Administrative Advisory Committee


The Administrative Advisory Committee (AAC) is composed of four current and former COBRE Program Directors in the region. This committee provides expert advice to the administrative team on issues related to operational challenges, organization, budget allocation, and plans for long-term sustainability of core resources.

Walt Jesteadt, Ph.D., is the Chair of the AAC. He is the former Director of Research at BTNRH and served as Program Director of the CPCC until his retirement in 2017. His research focused the relation between intensity resolution, masking, and loudness. Dr. Jesteadt served as the PI for multiple collaborative NIH program grants, core grants, and training grants during his 40+ year career at BTNRH.

Mark McCourt, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at North Dakota State University. His research is focused on understanding human vision, using a variety of approaches to study brightness, lightness, and the contributions of multisensory processing on visual perception. Dr. McCourt is the Director of the Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, a Phase III COBRE that aims to understand how sensory information is processed by the brain.

Shelley Smith, Ph.D., is a Professor of Neurological Sciences at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She served as Program Director of the Nebraska Center for Neurosensory Systems, a completed COBRE. Dr. Smith's program of genetics research is concerned with hereditary hearing loss, developmental language disorders, and other communication disorders in children.

Nicholas Stergiou, Ph.D., is a Professor and Distinguished Community Research Chair in the Department of Biomechanics the University of Nebraska-Omaha. His biomechanics research program is concerned with human-movement variability, incorporating principles from several disciplines to understand how individuals integrate information from muscles, nerves and the environment to accomplish movement. Dr. Stergiou is the Program Director of a Phase II COBRE grant, Harnessing Movement Variability to Treat and Prevent Motor Related Disorder.