father, Ray H. Bunger, who was a lifelong devoted supporter of the University of Nebraska. He sent his three sons to the University of Nebraska for varying periods and several of his grandchildren also received education at the University. He firmly believed that “a good education is something that can never be taken away from you.” He was President of the Franklin County School District #44 and Secretary of the Board of Upland COOP Credit Association.

Hurwitz’s scholarly contributions were excellent this year, as he published an article on the FCC and the First Amendment, an essay on the Chevron doctrine, and another piece on Big Technology in the Cato Policy Report. Gus also continued his important public policy work, which brings great benefit to the College of Law. He authored or coauthored a half-dozen agency comments, reports, op-eds, or other policy-focused pieces; made a dozen scholarly presentations; organized a major conference and speakers series at the University and co-organized four workshops around the country; regularly participated in podcasts and wrote on blogs; and was quoted or cited in publications including speeches by FTC commissioners, popular press articles, and industry journals.   

Hurwitz also actively engaged in the College’s strategic planning process by chairing the scholarship working group. Perhaps most impressively, Hurwitz created a proposal that will significantly impact the College and the University for years to come. Hurwitz’s proposed NU Governance and Technology Center engages the Colleges of Business and Engineering and will help place Nebraska nationally as a significant player when it comes to innovation, law, and technology.

Professor Eric Berger

Berger Named Recipient of the Binning Award for Excellence

24 Oct 2019    

Professor Berger Berger is the recipient of this year’s Binning Award for Excellence. This award is presented annually to a professor who excels in teaching, research or public service.

Berger continues to be a tremendous teacher, having won his sixth Professor of the Year award this past year! That the award came in a year when he was busy preparing for and teaching a brand-new course for the College of Business which makes it that much more impressive. He also teaches beyond the law school by providing Continuing Legal Education courses for lawyers, by guest lecturing in classes throughout the University, by participating in University-wide panels on topics such as the First Amendment, and by helping lead a group of law students on a study abroad trip in China. 

With regard to research, Berger wrote and filmed a course on Constitutional Law that was produced by the Great Courses series. He has continued his scholarship on lethal injection through work on a book chapter for a book on the Eighth Amendment that will be published by Cambridge University Press and a law review article that he presented throughout the country. He also was selected to participate in a conference at Georgia State College of Law on the legacy of Justice Kennedy. C-SPAN televised the conference, and the Georgia State Law Review published a transcription of the proceedings. Together, all of these projects and research indicate that Berger’s scholarship is recognized nationally as significant.

Berger also excelled with regard to his administrative duties as Associate Dean and his general service to the College of Law. He assumed ever-greater responsibility regarding Faculty Appointments, and the College benefits from his leadership in that regard. His idea for weekly workshops has been well-received by the faculty and has greatly enhanced the scholarly environment at the College of Law. Berger simply makes the College of Law a better place because of his devotion to every aspect of life here - from interacting with students, to promoting faculty and their scholarship, to mentoring untenured faculty. Berger’s work truly makes a difference in our community.

Colonel Darren Huskisson

Huskisson, '96, Reassigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado

23 Oct 2019    

Colonel Darren Huskisson, '96, has been reassigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado as the Staff Judge Advocate for both United States Space Command and Air Force Space Command.  He previously served as the Staff Judge Advocate for United States Strategic Command in Bellevue and Air Forces Cyber in San Antonio.  He has also served as the Chief of Operational Law at United States Central Command in Tampa and was an Assistant Professor of Law at the Air Force Academy.  

He is a 1996 graduate of the College of Law and a 2004 graduate of the Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University in Canada.
Magilton, Schaefer and Burnett at Conference

Nebraska Law Hosts 12th Annual Nebraska Space Law Conference

23 Oct 2019    

On Friday, Oct. 18 the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program hosted their 12th Annual Space Law Conference in Washington DC, "Global Perspectives on Space Law and Policy." The event brought together over 200 registrants to discuss modern issues in space law and policy.

The first panel, "Commercial Space Legislation: US and Global Developments," featured Audrey Powers, Deputy General Counsel of Blue Origin; Mike Gold, Chair of COMSTAC; Irmgard Marboe from the University of Vienna Law Faculty; Frans von der Dunk from Nebraska Law and Lesley Jane Smith from Leuphana University Lueneburg. Marcia Smith, the founder and editor of Spacepolicyonline.com and Matthew Schaefer from Nebraska Law served as session moderators. 

The conference hosted a lunch hour Space Agency Legal Counsel Fireside Chat with Sumara Thompson-King, NASA General Counsel; Masahiko Sato, Director of Evaluation and Audit Department of JAXA; and Phillipe Clerc, Head of Ethics and Compliance, and former Head of Legal Dept, CNES (French Space Agency). The conversation was led by Sergio Marchisio, Chairman, European Centre for Space Law, and Dennis Burnett, former Vice-President, EADS North America and Kymeta. 

The group discussed going back to the moon, international collaboration, and the roles of their respective agencies. During discussion of Japan joining NASA's Artemis project Thompson-King said, “We’re not going to do anything new. We’re going to use that same system as we move forward. We’re going to build upon the collaboration and coordination that we have already been engaged to get the space station operational.”

The final two panels included "Spectrum Challenges for Space Activities:  What’s on the Line for Satellites at ITU WRC19 and Before the FCC?" and "Woomera Manual: Military Activities in Outer Space." Spectrum panelists included Gerry Oberst, Senior Vice-President and Global Advocacy at SES; Ruth Pritchard-Kelly; Vice-President of Regulatory Affairs for OneWeb; Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice-President, Regulatory Affairs at Echostar; Franceska Schroeder, Managing Member at Schroeder Law; and Fred Campbell, Director of Tech Knowledge and former Advisor to the Chairman, FCC. Woomera Manual panelists included Stacey Henderson, University of Adelaide Law School; Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation; Mike Hoversten, Air Force Space Command; and Frans von der Dunk and Jack Beard of Nebraska Law. 

During the conference Dennis Burnett, President of the Nebraska Law Space, Cyber and, Telecommunications Law advisory board and adjunct professor at Nebraska Law, announced the creation of the United States Center for Space Law. In addition to policy work, the center will raise funds to help students wanting to study space law, carrying on Nebraska's work on behalf of a major NASA Space Law education grant. 

The event concluded with "A Celebration of Women in Space Law Reception" at the National Press Club. Students from the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law student group assembled table decor featuring photos and biographies of notable women in space law. 

The conference was co-sponsored by the American Society of International Law and the Space Law Interest Group and the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Students at NASA

Nebraska Law Students Tour NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

23 Oct 2019    

On Thursday Oct. 17, thirteen Nebraska Law LLM and JD students and two Space Law Network law student awardees traveled from NASA Headquarters in Washington DC to Greenbelt, Maryland to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The tour was intended to help the group contextually prepare for their attendance at the 12th annual Nebraska Space Law conference on Oct. 18.

 The tour included sessions on data visualization processes, the James Webb Telescope project, and the space environment simulator. Jessica Deihl, attorney at NASA Goddard, and Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law executive director Elsbeth Magilton. 

Jessica Deihl, Sumara Thompson-Kind and Elsbeth Magilton

Magilton Hosts NASA General Counsel for Mentorship Brunch

23 Oct 2019    

On Saturday Oct. 18, Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law program hosted a brunch event in her capacity as the Co-Chair of the Space Law Interest Group for the American Society of International Law. The event was developed for law students, new professionals, and those interested in mentoring others. The session featured a fireside chat between Sumara Thompson-King, NASA General Counsel and Jessica Deihl, attorney at NASA Goddard.

Thompson-King covered her career, professional experiences, and her advice to those seeking mentorship or mentoring others. When asked how it felt to be the first female general counsel at NASA she remarked, "it's in honor... but I don't want to be first and last," emphasizing that leadership and success inherently comes with pressure. The intimate and exclusive group generally commented on the success of the event and the power of Thompson-King's story. 

Professor Frans con der Dunk

Beard and von der Dunk organize and lead roundtable discussion on the issue of "planetary defense"

23 Oct 2019    

Nebraska space law professor Frans von der Dunk hosted a roundtable discussion on “Planetary Defense: Legal Issues” at the American Society of Law’s Tillar House in downtown Washington DC prior to the opening of the 2019 International Aeronautics Congress/International Institute of Space Law Symposium.

Many prominent space law experts from around the world were in attendance, including Professor Jack Beard who served as one of the speakers, and Professor Matt Schaefer who served as a commentator.

The focus of this event was the in-progress book edited by University of Vienna Professor Irmgard Marboe titled “Legal Aspects of Planetary Defence,” part of the Brill/Nijhoff Series: Studies in Space Law (series editor: Professor Frans von der Dunk).

The speakers and commentators at this event will be authors of chapters in Marboe’s book or have particular expertise in areas of international law of significance to planetary defense. 

The event brought together the American Society of International Law (ASIL), a leading American international law association, and the International Institute of Space Law. The event was sponsored by the ASIL Space Law Interest Group, co-chaired by Nebraska Law's Beard and Magilton, and Beard developed and organized this unprecedented event as part of his work on the ASIL “Signature Topics” Steering Committee. 

(The term “Planetary Defense” refers to efforts to protect earth from future, catastrophic asteroid impact.)  

Shailana Dunn-Wall

Dunn-Wall to Attend 2019 Diverse Student ADR Summit

22 Oct 2019    

Shailana Dunn-Wall, ’20, has been selected by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) to attend the 2019 Diverse Student Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Summit.

The day and a half long summit, hosted by the AAA will provide law students with an in-depth understanding of what it takes to become a successful arbitrator and/or mediator. 

Dunn-Wall, from Omaha, is in her final year at Nebraska College of Law. She is a member of the Multi-Cultural Legal Society/Black Law Students Association, Equal Justice Society, Women’s Law Caucus and the Sports, Entertainment, and Business organization. Dunn-Wall will complete her JD with concentrations in ADR and Tax Law.

Out of 138 applicants, Dunn-Wall was selected as one of the 20 students eligible to attend and will receive a stipend to cover the costs of her travel.

The 2019 Diverse Student ADR Summit will be held Saturday, November 23 and Sunday, November 24 in New York, NY.

The AAA is the global leader in ADR, and is committed to the growth of diversity and inclusion within the ADR field. The Diverse Student Summit is sponsored by the AAA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

Professor Justin Driver

Yale Law Professor to Discuss Constitutional Rights of Students

21 Oct 2019    

Justin Driver, professor of law at Yale Law School, and award-winning constitutional law scholar, will deliver the College of Law’s Lane Lecture at noon on Nov. 8 in the Hamann Auditorium at the College of Law.

Driver will present, “Are Public Schools Becoming Constitution-Free Zones?” in which he will cover the subjects of race, sex, religion, crime, liberty, patriotism, and equality and how the Supreme Court’s treatment of these incendiary topics has shaped public education and the constitutional rights of students around the country.

Before becoming a law professor, Driver clerked for Judge Merrick B Garland, Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Driver teaches and writes in the area of constitutional law and is the author of The Schoolhouse Gate: Public Education, the Supreme Court, and the Battle for the American Mind. The book examines the intersection of two American institutions: the Supreme Court and the public school.

The University Bookstore will be selling copies of Driver’s book at the event, with Driver available for autographs following the lecture.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Professor Brian Lepard

Lepard Gives Talks at Multiple Brazilian Law Schools

18 Oct 2019    

In August Professor Brian Lepard spent two weeks in Brazil and gave multiple talks at Brazilian law schools.

 First, he taught a one-week course entitled “New Trends in International Human Rights Law” at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (“UFRGS”) in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  About 40 students participated in the course. A copy of Professor Lepard’s syllabus is available here

Professor Lepard also gave the keynote address at a conference on affirmative action held at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (“PUCRS”) in Porto Alegre.  His talk, given in Portuguese, was entitled “The Legality and Ethics of Special Measures to Protect Vulnerable Populations under International Law.”

Furthermore, Professor Lepard gave a keynote talk in Portuguese on U.S. international tax rules at a conference held at PUCRS on international tax planning sponsored by the Brazilian Institute for Tax Studies. The talk was entitled “An Introduction to U.S. Rules of International Taxation.” 

Finally, Professor visited the Universidade Federal de Uberlandia (“UFU”) in the state of Minais Gerais and gave a lecture in Portuguese on the legality and ethics of affirmative action under international law.  The talk was attended by over 100 students and was widely publicized. 

Professor Lepard attending conference at PUCRS on affirmative action.

Professor Lepard is the Harold W. Conroy Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law and a recognized expert on international and comparative law.

Bob Kerrey

Bob Kerrey to Deliver Bruning Lecture on Oct. 17

09 Oct 2019    

Bob Kerrey, former U.S. senator, will deliver the College of Law’s Attorney General Jon Bruning Public Service Lecture at noon Oct. 17 in the Hamann Auditorium at the College of Law.

Kerrey was the 35th governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987 and U.S. senator for Nebraska from 1989 to 2001. Before entering politics, he served in the Vietnam War as a Navy SEAL officer and was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in combat. 

During his presentation, “The Appointment of John Marshall: We Got Lucky,” Kerrey will discuss how his love for the law is a direct result of his personal experiences.

Former Attorney General Jon Bruning created the lecture series to provide an opportunity to focus on the significance of dedicating all or part of one’s career to public service. Public service can positively impact society’s dynamically changing legal, governmental and social policy. Speakers invited to deliver the lecture have devoted themselves to careers with this focus.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Professor Kristen Blankley and Alisha Caldwell Jimenez

Blankley and Jimenez, '17, have Article Published in Nebraska Law Review

30 Sep 2019    

Professor Kristen Blankley and Alisha Caldwell Jimenez, ’17, published Restorative Justice and Youth Offenders in Nebraska in the Nebraska Law Review.  This article examines new programs throughout the state for first-time youth offenders that are alternatives to the criminal justice system. Restorative justice programs require the person who committed the harm to be accountable for the wrong and to repair the harm caused to the other individual. In addition to providing insight into the program, the article also analyzes early data regarding the programs.

Students at Project Connect Lincoln

Students Volunteer at Project Connect Lincoln

30 Sep 2019    

Ten Nebraska Law students volunteered for “legal triage” at this year’s Project Connect Lincoln at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Project Connect is a one-stop shop for veterans and people of limited means to receive services such as free dental check-ups and haircuts, as well free legal services. Law student volunteers interviewed participants as they arrived at the event to identify whether they were in need of legal assistance, and if so, guided them to one of the several legal service providers offering free legal services at the event. 

The legal triage program was collaborative effort between Legal Aid and the College of Law’s Pro Bono Committee. It was developed to provide law students a unique pro bono opportunity and provide participants assistance in identifying their legal issues and guiding them to the appropriate resource. Over 700 participants attended this year’s Project Connect event. 

This year’s student volunteers were:

Melissa Araiza
Amanda Berman
Brianna Duda
Bobby Larsen
Dimon Mcferson
Mauricio Murga Rios
Sarah O’Neill
Allison Seiler
Nichole Sklare
Amy Sonnenfeld

Student at Project Connect Lincoln

Clinic Students Provide Services at Project Connect Lincoln

30 Sep 2019    

Civil and Immigration Clinic students offered free legal services in the area of “Clean Slate” relief to veterans and individuals of limited means at the Project Connect Lincoln event at Pinnacle Bank Arena. 

The Clinic was one of several legal service providers offering free legal services at the event. Under the supervision of Professor Ryan Sullivan, and led by the Civil Clinic’s Clean Slate Project team, Alex Sycher and Noah Rasmussen, students assisted participants in cleaning up their past criminal history to improve their access to employment, housing and other opportunities. Collectively the students served over 100 participants in some capacity and reviewed and evaluated over 200 criminal records. As part of the services provided, students evaluated participants’ eligibility for post-conviction relief, drafted all necessary documents, and filed petitions and motions on their behalf.

Participating students included:

Luke Hautzinger
Brianna Poppert
Noah Rasmussen
Shelby Rowan
Jake Schneider
Brittany Shultz
Nichole Sklare
Alex Sycher
Lauren Ziegenbein

Hal Daug

Daub, '66, Honored with Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award

23 Sep 2019    

Hal Daub, '66, was presented with the with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles. An accomplished listee, Daub celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Supported by professional excellence, Daub has flourished as a partner of Husch Blackwell LLP since 2001. During this engagement, he concurrently served as the president and the chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association from 2004 to 2005, having previously served as the mayor of the city of Omaha for two terms between 1995 and 2001. At the start of his career, Daub contributed as a congressman for the United States House of Representatives, where he was elected for four terms from 1981 to 1989. Soon thereafter, he was made a partner at Deloitte in Omaha between 1989 and 1994. 

Professional achievements to his credit include authoring more than 200 separate pieces of legislation. Some of these laws required congressmen to pay Social Security taxes and extended individual retirement account (IRA) deductibility to the non-working, or non-W-2 spouses. Additionally, he assisted in enactment of the 1986 Tax Reform Act and the Papio-Missouri Basin re-authorization for flood control, recreational lakes, and the trails system. Daub was responsible for transacting substantial tax rate reductions for all Omaha property tax payers as well as bringing innovations, such as police helicopters, to advance public safety.

Daub was involved in numerous endeavors throughout his professional journey. Presidentially appointed, U.S. Senate confirmed, he served as the chairman of the of the Social Security Advisory Board and was an elected regent for the University of Nebraska. Additionally, he contributed as a mentor for the Rotary Club of Omaha and Optimist International. In light of his exceptional undertakings, Daub was the recipient of the Hope is Help Award from the Autism Action Partnership and the Humanitarian Award from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Nebraska, among other accolades. Likewise, he was featured as a listee in the 71st edition of Who's Who in America. He has been inducted into the Omaha Chamber Business Hall of Fame and the Nebraska Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.

A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Daub earned a Bachelor of Science in 1963. Three years later, he secured a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the College of Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1966. In an effort to remain aware of changes in the field, Daub maintains his membership with the Salvation Army, the Boy Scouts of America, the Wounded Warrior Family Support and Fatherhood Family Initiative, the American Legion, and the Reserve Officers.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Daub has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.

Chairman Ajit Pai

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to Visit University of Nebraska

10 Sep 2019    

The University of Nebraska will host Chairman Ajit Pai, head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday, September 18.

The FCC works on issues ranging from closing the digital divide and facilitating the development of cutting edge communications technologies, to ensuring that telephone and television networks are accessible to all Americans and support public safety uses, and on high profile issues like network neutrality and the deployment of satellite-based Internet services. The visit is hosted by the Nebraska Law Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program and its Co-Director, Professor Gus Hurwitz.

The day-long visit will begin off campus at a precision agriculture farm; a visit coordinated by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. The Chairman will visit Steve Althouse Farms, just outside of Waverly, for a discussion of dryland farming operations, the precision technology used for planting and harvesting, and the data collected. Giltner, Nebraska farmer, Brandon Hunnicut, will also join the visit to provide some perspective about rural connectivity and the use of precision technology in an irrigated system.

Afterward, the Chairman will join students and community members for three unique sessions throughout the day. At a lunch for Law, Business, Engineering, and Journalism students, he will discuss the FCC's work as well as the world of federal policy more generally. Following lunch, the Chairman will join a roundtable discussion about federal communications policy with interested members of the Nebraska community.

The visit will conclude with a public "Fireside Chat" at the Nebraska Union at 3:30. The event will begin with a discussion between Chairman Pai and College of Law Professor Gus Hurwitz, before opening to questions from and discussion with the audience. This event is open to all UNL students as well as the broader University and Lincoln community. Space for this event is limited. Pre-registration is required and will be open until full. 

Chairman Pai has led the FCC since 2017, and previously served as a Commissioner for the FCC since 2012. In these capacities, he has helped to shape all aspects of federal communications policies, from efforts to shrink the digital divide, to fostering deployment of next generation wireless technologies, fighting robocalls, freeing spectrum to support next-generation technologies such as precision agriculture and satellite-based Internet access, modernizing media ownership rules, updating public safety technologies (e.g., to allow you to text to 911, and for 911 operators to access location information) -- and, yes, net neutrality. The son of immigrants from India, Chairman Pai grew up in Parsons, Kansas. He graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1994 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1997.

Questions should be directed to Elsbeth Magilton, Executive Director of the Space, Cyber, and Telecommunications Law Program, Elsbeth@unl.edu.

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