history photo

Pictured above, a lone student takes a snowy stroll near Arts and Sciences Hall circa the early 1960s.

This Week in Campus History

On Feb. 4, 1972, The Gateway reported that many federal work study students who had surpassed their maximum number of allotted hours would soon be dropped from the program due to a lack of federal funding. According to Don Roddy, director of UNO Financial Aid, "students working during Christmas vacation depleted our budget for this academic year."

Date: Feb. 4, 1972
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

Paul Allen Williams and Michele Desmarais

Religion Meets Film

by Teresa Gleason

Paul Allen Williams and Michele Desmarais are not filmmakers. Nor are they studio heads, publicists or movie distributors.

Yet Drs. Williams and Desmarais, assistant professors of religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), will be among the throngs of industry types headed to Utah this month for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The event, set for Jan. 19-29 in Park City, Utah, ...continue

Message from the President

To: UNO faculty and staff

From:  James B. Milliken, president, University of Nebraska

Subject: An invitation to hear Richard Florida on Feb. 3

I'm pleased to invite you to participate in a special presentation on Friday morning, Feb. 3.

Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class and The Flight of the Creative Class, will speak at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck joins me in inviting all University of Nebraska faculty, staff and students to "attend" via live webcast. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. CST and includes a 30-minute lecture followed by a 30-minute Q&A session with students who are participating in a special UNO course on innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship at Gallup. The program can be accessed online at http://www.nebraska.edu.

One of the nation's most prominent -- and intriguing -- social theorists, Florida addresses the growing role of creativity in economic development and the crisis that is looming for the United States if we do not find innovative ways to attract and keep entrepreneurial, scientific, artistic and cultural talent. His Web site, http://www.creativeclass.org, provides background on his ideas and publications.

If you need additional information, please contact Sharon Stephan in my office (sstephan@nebraska.edu).

Social Equity Leadership Conference Set for Feb. 2-3

National, state and local leaders in public administration are expected to attend the fifth annual Social Equity Leadership Conference Feb. 2 and 3, which is being hosted by the UNO College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) in collaboration with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). Issues related to social equity and solutions to address disparities in public health and law enforcement will be the focus of the event. 

"This conference will not only highlight social equity issues, but our speakers and presenters will show how large national problems may have solutions at the local level," said B.J. Reed, dean of CPACS. Dr. Reed was recently named a NAPA fellow.

Costis Toregas, chair of the NAPA Social Equity in Governance Panel, will be attending the conference and moderating an open session focusing on local responses to issues involving health and justice. Toregas recently capped a 32-year career at the Public Technology Institute (PTI), retiring with the title of president emeritus. He steered the Washington, D.C.-based organization to unprecedented success by creating innovative public/private partnerships, Dr. Reed said. Nationally, he is known for advocating for the strengthening of local governments through the effective use of technology.

Additional topics that will be covered in small group and panel sessions include HIV/AIDS, infant mortality, mental health, substance abuse, arrest and criminal profiling, criminal sentencing and community safety. All sessions will be held at Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown, 555 S. 10th St.

KETV Kaleidoscope host Ben Gray will give the keynote dinner address. Other invited local officials and professionals taking part in sessions include Omaha Police Chief Tom Warren; Rubens Pamies, vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Robert P. Houston, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services; Jose Romero, a physician at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and board member of the Chicano Awareness Center; and Marilyn McGary, president and chief executive officer for the Urban League of Nebraska Inc. Paul Landow, chief of staff for Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey and Tanya Cook of the Governor's Office will welcome conference attendees.

For more information on the Social Equity Leadership Conference, call 402.554.2442.

Black History Month Celebration Under Way

A month-long event celebrating black history and culture is officially under way at UNO. All activities are open to the public and will be held on campus at the times and locations listed below. Activities are free, with the exception of the Feb. 3 luncheon and the Feb. 11 fashion show.

Tuesday, Jan. 31
- Open Mic Poetry
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
MBSC Ballroom
A diverse crowd of poets and listeners is anticipated at this open mic event.
Sponsored by American Multicultural Students, SPOWkun Word and NCNW

Friday, Feb. 3
- Color Me Human Luncheon
Noon to 1:15 p.m.
MBSC Ballroom
Featuring "Dr. King's Dream" by Mixedblood Theater. Tickets are on sale in the MBSC Business Office ($3 for students, $5 for faculty and staff, and $7 for the public).
Sponsored by American Multicultural Students

Feb. 6-28
- Black History Month Display
University Library Foyer
This informative display celebrates the history, culture, icons and contributions of African Americans.
Sponsored by University Library

Monday, Feb. 6
- African American Read-In
6 to 8 p.m.
MBSC Fireplace Lounge (first floor)
Participants will be able to share insights about The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the book's namesake at a discussion group formed in recognition of the 17th National African American Read-In.
Sponsored by Multicultural Affairs

Tuesday, Feb. 7 
- Jabali Afrika
MBSC Nebraska Room
This multi-faceted Kenyan group combines fusion and African rhythms. Original compositions and traditional African rhythms come alive on a wide variety of instruments accompanied by vocal harmonies, dancing and choreography.
Sponsored by the Student Programming Organization (SPO)

Saturday, Feb. 11 
- Kaleidoscope Fashion Show
3 to 6:30 p.m.
MBSC Ballroom
The colorful fabric of African Americans will be showcased. The event also will feature food, fun and door prizes. Tickets are on sale in the Office of Multicultural Affairs on the first floor of the MBSC ($10 for adults, $7 for students, and $5 for children 12 and under).
Sponsored by the UNO Section of NCNW and Allen Chapel AMEC

Wednesday, Feb. 15 - Malcolm X Festival
MBSC Ballroom
The UNO Department of Black Studies is hosting this annual festival in tribute to those individuals and groups who contribute to the improvement of the American society. With involvement from SPO, Cultural Awareness Programs, Multicultural Affairs and others, this year's focus is on the women of this movement.

- Poet and playwright Sonia Sanchez
10 to 10:50 a.m.

- Urban Bush Women
Featuring Sonia Sanchez and Amara Tabor Smith.
11 to 11:50 a.m.

- The Art of Black Women
Featuring Deborah Bunting, artist, and Wanda Ewing, assistant professor of art/art history at UNO.
1 to 1:50 p.m.

- Black Women's Literature
Featuring Helen Fountain, UNO Multicultural Affairs.
2 to 2:50 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 16 - Malcolm X Festival
MBSC Ballroom

- "Voter Education and Black Women in the Women's Suffrage Movement"
Featuring Roslyn Terborg-Penn, Morgan State University.
10 to 11:45 a.m.

- Black Women Activism
Featuring Jennifer Hamer and Helen Neville, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign.
1 to 2:15 p.m.

- "Addressing Issues of Race in Women's Studies"
Featuring Genevieve Williams and Angela Drakeford, UNO students.
2:30 to 3:45 p.m.

- Closing Ceremonies
Featuring Spoken Word and African Dance-PASO.
7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 22 
- Seku Neblett, African Drummer
Noon to 1 p.m.
MBSC Ballroom
An African born in America, Neblett has studied African cultural forms in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. He encourages individuals to seek information concerning African culture and its realities.
Sponsored by Student Organizations and Leadership Programs/Cultural Awareness Programs

Sunday, Feb. 26
- The Langston Hughes Project
7:30 p.m.
Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall
Ronald McCurdy, a professor of music at the Thornton School of Music, will present a multimedia display on Langston Hughes, including his life, his art and his times.
Sponsored by the Nebraska Arts Council, the UNO Department of Black Studies, the UNO Department of Music, SPO and the Goodrich Program

For more information, call 554.2711.

History Candidate to Present Lecture Today

Roger Carpenter, a candidate for a tenure-track position in the UNO Department of History, will present a lecture titled "Perverse Liberation: Henrnando de Soto and the Creation of a Free Native Southeast" today, Jan. 31, at 3:45 p.m. in 310 Arts and Sciences Hall.

Dr. Carpenter's presentation is open to the campus community. For more information, contact Mark Scherer in the UNO Department of History at 554.2835.

Premiere of Song of the Magpie Feb. 8

The UNO Department of Theatre is sponsoring the premiere of Martha Boesing's Song of the Magpie Wednesday, Feb. 8. The event will begin at noon in the directing lab (Room 006) of the Weber Fine Arts Building. It is free and open to the public.

Song of the Magpie is a one-woman show that grew out of Boesing's experiences with The Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco, an organization that works with the homeless.

The first half of the play is about Walker, a woman who decides to live on the streets for a week to see what it's like to be homeless. She gets an adequate picture of the homeless lifestyle but doesn't find any answers.

In the second half of the play, the Walker character morphs into Sophie, who actually lives on the streets. "Sophie talks about what it's really like – the horrors most of us don't know about – and the experience of living a basically nomadic life with some redemption in it," Boesing said.

The performance is about 50 minutes long.  It will be followed by a discussion with the playwright and performer.

For more information, contact D. Scott Glasser at 554.3619.

Community of Science Information Session Feb. 9

The next Community of Science (COS) information session will be held Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. in Room 204 of University Library.

The Office of Sponsored Programs and Research is hosting hour-long sessions to provide faculty and graduate students with information about the various COS online resources, including finding funding.

Reservations for the information session are not required. For more information, contact Nancy Schlesiger at 554.2286.

The Langston Hughes Project Comes to UNO Feb. 26

The work of one of the most important writers and thinkers of the 20th century is coming to UNO Sunday, Feb. 26.

The McCurdy/Wright Consort will present The Langston Hughes Project, Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz - a multimedia event that embodies the writer and poet at his best - at 7:30 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Hughes was an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance, the African American artistic movement in the 1920s that celebrated black life and culture. His poetry, novels, plays, essays and children's books promoted equality, condemned racism and injustice, and celebrated African American culture, humor and spirituality.

The Langston Hughes Project, based on a masterwork written in 12 parts by Hughes in the early 1960s, creates the mood of the Harlem Renaissance in the 800-line suite of poems illustrated by the spoken word, and accompanied by a live quartet and visual images from the era. It has been presented at colleges, universities, museums and cultural centers across the United States, including Carnegie Hall.

"The performance recreates Hughes' vision of the global struggle for freedom in the early 1960s," said Pete Madsen, coordinator of jazz studies and assistant professor of trombone at UNO.

African American artists and photographers - including Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks and Romare Bearden - link words to music and a kaleidoscopic collection of images. Spoken word artist John Wright brings Hughes' text vividly to life. Music director and composer Ron McCurdy orchestrates the original music based on the music cues suggested by Hughes.

The UNO performance of The Langston Hughes Project is sponsored by the UNO Department of Music, the UNO Department of Black Studies, the Student Programming Organization, the Goodrich Program and the Nebraska Arts Council.

For more information about the Feb. 26 event, contact Kimberly Mettenbrink at 554.3427.

For more information about The Langston Hughes Project, visit the Web at http://www.ronmccurdy.com.

Search Under Way for New Durango

Got spirit? UNO Athletic's is currently searching for a UNO student who is interested in being Durango, the UNO mascot.

The athletic marketing department is searching for a student to be Durango at various events this semester, as well as for the 2006-07 athletic season.

This is a paid position. For more information, call at 554.3882.

Safety Notice for On-Campus Incidents

The start of a new semester is a great time to brush up on the university's safety and emergency procedures. The information below is provided by Campus Security, located in 100 Eppley Administration Building.

Incident Reporting
Incidents requiring immediate action include fire, environmental spills, medical conditions, property damage, disruptive behavior and crimes in progress. Persons involved with or observing these types of incidents should call Campus Security at 554.2911. Campus Security will dispatch officers to the scene and, if required, contact 911.

Faculty and staff can call 911 directly, but then they also should notify Campus Security to help coordinate the response and expedite travel to the emergency scene. Emergency information provided by the caller should include the building, floor, room number, call back number and nature of the emergency.

Faculty and staff should assist with room and building evacuations, and be aware of those needing special assistance. All employees should become familiar with the designated rally points for their buildings, which are listed in the back of the telephone directory under "Emergency Procedures."

Personal Threats and Harassment
Disruptive behavior on campus will not be tolerated. Threats or acts of violence should be reported to Campus Security and your supervisor. If the act appears to represent an immediate threat or harm to the individual, it should be reported at once to Campus Security or 911.

Personal Escorts
The escort service is available 24-7 for individuals on campus. Contact Campus Security to arrange for an escort.

Personal Safety Checks
Individuals who may be working alone outside normal working hours are encouraged to contact Campus Security. Security officers will periodically check on your safety while you are here.

Personal Property
The university is not responsible for personal property. Individuals are responsible for safeguarding their own property. Loss of personal property should be reported to Campus Security.

Alert System
A system to help facilitate emergency communications has been installed on the north and south campuses. Announcements are distributed from Campus Security to building public address systems or speakers located in building corridors. When announcements are made, strobe lights will flash to notify the hearing impaired to seek assistance.

The system will be particularly helpful during tornado warnings. The announcement will alert building occupants to seek shelter and again later when the warning has ended. The alert system also can be used to announce university closings, confirm evacuations for fire or chemical release, or other emergency conditions.

More information on campus emergency procedures can be found in the UNO Employee Telephone Directory beginning on page 106. For more information about Campus Security procedures related to campus emergencies, contact Stan Schleifer at 554.3596 or Paul Kosel at 554.2648.

2006 UNO Women of Color Award Recipients Announced

A musician, a director, a community activist, a librarian, a researcher and a student are the 2006 recipients of the UNO Women of Color (WOC) Awards.

The group will be honored at a luncheon Wednesday, March 1, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Central, 72nd and Grover streets.

UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck will be in attendance at the fourth annual luncheon to congratulate the nominees and winners. This year's theme is "Connections."

"Since 2003, UNO has honored outstanding women of color for their profound contributions in the metropolitan community, as well as to their discipline," Dr. Belck said. "This year we will again take time during Women's History Month to applaud all nominees and award recipients for their exceptional efforts."

The 2006 award winners are as follows:

- Geraldine Tyrance, musician, is the recipient of the Arts and Humanities Award;

- Terrie Jackson Miller, director of the minority economic development council, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, is the recipient of the Business/Entrepreneurship Award;

- Athena Ramos, president of the Metro Omaha Tobacco Coalition, is the recipient of the Community Service Award;

- Debra Paris, librarian/media specialist at Benson High School, is the recipient of the Education Award;

- Dr. Oluwatoyin Asojo, assistant professor of pathology and microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is the recipient of the Science and Technology Award;

- Georgianna Lee, a student at Creighton University, is the recipient of the Youth Leadership Award.

"We are proud to recognize the achievements of this diverse group of women," said Mary Mudd, WOC committee chairperson and university consultant. "The honorees' insights, diverse perspectives and experiences are being highlighted and celebrated in an effort to encourage continued and future involvement of women of color in our community."

the nameThe luncheon speaker is Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. In her fourth novel, See uncovers the mystery of "nu shu," a writing that has been used as a form of communication for more than 1,000 years by Chinese women in a remote southern Hunan providence. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. Dr. Magda Peck, Sc.D., founding director of the University of Nebraska's Master in Public Health (MPH) program, will serve as the mistress of ceremonies.

"There will be a book-signing at the event to celebrate Lisa See's newest novel," Mudd said. "We're thrilled to have her with us to help congratulate this year's winners and to revel in our womanly connections."

The luncheon is open to the public, and tickets are $25 per person. Organizations can reserve tables of 10 for $250. The event is sponsored by UNO, ConAgra Foods Inc. and State Farm Insurance.

To access luncheon registration forms online or for more information about the event, visit the Web at http://www.unomaha.edu/woc/. The deadline for registrations is Monday, Feb. 20. For more information, call 554.2779.

Copies of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan will be for sale at the luncheon. They also will be available at The Bookworm, 8702 Pacific St.

Campus Unveiling of Alumni Center Feb. 7

All UNO faculty and staff are invited to the campus unveiling of the newly remodeled and expanded William H. and Dorothy Thompson Alumni Center Tuesday, Feb. 7. The event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

The UNO Alumni Association and Brandeis Catering will host the event. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact Greg Trimm at 554.3368 or gtrimm@mail.unomaha.edu.

TIAA/CREF Campus Visits Slated for February

A representative from TIAA-CREF will be on campus each Tuesday in February for individual counseling sessions. The dates are Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28.

To schedule an appointment, call Louella Williams at 402.548.3610 or visit the Web at http://www.tiaa-cref.org/moc.

Spring Schedule Announced for GLBTQ Dialogues

Faculty, staff and students interested in making UNO a safe environment for members of the GLBTQ community are invited to participate in a series of campus dialogues this spring. The schedule is listed below.

Wednesday, Feb. 8
11 a.m. to noon
Milo Bail Student Center (MBSC) Gallery Room

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Noon to 1 p.m.
MBSC Council Room

Wednesday, March 22
11 a.m. to noon
MBSC Gallery Room

Thursday, April 13
Noon to 1 p.m.
MBSC Gallery Room

All those interested in attending are invited to bring their lunch. For more information, contact Sharon Ulmar at 554.2872.

Nominations Sought for 2006 Sparks Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the inaugural Robert D. Sparks, M.D., Award. The award, named after Dr. Sparks - a former chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), has been established through the University of Nebraska Foundation to recognize University of Nebraska faculty members, regularly enrolled students and/or volunteers involved in faculty or student research projects for outstanding innovation, excellence, collaboration and impact on health promotion, disease prevention and advancement of effective public health approaches.

The award recipient will receive a $1,000 cash award and will be honored at a luncheon set for Thursday, April 6, at the Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. 

This event is being held as part of Public Health Week and World Health Day. Dr. Sparks will be in attendance to present the award. The award recipient will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation about his/her work during the luncheon. The luncheon also will feature keynote remarks by a nationally recognized leader in public health.

All nominations must be received or postmarked no later than Wednesday, Feb. 15. E-mail, fax and postal nominations will be accepted. Nominations should include:

- A completed nomination form and attached description of the nominee's qualifications (no more than two pages in length);

- Up to two letters supporting the nomination; and

- An up-to-date curriculum vita or résumé for the nominee.

The Awards Selection Committee will use the following criteria in evaluating nominations as demonstrated in their work practice/products:

- Excellence;

- Innovation/creativity;

- Collaboration; and

- Impact on health promotion, disease prevention, and/or advancement of effective public health approaches.

The nomination form, letters of support, and the nominee's CV or résumé will be the primary sources of information for selecting award recipients. The nomination form is available by clicking on the following link:

2006 Nomination Form

Nomination materials and questions about the award should be directed to:

Magda G. Peck, Sc.D.
Chair, Robert D. Sparks Award Committee
Collaborating Center for Public Health & Community Service
210 South 49th St.
Omaha, NE 68132
E-mail: mpeck@unmc.edu
Phone: 561.7566
Fax: 561.7525


On Jan. 21 and 22, the UNO forensics team traveled to Seward, Neb., to compete in the Sun and Sleet Invitational, two tournaments in one weekend hosted by Concordia University and Azuza Pacific University.

At the event, 19 schools attended the competition. UNO's team placed third in overall tournament sweepstakes Jan. 21, won three events over the weekend and qualified one student for competition at the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament to be held this spring. 

Individual results are listed below.

Jan. 21
Becky Boyer finished in fifth place in after-dinner speaking. Marty Ertz was second in after-dinner speaking and third in communication analysis. Teresa Oberdorfer was fourth in prose and was the tournament champion in dramatic interpretation. Oberdorfer, together with newcomer Matt Eledge, placed fourth in duo interpretation. Channa Rench placed fourth in program oral interpretation and was the tournament champion in prose interpretation.

Jan. 22
Matt Eledge placed fourth in prose interpretation. Rachel Samson was fourth in program oral interpretation. Marty Ertz finished in fourth place in after-dinner speaking. Buey Ruet was seventh in program oral interpretation and was the tournament champion in persuasive speaking, qualifying for the national tournament. Teresa Oberdorfer and Eledge were the tournament champions in duo interpretation.

Up next, the team travels to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a tournament.

Have you done something noteworthy in your profession? E-mail "People" items to bnewsam@mail.unomaha.edu. "People" appears in the Tuesday edition of eNotes.