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Pictured above, Alpha Sigma Lambda's "In War and Peace" float at the University of Omaha's 1946 May Day Parade.

This Week in Campus History

On March 28, 1977, The Gateway reported that both a new University Library book return drop box and a campus fire hydrant were found missing and presumed stolen from the UNO campus. The book return, valued at around $200, was one of four being tested for use on campus. Because of this supposed theft, the decision was made to sink drop boxes in concrete, as they were used frequently enough to warrant permanent installation. As for the hydrant, no value was reported. However, Mike Kallman, director of plant operations, suggested a possible use for the stolen item. He was quoted as saying: "I hear some people think it's cute to get them chrome plated and put them in their living room."

Date: March 28, 1977
Source: The Gateway
Compiled by University Library Archives

Les Sigman

Going for Four

by Tim Fitzgerald

You'd never know that Les Sigman is going after his fourth national wrestling championship March 10-11. He is as calm and soft-spoken as ever and seems to wonder why he's getting so much attention.

Sigman could set University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) records and become the first Maverick to win four national titles (wrestler Roy Washington had three and his brother, Mel, had two). In doing so, ...continue

AKD to Host Free Screening of "Crash" Tonight

Alpha Kappa Delta, a sociology honors society at UNO, will screen "Crash," the 2005 Oscar winner for best picture, tonight, March 30, at 6:15 p.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Nebraska Room. The event is free and open to interested UNO students, staff and faculty.

Free pizza and a discussion will follow the movie.

The film, based on a screenplay by Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, tracks the volatile days of a multi-ethnic cast of characters as they struggle to overcome their fears while careening in and out of another's lives.

For more information, contact Amber Bring at

March Employee of the Month: Nita Armendariz

While a demanding schedule can create chaos for some, it's quite the opposite for Nita Armendariz, administrative tech I in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CCFAM), who finds the atmosphere inspiring.

the nameLast summer, the number of faculty and staff members in her work area pretty much doubled in size due to the formation of CCFAM, which brought together the UNO School of Communication, four academic departments, KVNO Classical 90.7 FM and UNO Television. Armendariz said she has enjoyed the change. "Even though the days can be extremely hectic, it seems that I thrive on it," she said. "There's always paperwork to be done or questions to be answered. When I can answer someone's question and help them with what they need, it makes me feel great."

The uniqueness of the CCFAM departments and the interaction among them is a job aspect that Armendariz appreciates. "It makes for an interesting and challenging position," she said. "It's great to see all the students in the different areas, such as theatre, art, music, Writer's Workshop and communication. There's always some kind of activity going on in our building."

In 1983, Armendariz said she first checked out a job posting at UNO per the suggestion of a friend. "I had taken a few classes here and there and always wanted to go back to school, so I decided to apply when a friend told me about an opening," she said. "I really wanted to be on campus again, and I loved the atmosphere – there was always something exciting going on."

After two years in human resources, she left campus for several years before returning to fill an opening in the former UNO Career Center, from which she transferred to fine arts and then CCFAM. In all, she has been at UNO for almost 13 years.

Armendariz said her previous positions at UNO have been great stepping-stones to prepare her for her current post. "I was employed at the Career Center for around nine years, and it did groom me for this position," she said. "I dealt with accounting, finance and human resources matters, along with interaction with students and employers."

She said the 60-plus full-time faculty and 40 staff members, in addition to many part-time instructors and student workers in CCFAM, have strived to make the college merger a success. Her days regularly consist of tasks ranging from budget and finance issues, paying vendors and students, and assisting faculty and staff with policies and procedures, but Armendariz said she most enjoys helping with special events, invitations and luncheons/dinners.

Co-workers say they appreciate Armendariz's positive attitude and efforts. "She is an extremely diligent, professional, efficient, honest, loyal, cooperative and enthusiastic employee," one individual wrote. "She is self-motivated and knowledgeable about our procedures and runs a tight office. Her engaging personality causes our office to be a pleasant work space and motivates others to want to work cooperatively with her."

To unwind after a busy day, Armendariz said she likes to work out in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building. When she has time, she enjoys visiting her parents in Nevada and taking a short drive to explore Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in neighboring Utah. Vacationing also gives her the opportunity to practice another of her favorite hobbies, photography.

At UNO, she said she cherishes the campus atmosphere and has fond memories of colleagues dressing up for Halloween. Her new Employee of the Month honor is also on her list of good times. "I love working on campus, and it's wonderful to be recognized for the work I do," she said.

As Employee of the Month, Armendariz will receive a plaque, portrait and monetary award. Nominations for the Employee of the Month Award at UNO are accepted year-round. All UNO faculty, staff and students are eligible to nominate individuals for the honor. Nomination forms are available in Human Resources, 205 Eppley Administration Building. For more information, call 554.2321.

Pictured above: UNO Chancellor Nancy Belck and Armendariz.

Experimental Gallery Invites Exploration through May 5

Ventilation, an experimental gallery created by studio art students in the UNO College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media, is currently on display in the southeast corner of the UNO Sculpture Lab.

The purpose of this laboratory space is to create a forum for exploratory technical and conceptual practice, said David Helm, associate professor and chair of the UNO Department of Art and Art History. A series of six weekly exhibits is taking place through May 5. This semester's work includes video installation, environmental transformation, political commentary and nostalgic feminist documentary.

"By using artwork, students seek to establish a significant dialogue between the campus and the community," Helm said. "Ventilation is an open atmosphere that welcomes people interested in investigating the boundaries of human expression."

Parking is available outside the UNO Sculpture Lab. Opening receptions are taking place each Monday from noon to 1 p.m., and closing receptions are taking place each Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Helm at 554.2207.

OLLAS, LWV to Host U.S. Senate Candidate Forum April 13

The Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at UNO and the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha have partnered to host a U.S. Senate Candidate Forum Thursday, April 13. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. It is free and open to the public.

Senate candidates David Kramer, Pete Ricketts and Don Stenberg and incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson have been invited to participate. The forum will be moderated by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, assistant director of OLLAS and associate professor of political science at UNO. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

The forum is designed to allow the candidates to present their respective positions on a number of current issues, particularly those important to Nebraska's burgeoning population of Latino voters and to South Omaha residents in general, Dr. Benjamin-Alvarado said.

For more information, contact Lucy Garza, OLLAS project coordinator, at 554.3835 or at

University Library System Upgrade Today

Due to a system upgrade, photocopying machines and microform printers in University Library will experience downtime today, March 30, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A coin-operated photocopy machine is accessible on the main level. Microforms may be scanned and forwarded to the main floor printers or saved to a storage device.

For onsite assistance, stop by the service desk. For more information, contact Ben Blackwell at 554.3206.

Commencement Set for May 5

Commencement for May graduates will be held Friday, May 5, at Omaha Civic Auditorium, 1804 Capitol Ave., at 2 p.m. Faculty members are asked to assemble no later than 1:30 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.

Faculty who plan to attend the ceremony are asked to order their academic regalia from the UNO Bookstore (554.2336) by April 21.

UNO Swing Dance March 31

The UNO Jazz Ensembles and Moniker, a jazz combo, will take center stage at the UNO Swing Dance Friday, March 31. The event will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom.

Dance lessons will begin at 7 p.m., and the music and dancing will begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for students and $7 for the general public. Proceeds will be earmarked for the UNO Jazz Program and the UNO Wind Ensemble's 2006 European tour.

For more information, call 554.2297.

Deadline for Reimbursement Accounts March 31

The deadline to submit 2005 expenses for employee health care and dependent care reimbursement accounts is Friday, March 31. Any claims for reimbursement for 2005 expenses received after March 31 will not be processed.

Questions about reimbursement accounts can be referred to Esther Scarpello at 554.3660 or Jacque Christenham at 554.3659.

Symposium, Gandhi Award Luncheon April 7

The UNO School of Social Work will host its ninth annual symposium and Gandhi Award Luncheon Friday, April 7. The event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the W.H. Thompson Alumni Center. The luncheon will get under way at noon.

Ako Abdul-Samad, founder and CEO of Creative Visions Human Development Institute, will facilitate this year's symposium, titled "What is America Losing…?" Alberto "Beto" Gonzales from the Omaha Boys and Girls Club will deliver the luncheon address, titled "The Truth About Gangs."

During the luncheon, the ninth annual Gandhi Award will be presented to longtime Nebraska peace activist Frances Mendenhall for her dedication to using nonviolent methods and her work in peace and justice.

Established in 1996, the Gandhi Award honors individuals and organizations that exemplify Mahatma Gandhi's principles of nonviolence, selfless service and social action, which are consistent with social work values. Since 1999, the Gandhi Award has been presented annually during the UNO School of Social Work Symposium.

"The award luncheon and daylong symposium are excellent opportunities for social workers, youth agency workers, alternative and secondary school teachers, social activists, mental health practitioners and other human service professionals to come together for learning and celebration of our collective commitment to social justice," said Ashlie Hurt, event organizer in the UNO School of Social Work.

On-site registration will be conducted on a space-available basis. Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota social workers may receive 6.0 CEUs for attending the symposium. Some scholarships are available for full-time social work students to attend the symposium.

To access the registration forms or for more information, visit the Web at, or contact Hurt at 554.3057 or

Emory Computing Lab Web Seminar April 10

UNO will be the site of a Web seminar titled "Adventures in Space Design: Building and Supporting a Collaborative Computing Lab" Monday, April 10. It will be broadcast in the Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room from noon to 1 p.m.

In spring 2001, a project group composed of lab managers, audio visual specialists, interior designers and architects met to begin planning Emory University's first collaborative computing lab – the Computing Center at Cox Hall. This Web seminar will tell the story of the facility, from design to production, highlighting essential strategies for building, enabling and living with one vision of a next-generation computing center.

Since its inception at Emory, student use has grown from 5,000 users a month to more than 15,000, with both undergraduate and graduate students gravitating to the new ways of researching, working and learning together that the center supports.

The seminar is sponsored by EDUCAUSE, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

As an EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) member, the UNO community has access to ELI documents and events at First-time users are required to create a profile. ELI is an EDUCAUSE initiative focused on the advancement of teaching, learning and technology. ELI presents monthly Web seminars that are screened live in the MBSC. Past seminars can be viewed on the Web at

For more information, contact Jay Killion at 554.3758 or

Employment Discrimination Program April 18

Sharon Ulmar, assistant to the chancellor for diversity, will conduct a professional development discrimination program Tuesday, April 18. The event will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Umonhon Room. All interested faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

The session is designed to familiarize individuals with employment discrimination laws as they relate to race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, age and sexual orientation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Laws.

To register, contact Pamela Gilmore at 554.2872 or Ulmar at

Spring 2006 Strategic Planning Advance May 8

Community engagement and accountability will be the focus at the UNO Spring 2006 Strategic Planning Advance Monday, May 8. The event will be held in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom. All interested members of the campus community are invited to attend.

More information will be provided as the event nears.

To learn more about UNO's strategic plan, visit the Web at , or contact Lindy Gustafson, graduate assistant, at or 554.2535.