Dave Boocker joins eight other deans from across the country in offering example and advice on the special challenges of fundraising for the Liberal Arts and Sciences in Deans and Development: Making the Case for Supporting the Liberal Arts and Sciences a book published by the Council of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences(CCAS) and edited by Anne-Marie McCartan and Carl J. Strikwerda. Among the examples of successful donor relationships that Dean Boocker provides are the Haddix Community Chairs, the Natan and Hannah Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies, and the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professorship in Holocast and Genocide Studies.
The Nebraska Academy of Sciences (NAS) honors individuals who have over time made a notable contribution to science-based industry or science education in the state of Nebraska. Dr. Dan Sullivan, emeritus professor in Chemistry and a C.A.P.O.W. (Chemistry and Physics on Wheels) facilitator, has never stopped in his teaching of science. Dating back to 1962, Sullivan has taught chemistry to numerous students both here at UNO and, also, at UNMC. A strong advocate for the science community, he has also immersed himself into numerous STEM-outreach projects including the Nebraska Science Festival.
On April 10 through April 12, UNO hosted the 2014 International Conference on Religion & Film, the first conference of its kind anywhere in the world. Organized by Dr. William Blizek (Founding Editor of the Journal of Religion & Film), the Conference was sponsored by UNO's Journal of Religion & Film and the Religious Studies Program at UNO. Guest speakers represented Turkey, Israel, Iran, and Canada, as well as schools from across the United States. The Conference featured a keynote address, "Religion and Film: The State of the Union," by John C. Lyden, presently editor of the Journal of Religion & Film. The Conference included "An Evening of Religion In Short Films," featuring actress and filmmaker, Tamara Feldman, who showed her short film, "Resurrection Slope," as part of the Evening. Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey as asked to host the 20154 International Conference on Religion & Film.
In his first book, Beorn examines the perspective of ordinary German soldiers who played a part in the extermination of 800,000 Jews, or 90% of the Jewish population, in Belarus. The book is based on archival records, survivor testimony, and eyewitness interviews." Waitman Beorn, assistant professor of history, serves as the Louis and Frances Blumkin Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at UNO.
The Thomas J. Wilson Memorial Prize honors an author's mastery of his or her field and a special contribution to a major problem in that field.
Christine Cutucache, Assistant Professor of Biology, has been named the Haddix Community Chair of Science. The Chair recognizes Cutucache's efforts to share her passion for science with the community. Her largest project to date is organizing NE STEM 4U. Working with state and local politicians and school administrators, and earning a grant from the Shewood foundation, has launched the state's largest after-school STEM program for disadvantaged youth. Teaching the youth at seven locals schools are thirty volunteer undergraduate and graduate students from the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, geography and geology.
A partnership with the Henry Doorly Zoo was one of the projects that earned the award for Strasser. "In my senior level Animal Behavior Laboratory class (PSYCH/BIOL 4280), we partnered with the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and K-12 grade students to address a real need in the community partner; as well as making the most of the resources nonprofit partners provide for students. College students apply behavioral observation skills learned in the classroom to answer questions posed by zoo staff regarding specific behaviors of captive animals. The keepers simply do not have the time or resources needed to observe animals for several hours to find out answers to questions such as why an animal is exhibiting stereotypical or problem behaviors in their enclosure. In addition, other questions that might be directly relevant to the care of the animals such as the social interactions of group housed animals, reproductive status of animal they wish to bred, or engagement of the animals with the public go unaddressed. Animal behavior students can use what they have learned in the classroom to help answer these questions for the zoo staff."
Tom Bragg, Professor of Biology and Director of the Glacier Creek Preserve, realized the culmination of years of work and planning as the doors on the education and research facility opened this fall. The new facility, a retrofitted 19th-century barn, is home to classroom and research space for broad educational purposes, which includes all levels of formal education (Pre-K through Graduate) as well as organizations and individuals simply desiring to enjoy the sights and sounds of the historic prairie. The barn and rennovations were generously donated by the Hayes-Bragg Family and the Roy Johnson Family Partnership.
Lisa Knopp's book, What the River Carries, won the Nonfiction: Essays category in the Nebraska Book Awards this year. What the River Carries is a collection of essays exploring the physical and cultural geography of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte Rivers. Knopp contemplates how people experience landscape, identifying three primary roles of environmental perception: the insider, the outsider, and the outsider seeking to become an insider. Viewing the waterways through these approaches, she searches for knowledge and meaning. What the River Carries also earned Honorable Mention for the 2013 Environmental Creative Writing Award given by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). Knopp will be recognized at the upcoming ASLE conference hosted by the University of Kansas.
Protection of Earth's endangered organisms requires recognition and preservation of the "hot spots" of biodiversity. Assessment of biodiversity begins with knowledge of the species present in an ecosystem. However, a significant gap exists between the capabilities of current technologies and the biodiversity assessment tools upon which conservation decisions are made. Focusing on the evolutionary history of organisms, research conducted by Kellar and two graduate students will bridge that gap. EPSCoR FIRST award funds will be used to conduct massively parallel (also called next-generation) DNA sequencing to estimate robust Phylogenetic Diversity (PD) metrics in the two largest groups of flowering plants in two endangered grassland prairie ecosystems in Nebraska – The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve and Nine-Mile Prairie. Results of the comparative study will provide a guide through the assortment of PD metrics and to inform conservation planners selecting priority regions for preservation.
Aerosols, whether man-made or natural, have a significant effect upon human health, the environment, and climate. Darr makes aerosols in the laboratory that simulate salt aerosols produced by sea spray from the ocean. He and his students examine how water gets taken up and released by these salt aerosols, which is significant because the water content of the aerosols can affect both their optical properties and chemical reactivity. With funding from the Nebraska EPSCoR FIRST Award, Darr will be working with a student to examine the effects of amino acids upon this water uptake and release. This is important because field studies of aerosols indicate that there is a significant organic component found in sea salt aerosols. It is believed that biological decomposition of organisms in the ocean to organic compounds such as amino acids may contribute to this organic component.
"Daddy Long Legs: The Natural Education of a Father" follows Price's rediscovery of what it means to be a father after a heart attack scare forces him to re-evaluate what is important in life. The book's title is in reference to a major arc in the book, in which Price's nature-loving sons decide to make their house a "no-kill zone" for all living creatures – and all of the encounters with insects that follow. “Filled with grace, deep compassion, and the necessary consolation of the natural world, John Price’s Daddy Long Legs is a wise and articulate portrait of family and fatherhood,” says Dinty W. Moore, author of “The Mindful Writer” and winner of the National Book Prize for Non-Fiction in 2008. “If this book had wings, it would settle gently onto your chest, just above the heart.”
An upcoming scientific paper by a group of UNO scientists in the College of Arts and Sciences has clearly shown that 'science' has no rigid proscriptions for what male and female roles are or what they should be in nature. The group, led by Jeff French, Varner Professor of Psychology, Biology, and Neuroscience at UNO, reviewed the published literature on species of mammals (the taxonomic group to which human beings belong) in which females are not only more aggressive than males, but in many cases are socially dominant over males. "In a host of species, females are clearly dominant to males in feeding competitions, in access to preferred locations for resting and sleeping, and in many other facets of social life", said French. Species in which females "rule the roost" include spotted hyenas, rock hyrax (a close relative of elephants), ring-tailed lemurs, marmosets, and hamsters. In their paper, French and his group, including graduate students Aaryn Mustoe and Jon Cavanaugh, and research technician Andrew Birnie, also presented information on the biological origins of this sex-reversed pattern of dominance and aggression. The paper will be published in an upcoming issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences.
The editors of New Hibernia Reviewselected Buchelt's article "'Delicate Fantasy' and 'Vulgar Reality': Undermining Romance and Complicating Identity in Bram Stoker's The Snake's Pass" to receive the Roger McHugh Award for the outstanding article for 2012. The McHugh Award honors the article that the editors believe is the most likely to be consulted by future scholars. They praised the article as a "scrupulously researched and lucidly written article"that "makes a signal and indispensable contribution to scholarship on its topic." The prize is named for the late Roger McHugh, first professor of Anglo-Irish Literature at University College, Dublin (UCD), and includes a $300 cash award. It is funded in part by the office of Dr. Hugh Brady, president of UCD, and by the generosity of Dr. Maureen Murphy of Hofstra University.
What the River Carries is a collection of essays exploring the physical and cultural geography of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Platte Rivers. Knopp contemplates how people experience landscape, identifying three primary roles of environmental perception: the insider, the outsider, and the outsider seeking to become an insider. Viewing the waterways through these approaches, she searches for knowledge and meaning. What the River Carries earned Honorable Mention for the 2013 Environmental Creative Writing Award given by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). Knopp will be recognized at the upcoming ASLE conference hosted by the University of Kansas.
Peggy Jones, artist, playwright, and associate professor of Black Studies was awarded the Mary Ann Lamanna award for Excellence in Women's Studies for 2013. The award recognizes extraordinary service to the UNO Women's Studies program. A nominator writes, "Peggy is a good steward and citizen of our institution. She helps UNO fulfill our obligation to create an educational environment that is not restricted by gender, but instead educates about it and expands the horizons for discussion, intellectual interchange, and research." Presenting the award is Marcia Adler (left), last year's recipient of the award.
Making physics fun was the focus of a service-learning project between UNO Physics students and Lewis and Clark Middle School students. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, both student groups met in the Milo Bail Student Center Council Room, on UNO's Dodge Street campus, to celebrate the completion of the project, known as "Physics in a Box." For the project each group of middle school students, led by a UNO team captain, created a box that contains the necessary materials to conduct an experiment based on Newton's Laws of Physics. Using Newton's Laws, the boxes demonstrate that physics can be hands-on and experiments can be both educational and entertaining. The completed boxes were presented to friends and family at UNO during the celebration and eventually donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Omaha.
Dr. Steven L. Torres (Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literature) is the Editor-in-chief of a free online journal: Revista de ALCESXXI: Journal of Contemporary Spanish Literature and Film (ISSN: 2168-7803). This is the official journal of ALCESXXI, the International Association of Spanish Literature and Film of the 21st Century. Journal entries include academic articles written by scholars as well as essays by contemporary Spanish authors. The journal features interactive menus, hyperlinks, video options and free downloadable versions of all articles in PDF format: http://revista.alcesxxi.org/.
Dr. Torres is also one of the organizers of ALCESXXI's biannual conference, which will take place this summer at the Casa Sefarad-Israel in downtown Madrid (July 9-12). The conference will feature scholars from various countries, as well as Spanish writers, publishers, cartoonists and filmmakers.
ALCESXXI will also feature a new official website in February which will allow members to create their own profiles, participate in forums, post pedagogical content, original literature, news items and reviews of recent works. Access to the new site will be free to the public.
Written by Peggy Jones, "The Journey" will make its debut Saturday, Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m. and will be performed twice, Sunday, Feb. 17 - at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jones' play tells the story of Aaron Douglas, who became the first black graduate from the art department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in 1922. It will be performed by "Young, Gifted, and Black," an ensemble of
multicultural youth that use the work of great African-American playwrights to explore social issues.
According to the UNL website Douglas' work during college "became the foundation for a career as one of America's foremost 20th-century visual artists." Douglas is well known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, including illustrations for "The Crisis, Opportunity and The New Negro." Jones is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Nebraska Arts Council (http://www.nebraskaartscouncil.org) For more information, please contact Camille Metoyer Moten at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lanette Metoyer Moore at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) .
During the late Triassic through early Jurassic (about 210-190 million years ago) western North America was covered by a great sand sea. The dune sands deposited in this vast desert covered most of what is now Utah and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho and Wyoming. Until recently, few fossils of the remains of the animals that lived in this hostile environment had been found, and none at all in northeastern Utah. In 2006, Dan Chure, the Park Paleontologist at Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah and George Engelmann, Professor of Geology at UNO, began a project to search for fossils in this part of the geologic record in and around Dinosaur National Monument. A fossil quarry discovered in 2008 has yielded thousands of bones, representing several individuals of a new, early, carnivorous dinosaur. Brooks Britt, a paleontologist at Brigham Young University has joined the project, and blocks of sandstone collected from the quarry are being prepared at the lab there where abundant bones of the dinosaur have emerged over the last 3 years. Over the past year, skeletons of some very peculiar, extinct, small reptiles have been exposed in one of the blocks. The latest discovery from the quarry, another kind of small reptile, was made just this week. Besides the quarry, other results of the field work include discovery of trackways of early relatives of mammals that lived in this desert and other new finds.
"A scientific field laboratory might not be the place you'd expect to find an architectural marvel, but that's the case when you round a certain bend on the Elkhorn River in eastern Nebraska. Designed by local firm Randy Brown Architects, the testing facility is a compact 70-square-foot wonder of angular planes that rises phoenixlike out of the rushing waters on steel poles—a structural move that ensures the building in no way impedes the river's natural ebb and flow.
Pollution from factories, urban encroachment, agricultural practices, and beef feedlots is affecting the water quality of Nebraska's rivers. This pilot project, the first of seven planned riverside research stations, was commissioned by the University of Nebraska at Omaha's Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory so that its scientists can study and monitor contamination levels in the region's waterways. Clad in Cor-Ten steel, and powered by solar panels, the probe has the weathered patina of an old sea vessel. Inside, specimen tanks, water-testing equipment, and computer workspace are tucked into every available nook—even the steel door doubles as a beaker stand." Georgina McWhirter, Interior Design
The grant supports Latin America–UNO (LAUNO) Partnerships, a program created in collaboration with the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS), Service Learning Academy, Department of Biology, and Department of Foreign Languages and Literature. With the funding, LAUNO will offer study abroad opportunities to South America, including Peru, Brazil and Costa Rica, and will integrate service learning aspects and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs. Click here for more information.
Robert Woody, Psychology, was recently appointed to a three year term on the Douglas County Planning Commision. It is clear that our society has entered an era of increased governmental regulation of our lives. "Philosophically, I am a strong believer is self-determination," says Woody. "As I watch Douglas County burgeon in population and complexity, I realized that I would rather be in the fray that sitting aside. After several contacts with County governmental sources, I was pleased to have been selected to serve a three-year term as a Commissioner on the Douglas County Planning Commission. Of course my allegiance to UNO will always be present in my activities.
Martina Saltamacchia, Assistant Professor of Medieval Studies for the History Department, was presenter and curator for the Cathedral Exhibit at the 2012 Rimini Meeting, a cultural festival attended by 800,000 from 20 nations. She has published two books on the construction of the Cathedral:“Milano: Un Popolo e il suo Duomo” ( 2007), and "Costruire Cattedrali" (2011). Her work has revised historical thinking, revealing that the construction of the Cathedral was funded by the people of Milan rather than Prince Gian Galeazzo Visconti.
Rosemary Strasser's learning laboratory students interacted with Blackburn Alternative Program students to develop clicker training strategies for dogs at the Nebraska Humane Society. The students helped reward the dogs when they showed desirable behaviors as an example of conditioning taught in the classroom. Students will analyze data from their dog training experience, prepare presentations, and discuss final outcomes of the training with each other. Click here for Channel 7 video.
Joan Latchaw is partnering with Frank Bramlett, both English faculty, as well as Marvel Maring, Criss Libary, in researching data collected through the English Department at UNAN-León for an empirical study. The group plans to return to León in February to offer teaching workshops which will be based upon study findings.
The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies of the Great Plains issued the first in a series of three fact sheets that focus closely on the Latino population in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area. “Central to the mission of OLLAS is the generation of reliable information and analyses about Latino and Latin American populations,” said Lourdes Gouveia, director of OLLAS. “We hope this entire series of fact sheets will be useful to policy makers, students and all community stakeholders.”
To read the report, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/
Ramazan Kilinc presented "Opportunity Junctures as Catalysts: Islam, Secularism and Democratic Consolidation in Turkey," at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in 2011. He just recently received the news that his paper had won the best paper in religion and politics. The paper has also been accepted for publication in Political Science Quarterly.
Rami Arav, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Bethsaida Project, discovered what may be a piece of a Roman temple originally built in Bethsaida at this summer's dig. For more information on the Bethsaida Project and the latest discoveries, please visit The Bethsaida Excavations Project
Angie Hodge, Haddix Community Chair in Mathematics, along with co-PI Carol Mitchell from the College of Education, has received funding to bring the Eureka Project to Nebraska and UNO for the first time. This June twenty-eight young women, all eighth graders, are enjoying an educational experience that highlights the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mixed in with a healthy dose of sports and personal development activities during a month-long program being held at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO.)
Frank Bramlett, Associate Professor of English, recently published a collection of articles bringing together the two fields of comics research and linguistics to produce groundbreaking scholarship. With an international cast of contributors, the book offers novel insights into the role of language in comics, graphic novels, and single-panel cartoons, analyzing the intersections between the visual and the verbal. For additional information, visit http://linguisticsandcomics.weebly.com/index.html
Dr. Jonathan Benjamin Alvarado will be leading a class in a 10 day international service learning and travel study to Cuba which incorporates a partially-online 5 week summer course that looks at the Cuban Revolution in the 21st Century. Course topics will include U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba, Cuba after the Castros, Cuba's medical diplomacy, the emergence of the Cuban oil industry, economic market reforms, and sustainable development policy. For additional information visit http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/Cubabulletin.php
The international journal Age has published a study co-authored by Dr. Rosemary Strasser of UNO's Psychology and Neuroscience programs. The study evaluated the impact of variation in early testosterone exposure on lifespan in the house sparrow, a common North American songbird. A link to the paper can be found here:http://tinyurl.com/6qd7ezu
Former Mayor Mike Fahey has donated funding for an Internship and Lecture Series to promote involvement in Omaha City politics. Pictured here is Former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey accepting a plaque in appreciation for his gift to the Political Science Department. Left to right are Department Chair Randy Adkins, Mike Fahey, Student Megan Liken (1st Fahey intern), and Mayor Jim Suttle.
From the Heartland reflects UNO's commitment to learning and the community. English faculty Rachel Bash, Tammie Kennedy, and Maggie Christensen have compiled and edited a reader designed to accomodate the specific needs of UNO composition students. They write in the preface, "As writers in Omaha, Nebraska, we inevitably write from the heartland."
The metallicity of the M Dwarf or Red Dwarf may hold an important key to understanding galactic evolution. In a study published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Dr. Vincent Woolf of UNO's Physics Department along with Dr. Andrew West of Boston University's Department of Astronomy reveal that "the number of low-metallicity M dwarfs is not sufficient to match simple closed-box models of local Galactic chemical evolution." To read the full article, use this url: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20722.x/full.
Arts and Sciences faculty dominated the winner's circle at UNO's annual awards ceremony. In the photo from left to right are the following award winners and the dean: Dr. Andrew Swift- Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, Jesseline Anderson- Outstanding Service- Learning Faculty Award, Dr. Alan Kolok- Distinguished Research or Creative Activity Award, Dean of Arts and Sciences-Dr. David Boocker, Dr. Melanie Bloom- Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, Dr. Renat Sabirianov-Distinguished Research or Creative Activity Award, Dr. Steven Torres-Aumni Outstanding Teaching Award, Dr. Daniel Hawkins-Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award.
Dr. Rosemary Strasser assists a neuroscience major, digitally measuring a bird brain. The neuroscience major first offered in Fall 2009 now boasts over 100 majors.About 15-20 students have graduated from the neuroscience program as of Fall 2011. Many have gone on to distinguished graduate programs, a significant number have also entered medical school, and yet others are employed as technicians in scientific laboratories conducting neuroscience research. (Photo by Tim Fitzgerald)
The Omaha World-Herald published results from Adkins' national survey of political scientists revealing the most consequential presidential elections. Click here to read the report.
The national Canada Council for the Arts has awarded Michele Marie Desmarais (Religious Studies, Native American Studies) an Aboriginal Writer's grant to support completion of her first volume of poetry, water & other lost things. Desmarais is a Métis First Nations Canadian poet with Dakota (Spirit Lake Tribe) ancestry. (Photo of Desmarais by Karen Kempkes)
On January 13, a donated barn and silo were moved from a local farm to Allwine Prairie where they will start a new life in support of teaching and research. The barn will house classrooms, research labs, offices and space for community events. Students and other visitors to the prairie will be able to climb the silo to an observation deck to better see the expanse of the 160-acre grassland. For additional information, please see http://www.unomaha.edu/prairie/
Rami Arav's article entitled Excarnation: Food for Vultures is the cover story for the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Arav's article explains the use of ossuaries (or bone boxes) in Chalcolithic culures and the role that birds of prey played in the excarnation of corpses. Arav also proposes a new theory that sites such as Rogem Hiri in the Golan (and a similar circular structure recently uncovered at Tel Beth-Saida) served to house this excarnation.
Mary Dennison, director of UNO's Math Lab and David Boocker, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, cut the ribbon this fall at the opening of the new Math Lab in UNO's Durham Science Center. The UNO Math Lab, located on the second floor of the Durham Science Center (DSC 209), coordinates Math 1310 (Intermediate Algebra) and Math 1320 (College Algebra). A trained instructor leads small groups through discussions, activities and problems emphasizing group dynamics and student-student interaction. The lab now houses 50 student workstations for on-line algebra work and is the first virtual computing lab on campus.
English faculty Lisabeth Buchelt and David Peterson will lead an Irish Studies class to Ireland this summer to explore literature, visual arts, and culture. Hugh Reilly, Communication faculty, will serve as tour guide and coordinator. The course is an introduction to Irish Studies, covering Ireland from it's earliest history to today. Students will visit important cultural and historical sites with stops in Dublin, Galway, Connemar, the Aran Islands, and Sligo. For more information, contact Lisabeth Buchelt at email@example.com
Dr. Angela Hodge began working this fall to reshape mathematics education for the local community. She does this by getting students excited about teaching math. "Teaching is my number one passion," she says. "And helping others to like teaching and to like math is something I like to do, too. It's a chance to actually make a difference--to recruit more high-quality math teachers.
According to UNMC Public Relations, "A first-ever research study of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Nebraska has determined that the LGBT population has a significantly higher incidence of suicidal thoughts. Nearly 50 percent of the respondents indicated that they had serious suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. The study, called the Midlands LGBT Needs Assessment Community Report, looked at physical, mental, social, and sexual health aspects of participants. Conducted by researchers with the Midlands Sexual Health Research Collaborative (MSHRC), the study provides a snapshot of the health and well-being of LGBT persons in Nebraska, a predominately rural state. It was headed by Christopher Fisher, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. Dr. Fisher was assisted by two University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty members – Jay Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, and Jason Coleman, Ph.D., MSPH, assistant professor of health, physical education and recreation – as well as several community-based organizations throughout Nebraska and western Iowa." Fore more information, click here.
Dr. Bruce Chase, Professor of Biology and a member of the Neuroscience faculty, co-authored a scientific paper that describes a potential link between a genetic mutation and the neurodegenerative condition,Parkinson's disease. Most cases of Parkinson's Disease are sporadic and have an unknown cause. However, a few percent of cases result from dominant or recessive mutations. Studying these rare inherited mutations has led to the identification of about a dozen genes. In turn, their analysis has led to substantial insights into the causes of Parkinson's Disease. A link to the full-text article can be found here.
Professor Emeritus Dan Sullivan amazes students with a science show of bangs, pops, and flashes. C.A.P.O.W! allows chemistry, physics, and geology UNO professors to take science to area schools. Many schools may not have the right kind of equipment on hand for a wide variety of science demonstrations. C.A.P.O.W! can help. Demonstrations are available for the elementary and secondary school levels. For more information, click here.
Bill Blizek, representing the UNO College of Arts and Sciences, cuts the ribbon opening the old gate of the City of Bethsaida to tourists. The Bethsaida Excavations Project received a one million dollar grant from the Israeli government to preserve the gate and surronding walls, thereby enabling tourist traffic through the city. The Bethsaida Excavations Project is arranged as a consortium of 20 worldwide universities and colleges headed by UNO and director, Rami Arav. The excavation of the biblical city gate of Bethsaida dating from the 10th to the 8th centuries BCE, was completed after 14 years and with the discovery of a massive tower protecting the gate that measures 30 X 30 ft.
Posing here under the Tower Bridge, students enrolled in PSCI 4500/8506 traveled to London, England this summer for a tour of political sites such as London City Hall and for conversations with the decision makers in British government.
Owen Mordaunt recently published "Vocalization of (and Vocalization on) Sandhill Cranes." Platte Valley Review, 32.1, Winter 2010-2011. To read his article, click here.
The UNO Political Science Department was proud to kick off the 2010 Nebraska Civic Leadership Program June 21-25th on campus. This program is aimed at high school government teachers and their selected students. Within this intensive week, courses were taught on local, state, and national government. The weeklong program attracted social studies students and teachers from all over the state. Of these applicants, 8 teachers and 25 students were selected for participation. Students and teachers stayed in Scott Residence Hall, and took daily courses from accomplished professors, ranging in subjects from Federalism to the voting process. All participants were also be treated to various excursions, including a night at the College World Series and a trip to the Unicameral in Lincoln. In the summer of 2011, the same participants will return for further courses on campus, including a three day trip to Washington D.C. Through intensive coursework with nationally recognized professors in an academic environment, the Nebraska Civic Leadership Program is sure to cultivate new leaders for Nebraska, its communities, and the nation. Funding for the conference is provided by the United States Department of Education.
Members of the Biology Department conduct prescribed burns at Allwine Prairie Preserve and T.L. Davis Prairie three times per year in the spring, summer and fall. Opportunities exist for volunteers to help conduct prescribed prairie burns. For more information about our burns and to learn how you can become a volunteer, please refer to the Prescribed Burning Home Page. For training opportunities involved with prescribed burning and wildland firefighting, visit the Fire Training page.
UNO Magazine featured Dr. Dana Richter-Egger and Angela Moore as crime-fighting chemists.
The Mallory Kountze Planetarium offers its first public shows for spring on Friday, February 4 at 6:30 & 8:00 p.m. Public (walk-in) shows are usually available on the first weekend of each month, with seasonal observational astronomy programs. These multimedia programs are designed for general audiences, usually highlighting star patterns visible in the early evening and astronomical current events. A staff astronomer will be on hand to discuss audience member questions. Rooftop observing may be offered after public shows, subject to staff/equipment availability and favorable weather/sky conditions. For additional information, please visit http://www.physics.unomaha.edu/planet/default.html
Four of the six students graduating in December 2010 with a Native American Studies minor were honoured at the Fall 2010 Native American Studies Honoring on Thursday, 16 December by the Native American Studies program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Angela Bowing, Seth Thompson, Saleh Almatar and Lacey Taylor were present to receive blankets, a drop for their graduation regalia, a necklace and a feather in recognition of their accomplishments. Ali Al Saad and Ron Garvais were also recognized but were not able to be present for the honoring.
Since September 2007, the MSLC is a recognized source of academic support on campus for math and science students. Powered each year by 30 undergraduate peer tutors, the MSLC receives over 1000 student visits each week. The MSLC houses meeting alcoves, study/tutoring space, tutorial computers and reserve study materials. It also offers academic consultation for students seeking to increase their overall learning effectiveness and efficiency. For more information, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/mslc/
The geography program at UNO prepares students for careers in urban and environmental planning, geographic information systems, cartography, remote sensing, and other areas of geographic research. The Department offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The Cartography and GIS Lab consists of three separate computer facilities. The Cartography Lab, used primarily for instruction in GEOG 3540/8545, has eight Macintosh computers with large screen displays. The GIS Laboratory has 16 PC computers with dual screen displays running ESRI software and is used primarily for the GIS I and GIS II courses. A third lab is used for 3-D imagery analysis and mapping. For more information, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/geogeo/geography.php
The Writing Center invites UNO students, faculty, and staff in all university divisions to work with a writing consultant on any university-related writing project. Take advantage of this free service to work on your writing assignments, application essays, business letters, or other projects. For more information, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/writingcenter/
Colombia is a mountainous South American country well endowed with valuable resources, including precious metals. In fact, gold extraction is projected to become an important component of Colombia's burgeoning, modern economy. The extraction of gold from river sediments however comes at a price, as substantial amounts of mercury are used in the process. Methyl mercury, a neurotoxin, can accumulate in the muscle of fish species that are routinely caught by fishermen for human consumption. Alan Kolok, Director of the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory at UNO has been working directly with researchers in Colombia to test novel methods for quantifying methyl mercury in fish tissue. Their goal: to develop a low cost, rapid detection method for methyl mercury in fish muscle before it is served at the dinner table.
Jonathan B. Santo is a recent graduate from Concordia University, Montreal. His interest centers around the role of context in shaping human development. As a graduate student, his work examined the differences and similarities in the friendships and self-esteem of early adolescents in Montreal, Canada and Barranquilla, Colombia. In his current position, as assistant professor in the Psychology Department of the University of Nebraska in Omaha - UNO, his research focuses on cross-cultural differences in identity development through close peer relationships among adolescents from five different countries.
Established in 2009, The Natan & Hannah Schwalb Center for Israel & Jewish Studies' mission is to create, coordinate, and promote an interdisciplinary program focusing on teaching and scholarship in Jewish and Israeli history, politics, culture and society. The primary goal is to expand knowledge about Judaism and Israel, both on the university campus and in the broader Nebraska community. The Center is pleased to offer a $1000 scholarship for students traveling to Israel for academic purposes. The scholarship is awarded to five students annually on an as needed basis until the funds deplete. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide and opportunity for UNO students to enhance their knowledge and understanding of religions, cultures, and languages in Israel. For more information, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/israelcenter
The University of Nebraska at Omaha's Transformation Project officially began in October of 2007. John Morgan, a UNO alumnus gave a $1 million dollar private donation to the University of Nebraska Foundation specifically to fund this Project with the vision of designing, implementing and assessing a program to assist offenders in making changes in themselves that lead to becoming productive citizens in their communities. Pictured to the left is the graduating class of December 2009. Its ultimate goal is the creation of a program that will become a national model in the area of re-entry. For more information, please visit http://www.unomaha.edu/unotransformation
For fifty years the Missouri Valley History Conference has been an annual rite of spring for the midwestern historical community. Founded and organized by the Department of History, the conference is the longest standing professional gathering of historians in our region. With panels on all time periods of history, from the classical era to the modern, and with all topical emphases, from political history to newer social and cultural approaches, the conference allows scholars to exchange ideas and advance historical knowledge. For additional information, visit http://www.unomaha.edu//mvhc
UNO undergraduate in Quantitative Analysis (chemistry) lab preparing soil samples for analysis of their lead content. Lead pollution in the city of Omaha is currently the focus of an EPA Superfund site and faculty in the UNO departments of Chemistry and Geology. By incorporating the research into existing courses, this UNO research effort involves hundreds of UNO undergraduate students each year.
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Ford Foundation have supported a research and community engagement project whose main objectives are to: 1) fill a void in our knowledge about the development of migrant-run organizations in new U.S. destinations in the Great Plains and 2) assist these organizations' in addressing major public policy issues via Spanish-language, capacity-building, workshops facilitated by international, national and local experts. The OLLAS team has organized more than 15 capacity-building workshops with Latino migrant leaders, including at our Cumbre 2010 international conference. This conference brought together more than 500 participants from 15 different countries and from around Nebraska. Initial results of this project have been published in a report titled "Omaha Site: Migrant Civil Society Under Construction-Series on Latino Immigrant Civic Engagement." Go to http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/pdf/The%20Omaha%20Site.pdf for an example of our scholarship of engagement and visit our page often for updates: http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/
Six (6) OLLAS faculty from three (3) different colleges and six (6) different departments developed "UNO Project Improve" at the request of Douglas County Correctional Center (DCDC). The project's mission is to develop educational modules that are grounded in scholarship and aimed at enhancing the personal growth of Spanish-speaking Latino inmates. The group has conducted twelve (12) sessions assisted by five (5) service learning students during fall 2009. Photo to the left is of Dr. Lourdes Gouveia leading a session on Social and Migration Policies for male latino inmates at DCDC.
Omowale Akintunde was awarded a 2010 regional Emmy Award for his short film, "An Inaugural Ride to Freedom." The documentary explores the experiences of faculty, staff, students, and community members who traveled together to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Akintunde organized a bus trip to Washington D.C. to see the inauguration for fifty members of the UNO and Omaha Communities. Pictured below, among the crowd of two million spectators, from left to right, are Pearl Sams, former Urban League of Nebraska employee, Edwardene Taylor Armstrong, instructor for the Black Studies Department, and her husband Bob Armstrong, former executive director of the Omaha Housing Authority. For Bob Armstrong, this was not his first time in Washington D.C. as he had also been present 46 years earlier for the March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. Contact Omowale Akintunde.
The excavation season of 2010 took place during May to June and was extremely successful. More than 100 students and faculty participated in the dig. The Bethsaida Excavations Project is arranged as a consortium of 20 worldwide universities and colleges headed by UNO and director, Rami Arav. The finds of 2010 were extraordinary. The excavation of the biblical city gate of Bethsaida dating from the 10th to the 8th centuries BCE, was completed after 14 years and with the discovery of a massive tower protecting the gate that measures 30 X 30 ft.
Excavations at the Roman period residential quarter continued this year and revealed a unique gold coin dating to Antoninus Pius. The legend on the coin makes it possible to precisely date the coin to October 138 CE. Antoninus Pius had at that time a decisive dispute with the senate and he used coins to disseminate his propaganda. This gold coin is unknown in the numismatic literature. In the house where the coin was found there were a gladiator's sword and a dagger indicating that the owner of this house had affiliation with the Roman army.
In another area of the site, a figurine dating from 8th century BCE, depicting a decorated bull with the sun-god symbol was discovered. It is speculated that this figurine took part in anointing ceremonies. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory (ATL) has partnered with the Papio-Missouri River NRD to construct the Davis Prairie Data Shack (DPDS), an environmental research/education facility on the banks of the Elkhorn River. The Data Shack will be a 200 sq.ft. building, located on one of the major river systems within Nebraska and will provide a secure, controlled environment in which UNO students and faculty can conduct experiments. Holding tanks will be available at the DPDS to hold fish and other aquatic animals for experimentation. Water from the river will be continuously pumped through the DPDS, so that animals in the DPDS will be exposed to river water in real time. The DPDS will also function as a data acquisition station, allowing for continuous streaming of data from the DPDS to UNO. Contact Dr. Alan Kolok, Director of the ATL.
As part of a 3 year externally funded grant Geology Professors Harmon Maher and Robert Shuster led teams of seven (summer of 2009) and then six (summer of 2010) UNO undergraduate researchers to conduct field work in the Badland National Park in South Dakota and in parts of western Nebraska to study shallow fracture formation. Understanding fracture systems is critical to understanding the forces within the crust and how fluids move through the earth and is a particular focus in petroleum geology, hydrogeology, and structural geology. Progress so far includes the following:
- 6 new field sites mapped and sampled.
- GIS data base of chalcedony vein and clastic dike orientations built.
- new method for visualizing spatial variation in the degree of preferred orientation developed
- expanded and data informed model for how these fracture systems form.
- 3 presentations by UNO students at professional conferences
Contact Dr. Harmon Maher, Geology
A new computer-based molecular modeling lab on the third floor of UNO's Durham Science Center has helped three undergraduates in their research. Teddy Woolman (2nd right) and Joshua Stopak (3rd right) and Misha Wees (2nd left) were accompanied by Dr. Carroll (1st right) and Dr. Zhong (1st left) to attend the American Chemical Society (ACS) Midwest Regional Meeting in October, 2009 at Iowa City, IA. Teddy and Joshua won an ACS Midwest region best poster competition during the conference. This work involved the application of the state-of-the-art modeling software to investigate the small molecules and acetylcholinesterase. The latter is a key protein in regulating Alzheimer's disease. For more details, please click on http://myweb.unomaha.edu/~hzhong, or http://www.unomaha.edu/news/features/09/molecular-modeling-lab.php.
Bridget Blomfield teaches World Religions and Islamic Studies. Among the courses that she offers are Muslims in America, Islam, Women in Islam, Sufism and other classes that engage special topics. Many of her classes participate in the Service Learning Program and she encourages ethnographic research methods that take students into the Lincoln and Omaha Muslim communities to build bridges of dialogue and understanding. Her students are well grounded in Islam the religion and contemporary issues that face Muslims today. Students have produced power point presentations and films that have been shown at conferences in the academic and community settings. Every summer she takes students abroad to study Islam and culture to such places as Turkey and Morocco. Contact Dr. Blomfield for additional information.
The Young Nebraska Scientist residential summer science camps are offered for middle school students from across the state of Nebraska. In 2010, 27 such student spent a week at UNO studying aspects of near-space exploration. More than just a summer camp, the statewide Young Nebraska Scientists program (YNS) integrates research and education to address Nebraska's science education and outreach goals. The collaborative spirit among Nebraska research and education institutions established by Nebraska EPSCoR will be the critical factor to strengthen the K-12 STEM student pipeline. Contact Dr. Dana Richter-Egger for additional information.
Callitrichid Research Center granted certification by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced this month that the University of Nebraska at Omaha's (UNO) Callitrichid Research Center was granted certification by AZA's independent Accreditation Commission. The term 'Callitrichid' refers to marmosets and tamarins, squirrel-sized monkeys from South America. "The Callitrichid Research Center is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world," said Jim Maddy, AZA president and CEO. "It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Standards." "As a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Callitrichid Research Center is a true leader in wildlife conservation," Maddy added. Jeffrey French, a UNO professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biology, has directed the facility since 1982. "We are proud that the AZA recognizes our efforts in conservation and captive breeding for marmoset and tamarin monkeys. These efforts go hand-in-hand with our research on hormones and social behavior," French said.
The certification process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals. The inspecting team observes all aspects of the institution's operation in areas such as animal care; keeper training; safety for visitors, staff, and animals; conservation efforts; veterinary programs; financial stability; risk management; and other areas. The inspection team prepares an extensive written report for the Accreditation Commission. Finally, top officials are interviewed at a formal Commission hearing, after which certification is granted, tabled, or denied. Any institution that is denied may reapply one year after the commission's decision is made.
Dr. Tom Bragg has been deemed this years recipient of the Conservation Award in Education from the Nebraska Wildlife Federation. His award was presented at the annual fall fundraiser "Falling for Wildlife" held at Kiewit Lodge at Mahoney Park on Thursday Oct. 14, 2010. Bragg is Director of UNO's Allwine Prairie Preserve and T.L. Davis Prairie..Allwine Prairie Preserve is a 160 acre reestablished grassland research area situated northwest of Omaha in Douglas County, Nebraska, that was donated to the University of Nebraska at Omaha Biology Department in 1959 by Arthur A. Allwine. In 1970, 130 acres were seeded with native tallgrass prairie species; an additional 7 acres were seeded to mixed-grass species. T.L. Davis Prairie is a 25-acre preserve that was donated to the Biology Department in Spring 2005. For more information, check out the Nature Preserves website: http://www.unomaha.edu/prairie/
Bill Clute, Sociology Professor Emeritus, has been teaching Life Long Learning Courses since January 2009. The Life Long Learning Program nurtures lifelong learning by providing opportunities for learners 50 years and better. Sessions range from 1 to 6 weeks, lasting 1.5 hours and are held at a variety of locations within Omaha and Council Bluffs. The number of participants continues to increase. He has taught the following courses at the Arboretum Theatre: (a) the Development of Entertainment: Vaudeville, Broadway, Radio, Movies and Early Television, (b) Societal Change during the 20th Century, (c) Survey of Video-Biographies of Movie Stars, and (d) The History of Classical Instrumental Music: A Sociological Perspective. Currently, he is teaching, World Tour: A Comparative Societal Analysis that examines a different society each week for twelve weeks. He has also added two more independent senior residence places so he is teaching three days a week. All courses are about the impact of societal change on the lives of people using extensive audio-visual materials and handouts. For additional information, contact Bill Clute.
Each summer, Dr. Juliette Parnell leads a group of students through the capital and principal city of the region Franche-Comtéin in eastern France near the border of Switzerland. This study abroad program includes two options. Option One is intended for students at any level in French. Students will be exposed to or pursue their studies in the four critical components in language learning: speaking, listening, writing and reading. Depending on their level, they also will have the opportunity to take advanced workshops on various topics: cinema, theater, advanced writing, contemporary France. Option 2 is for French teachers and Master of Arts in Language Teaching ( MALT) students. These graduate students will meet other FLE (Français Langue Etrangère) teachers from all over the world, learn new teaching strategies, create oral or written activities for French classes, explore new teaching styles, learn to incorporate cultural artifacts in their teaching. For additional information, check out the Foreign Languages Study Abroad website: http://www.unomaha.edu/foreignlanguages/studyabroad.php
Dr. Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Professor of Political Science, is one of this nation's foremost experts on Cuban energy issues and has visited Cuba numerous times in the course of his work. In 2006, he was invited to be the academic representative in an American delegation organized by the World Security Institute to visit Cuba to investigate energy security issues. On this trip, in addition to visiting various sites and meeting government officials, Benjamin-Alvarado's party was surprised by an invitation to dinner from Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Barone has completed a pilot study on the sleep habits of UNO students, with a focus on what happens to students who routinely receive less sleep than normal.. In her study, students wear actigraphs — oversized watches — to measure their sleep patterns. She hopes the study will reveal why students sleep less, particularly as it relates to the hours they spend on work and school. University administrators struggle with the heavy workload students carry, Barone says. "If you're working 20 hours a week, it's going to be hard to take 15 hours of classes," she says. "Do we need to let go of this model of four years? I don't think it's the reality of college students any more." A more appropriate model, Barone says, may mean more work hours and less time at school. That could help students get more sleep — and graduate with less debt. One tangent of Barone's study is comparing student responses regarding use of over-the-counter drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs to sleep with student responses from a Texas university. UNO students use these types of sleep aids less often than the Texas counterparts, she says.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hydrogen holds the potential to provide clean, safe, affordable, and secure energy from abundant domestic resources. The widespread use of hydrogen can reduce our dependence on imported oil and benefit the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and criteria pollutant emissions that affect our air quality. Professor Robert Smith is a member of the Materials Research Group at UNO. This group uses a variety of state-of-the-art computational techniques to model the electronic properties of novel ionic and molecular materials, particularly solid-state ferroelectrics and catalytic materials. Professor Smith's contribution to the group is to synthesize and characterize those solid-state materials that are predicted by their simulations to have physically useful properties.
A recent focus of the group is the antiferroelectric material cesium niobate (Cs2Nb4O11), which is also a photocatalyst for the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Hydrogen gas produced by photocatalysis (sunlight) can then be used in a hydrogen fuel cell for production of electricity, particularly for loads that are remote from fixed sources of electricity. The group is seeking to enhance the catalytic activity by modifying the band gap with judicious addition of other metals into the lattice.
The program combines a two-week study abroad experience with distance education and service learning. In 2009, the students, community members and faculty assisted with the construction of a nursery. The facility will compliment the child care center that was built in 2008 by a group of UNO students who participated in the first OLLAS study abroad trip to Peru.
For the third time, UNO students and faculty, and Omaha community members will have the unique opportunity to travel to Peru this Summer and learn about the social and economic impact of globalization on Lima, one of Latin America's most important cities. Participants will have a chance to meet, and work alongside, residents of one of Lima's "pueblos jóvenes" (poor neighborhoods), San Juan de Miraflores. Dr. Olga Celle (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz) teaches the course via Distance Education from Lima, Perú. Arturo Miranda, from UNO's Service Learning Academy will assist with the SL project. UNO students must enroll in LLS 4950/8656 "Latin American Study Abroad: Perú" in the spring 2011 semester (January 10 – May 6). Students will earn three credit hours and obtain a Certificate in Latin American Service Learning upon completion of the distance education and travel abroad components.The travel dates for Lima, Perú are June 15-21, 2011. For more information about Study Abroad in Perú go to Perú Bulletin website: http://www.unomaha.edu/ollas/Perubulletins.php
Dr. Carolyn Gascoigne has received teaching awards at the college, the campus, and the state level. She received the Arts and Sciences Alumni Excellence in Teaching Award, the University Excellence in Teaching Award, the STAR Award from the Nebraska Department of Education, and the French Teacher of the Year Award from the Nebraska Association of Teachers of French. She has served as faculty advisor to Pi Delta Phi, participates in Teaching Circles, and participates on the state-wide French week planning committee. As a result of this final activity, Carolyn has hosted approximately 50-100 high school French students on the UNO campus every November since 1999.
Since joining UNO in 1997, Dr. Gascoigne has published 52 refereed articles. She has also published three book chapters, written one book, and edited two others. In addition, she has given 33 regional, national, or international presentations, served as co-editor of the CSCTFL Report, and book review editor for the French Review. She has also received 21 grants, mostly to support pedagogical innovation, such as service-learning grants, pedagogical development grants, or support for pedagogical research.
An associate professor in UNO's biology department, Lu is in the midst of a two-year research project on influenza A virus. Funded through the National Institutes of Health as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, his work is expected to help health professionals and researchers worldwide more accurately predict the genetic origin of newly emerging viral strains and to track their evolutionary changes. This will enhance global surveillance of influenza, enabling medical experts to decide which flu strains will be included in annual flu vaccines.
Frank Bramlett is pictured here on a trip to The University of Nicaragua to give pedagogy workshops in teaching English to speakers of other languages.
Bramlett is an associate professor in the English department, where his teaching supports graduate and undergraduate English students as well as several programs outside of English: the Master of Arts in Language Teaching (MALT), Women's and Gender Studies, and Black Studies. He's especially active in helping prepare teachers for public school careers in language arts, secondary English education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). As a researcher, Bramlett crosses multiple disciplinary boundaries, engaging the broad notions of language and identity. He has published in journals as diverse as Narrative, The Journal of Homosexuality, and ImageText. His current book project addresses linguistics and comics; it is an edited collection of chapters, with contributions from scholars in Canada, Belgium, Israel, Thailand, Sweden, and the United States.
One of his passions is helping students at UNO find and strengthen their own voices, especially in the service of advocacy. He serves as faculty advisor for the group Queers & Allies, is a mentor in the Emerging Leaders program, and is past chair of UNO Safe Space and Ally Training.
Nov. 28th, 2010: undergraduate students enrolled in Greek History 2510 visit the Joslyn Museum to tour the Greek Vase collection with Dr. Jeanne Reames, Dept. of History. Discussion consisted of information not only about pottery types and art history, but also involved the social functions of the vases -- how each might have been used by the Greeks in their daily life. Greek History 2510 is an introduction to ancient Greece and typically covers not only political and military history, but also the social history of the period. Excursions like this to the Joslyn to see actual artifacts from antiquity brings the classroom from the realm of words and ideas to the concrete reality of ancient lives ... and how they weren't always that different from our own today.
Matthew Marx teaches in the English department, and is the coordinator of The Synergy Project, UNO's initiative encouraging interdisciplinary "linked" courses. In years past, Matthew has linked his Honors writing and literature classes with history, religion, philosophy, and yoga to form a "superclass" called "Research in the Synergy of Thought and Spirit," which focused on the theme of understanding the rise and nature of human consciousness. The capstone for this course included a three week historical/literary tour of Europe, a trip Matthew has led three times. Recently, Matthew has been teaching Honors composition linked with philosophy in a class called "The Scales of Good and Evil" which introduces students to the study of ethics and morality.
Matthew's other activities include chairing the Goals and Directions Committee of Faculty Senate, working on a custom textbook for the First Year Writing Program, encouraging "green" innovations on the Sustainability Task Force, and encouraging campus bicycle access on the Sustainable Transportation Committee. He is currently helping Student Government coordinate UNOrthodox, a TED-style lecture series. Matthew won the 2009 Curulis Teaching Award for "teaching that goes above and beyond simple classroom instruction."
Undergraduate students at UNO's Allwine Prairie collect samples of emerging ground water for chemical analysis. Results indicated a 3x difference in Lithium concentrations (among other things) over a distance of of just 200 feet.
Allwine Prairie Preserve is a 160 acre reestablished grassland research area situated northwest of Omaha in Douglas County, Nebraska, that was donated to the University of Nebraska at Omaha Biology Department in 1959 by Arthur A. Allwine. In 1970, 130 acres were seeded with native tallgrass prairie species; an additional 7 acres were seeded to mixed-grass species.
Professor Moshe Gershovich (History Department) with a group of UNO students who participated in the Arabic Study Abroad program at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco, in Summer 2006. The statue, The Lion of Azrou, is situated at the center of Ifrane, a resort town built by the French during the 1930s at the timer of their Protectorate over Morocco. Renowned for its beauty and modest climate, Ifrane is the home of AUI, Morocco's first English-language university. Professor Gershovich had taught there during the late 1990s before joining the UNO faculty in 20001.
Credit: picture taken by Dr. Paul Williams from UNO's Program of Religious Studies
Since 1998, UNO’s Aim for the Stars Outreach has provided safe, fun and enriching informal science and mathematics education to all children of all abilities. Aim for the Stars was created by Drs. Robert Graham and Neal Grandgenett and Mr. David Kriegler. In its first summer, the program served nearly 500 children. There were four core camps: Astronomy, Natural Sciences, Totally Cool Math and Science Combo, and Earth Science. In 2010, there were 47 individual science and math camps offered to children entering grades three through ten and 1583 children were enriched. Well before the nation began emphasizing STEM education, Aim for the Stars, an innovative UNO Physics Department outreach program, provided quality hands-on STEM programs for the children of the greater Omaha area and beyond. The diverse staff includes many area classroom teachers, as well as UNO professors, teaching assistants, graduate assistants and undergraduates. Aim for the Stars helps the University of Omaha shape a more technologically and scientifically prepared society which is ready to lead the Greater Omaha Metropolitan Area and our nation. Contact Aim for the Stars